Compare visas

The visa you hold while in New Zealand may dictate the Government-funded public services you're able to access. The easiest visa to get isn't necessarily the best!

The below table outlines four popular types of visa and the range of public services you may be eligible to access on each.

Compare visas
Visitor visa
Student visa Working holiday visa Work visa Resident visa
How long you can stay Up to 9 months For the duration of your course Varies Varies Indefinitely
How long can you work You can't Varies Varies Varies Indefinitely
Need a job offer to apply N/A No No Yes, in most cases Varies
Healthcare No No No No/Yes Yes
Education - primary & secondary No No N/A Yes Yes
Education - tertiary No No No No Yes
Student Allowance and Student Loan No No No No Yes
Jobseeker support No No No No Yes
Working for Families No No No No Yes
Vote in General Elections No No No No Yes
New Zealand Superannuation No No No No Yes
 

On a visitor visa you can generally stay for up to 9 months.

On a student visa healthcare is charged on a pay as you go basis, although most accident costs are covered by ACC. You are required to hold comprehensive health insurance.

On a student visa you can stay for the duration of your course. Once your studies are complete you may be eligible to apply for a work visa.

On a student visa healthcare is charged on a pay as you go basis, although most accident costs are covered by ACC. You are required to hold comprehensive health insurance.

On a working holiday visa you can normally stay 12 months, depending on which country you are from. For the UK it is 23 months.

The length of your work visa depends on the duration of your job offer and type of visa.

You can stay in New Zealand indefinitely on a resident visa.

You're unable to work in New Zealand on a visitor visa.

On a student visa the amount of time you can work depends on your course. Typically students are allowed up to 20 hours per week during the term and full-time during the summer holiday. In special cases like Master's degrees, some students may be allowed to work more than this.

On a working holiday visa you can normally work up to three months for one employer, depending on which country you are from.

The length of time you can be employed on a work visa depends on the duration of your job offer and type of work visa.

You can work indefinitely on a resident visa and change employers whenever you like.

You're unable to work in New Zealand on a visitor visa.

You don't need a job offer to apply for a student visa. See above for work restrictions.

You don't need a job offer to apply for a working holiday visa. See above for work restrictions.

You'll need a job offer to apply for a work visa, unless you are applying under a special policy (for example to join your partner in New Zealand).

Having a job isn't a requirement of the Skilled Migrant category, but you may need one to meet the points threshold. With the Residence from Work category you will need a job to apply.

On a visitor visa healthcare is charged on a pay as you go basis, although most accident costs are covered by ACC.

On a student visa healthcare is charged on a pay as you go basis, although most accident costs are covered by ACC. You are required to hold comprehensive health insurance.

On a working holiday visa healthcare is charged on a pay as you go basis, although most accident costs are covered by ACC.

On a work visa that's less than two years in length, healthcare is charged on a pay as you go basis, although most accident costs are covered by ACC. On a work visa that's two years or more in length, you're eligible for publicly funded health, maternity and disability services.

On a resident visa you're eligible for publicly funded health, maternity and disability services.

On a visitor visa your children can study for up to three months before needing a student visa. They generally pay international student fees.

On a student visa you must pay international fees, as must any dependent children accompanying you.

Children are not eligible to accompany you on a working holiday visa.

On a work visa you are required to pay international student fees at tertiary institutions.

On a resident visa you are eligible for domestic student fees at tertiary institutions.

On a visitor visa you are required to pay international student fees at tertiary institutions.

On a student visa you are required to pay international student fees at tertiary institutions.

On a working holiday visa you are required to pay international student fees at tertiary institutions.

On a work visa you are required to pay international student fees at tertiary institutions.

On a resident visa you are eligible for domestic student fees at tertiary institutions.

You are not eligible for a Student Loan or Student Allowance on a visitor visa.

You are not eligible for a Student Loan or Student Allowance on a student visa.

You are not eligible for a Student Loan or Student Allowance on a working holiday visa.

You are not eligible for a Student Loan or Student Allowance on a work visa.

You are eligible to apply for a Student Loan or Student Allowance after being a resident for three years.

You are not eligible for Jobseeker support on a visitor visa.

You are not eligible for Jobseeker support on a student visa.

You are not eligible for Jobseeker support on a working holiday visa.

You are not eligible for Jobseeker support on a work visa.

You are eligible to apply for Jobseeker support after being a resident for two years.

You are not eligible for Working for Families on a visitor visa.

You are not eligible for Working for Families on a student visa.

You are not eligible for Working for Families on a working holiday visa.

You are not eligible for Working for Families on a work visa.

If you are a tax resident you are eligible for Working for Families after one year living in NZ.

You're not eligible to vote in a General Election on a visitor visa.

You're not eligible to vote in a General Election on a student visa.

You're not eligible to vote in a General Election on a working holiday visa.

You're not eligible to vote in a General Election on a work visa.

On a resident visa you’re eligible to vote in a General Election after living in NZ continuously for one year.

You're not eligible for New Zealand Superannuation on a visitor visa.

You're not eligible for New Zealand Superannuation on a student visa.

You're not eligible for New Zealand Superannuation on a working holiday visa.

You're not eligible for New Zealand Superannuation on a work visa.

On a resident visa you’re eligible for New Zealand Superannuation after ten years living in NZ, five of which when you were aged 50 or over.

This criteria differs for some countries based on social security agreements.

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Page last updated: 30/10/2014

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