Overseas people can enter and stay in New Zealand provided they have a valid visa and current passport. There are four types of visas:
There are presently six categories under which applicants can apply for residence in New Zealand:
Under this category applicants are awarded points under specific criteria and must secure sufficient total points for their application to succeed. The main applicant must meet the English Language requirement (IELTS minimum 5.0) prior to lodgment.
International students who successfully complete an undergraduate diploma or degree course of at least 3 years duration, or a postgraduate course of at least 1 year duration in New Zealand can score additional points and have the normal prerequisite requirement for at least 2 years work experience waived.
Under present policy international students who complete their tertiary study in New Zealand and get a job are very likely to qualify for permanent residence.
Under the General Skills Category applicants score points for the following criteria:
This category is also points based and requires applicants to score points for their age, business experience and the amount of investment funds (minimum NZ$1,000,000) to be invested for two years in New Zealand.
For business-people who have established and operated their own business (minimum 25% ownership) in New Zealand for two years and the business is considered to be providing some benefit to New Zealand.
There are several types of residence applications under the Family Category. These include: marriage to a NZ resident or citizen, parents of a NZ resident or citizen, adult unmarried children of NZ residents or citizens etc. There are certain criteria required for each type of application.
Under this category people who are suffering from serious emotional or medical harm and have an immediate family member in New Zealand may be able to apply for residence.
Under the United Nations charter, New Zealand has agreed to accept a limited number of refugees each year.
If you wish to enter New Zealand as a tourist, visit friends or family, for business (but not to work), medical reasons or for a short-term study course of less than 3 months you normally require a Visitor Visa. However people who are citizens of countries with whom New Zealand has visa free arrangements do not require a visa to enter New Zealand but they must hold a valid passport, return air ticket and be able to prove they have sufficient financial support when entering New Zealand.
It is normal for the parents of students studying long term in New Zealand to come to visit their son or daughter so they can see for themselves the situation in New Zealand and can personally visit the school, meet the teachers and the home stay family and thereby gain a good understanding of the education and living conditions in New Zealand. Many parents enjoy their visits so much they buy a house or set up business in New Zealand and make more frequent visits.
In processing a Visitor Visa application the New Zealand Immigration Service may decide the application is unable to meet all the policy requirements to enable a Visitor Visa to be approved. In this situation the Visitor Visa application will be declined or the opportunity to receive a Limited Purpose Visitor Visa will be given which is more restrictive than a normal Visitor Visa.
You will need a student visa if you are outside New Zealand and wish to come to New Zealand to study full-time for longer than 3 months. If you wish to study for a shorter period like a holiday English program you may only require a visitor visa. Intending students entering New Zealand from visa free countries do not need a student visa to enter New Zealand but must apply for a student permit after their arrival when they have finalized their study course. You can only get a student visa to study in a course at an education institution, which is registered and approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.
If you intend coming to New Zealand for a short term, specific course of study and do not wish to risk being declined a normal student visa it is acceptable to apply for a Limited Purpose Student Visa in the beginning. The fees and documentation for a Student Visa and Limited Purpose Student Visa are the same.
The normal Work Visa policy is for workers who have been offered a job in New Zealand because the New Zealand employer cannot find anyone with the skills, qualifications and experience to do the job offered. These Work Visas are normally issued for a maximum period of 3 years. The spouse and dependent children of Work Visa holders are given Visitor or Student Visas for the same period as the Work Visa holder. Dependent children of Work Visa holders do not pay international student tuition fees until they complete secondary school.
Students who have completed their undergraduate degree and who receive an employment offer relevant to their degree can be entitled to a Work Permit of up to 2 years to work in the position offered.
New Zealand has special Working Holiday programs for young citizens from approved countries to travel to New Zealand for up to one year to holiday, to work and for limited study all under the same visa.
To be eligible under this program, applicants must: