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Visa types

Explore the different types of visa to decide which one would be right for you.

Factors to consider when choosing a visa include:

  • how long you want to stay
  • allowing enough time to gather the required documentation
  • when you intend on travelling to New Zealand
  • whether you have a job offer in New Zealand
  • whether the visa allows you to bring your family.

Popular visa types 

Working Holiday Visa

A Working Holiday Visa allows people from many countries to work in New Zealand for up to a year. 

Best for:
People who want to travel and work in New Zealand for up to 12 months, or up to 23 months for people from the UK or Canada.
You can work for any employer on a non-permanent basis, but if you want to stay longer you'll need to apply for another visa. 

Essential Skills Visa

An Essential Skills Visa allows people to move to New Zealand temporarily to work for a specific employer.

Best for:
People who have been offered a full-time job and want to move to New Zealand.
This temporary visa is tied to a specific job, and won’t necessarily enable you to gain a residence visa.

Work to Residence Visa

A Work Visa with a pathway to Residence after you have held the visa for 24 months.

Best for:
People who have been offered a full-time job and want to eventually be able to live in New Zealand permanently.
This visa is tied to a specific job in an area of skill shortage or with an accredited employer. You’ll be able to apply for residence if you continue working for your employer for two years.

Skilled Migrant Visa

A Skilled Migrant Category Visa can give people residence in New Zealand.

Best for:
People who want to stay in New Zealand indefinitely, have been offered a job and have the skills, qualifications and experience we need.
Send us an Expression of Interest (EOI) where you claim points for your skills and job offer. We use a points-based system to assess EOIs; if you gain the required number of points, we will invite you to apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa.

All costs are given in NZD. Details subject to change at any time. Duration and processing times current as of October 2019.

Other visa types

New Zealand has a range of other visas that could be right for you if you want to study, invest, set up your own business or bring your family here.

Visa for partners and children

You have a choice of visas if you want to bring your partner, children or parents to New Zealand. Visa requirements vary depending on whether your family wants to stay temporarily or permanently.

Investment Visa

If you have at least NZD $3 million to invest, you may be eligible for an investor visa. Investors accepted into the Edmund Hillary Fellowship can also apply for a Global Impact Work Visa.

Student Visas

You will need a student visa if you’re planning to take a full-time course than runs for more than three months.

Business Visa

If you plan to purchase or establish a business, you can apply for an Entrepreneur visa. Entrepreneurs accepted into the Edmund Hillary Fellowship can also apply for a Global Impact Work Visa.

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