Visas for New Zealand
Everyone's journey to New Zealand is different.
There are many factors to consider when you decide which visa option is best for you, including:
- when you want to come and how long you want to stay
- your country of origin
- your age
- your health
- your work and study plans, and
- if you want to bring your partner or family with you to New Zealand.
Below is a brief explanation of our main visa categories.
Like any other country, New Zealand’s visas can often change. Political, economic and social factors can influence the rules at any time.
You can learn more about the requirements for each visa and about which one is best for you on the Immigration New Zealand website.
Visitor Visa and NZeTA
The default visa for short term casual travellers is a visitor visa usually valid for 3 or 6 months.
You can’t work – you’re here for a good time and to see the country.
The NZeTA (New Zealand electronic Travel Authority) is for visitors from visa-free countries and arrivals on cruise ships.
Short term business visa
If you are visiting New Zealand for business reasons, you can apply for a Business Visitor Visa.
The visa is valid for up to 3 months.
Working Holiday Visa
Working holiday visas are available to young people, usually aged 18 to 30, but 18 to 35 in a select few countries.
They let you travel and work in New Zealand for up to 12 months, or 23 months if you are from the UK or Canada.
Mostly for tertiary students to come and attend a full-time course of study in New Zealand.
You need a student visa, if you plan to study in New Zealand for more than 3 months.
You can visit the NauMai NZ website to find more information about being an international student in New Zealand.
We have a range of visas that may allow you live in New Zealand permanently.
One of these options is the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa.
This visa is considered through a points-based system. Potential migrants submit an Expression of Interest (EOI), if they are successful, Immigration New Zealand will send you an Invitation to Apply (ITA).
During COVID-19 the EOI pool has continued to grow but no ITA’s were issued. This means the ratio of successful ITA’s to EOI’s has reduced – and we see no sign of this improving.
The net result is even if you have a high points score, relying on this pathway has a relatively low chance of success.
Residence visa qualifications, as with other visas, vary depending on the overall benefits to New Zealand at that time. For most new migrants successfully employed in qualifying professions through other temporary work visas, pathways to residence are clear.
There are also resident visa options for partners and family of New Zealand citizens and residents.
We have a range of visas that allow you to work in New Zealand.
Accredited Employer Work Visa
The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) is designed to ensure only good employers can hire migrant workers and helps prevent migrant exploitation.
Employers must get their businesses and jobs accredited before they can employ migrants.
To get accredited, they go through a financial and business background check.
They also complete other checks to ensure each job’s terms and conditions meet our country's standards, and prove there are no New Zealand citizens or residents available for the job. If they're successful they receive a job check token.
Accredited employers can then offer their approved jobs to suitable migrants.
Applying for an AEWV
You can apply for an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) if you have a job offer from an accredited employer, the skills and qualifications for the job, and a link to the application form.
Immigration New Zealand does the usual visa checks prior to final approval of the AEWV.
Interested in coming to New Zealand?
Take the first step to a new life by registering your interest with Immigration New Zealand. We’ll send you personalised emails about job opportunities in your profession, life in New Zealand and choosing the right visa.It’s free and there’s no obligation.