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New Zealand - Immigration and visa application

Wellington, Capital of New Zealand

Residence in New Zealand

If you wish to migrate to New Zealand, you need to apply to Immigration New Zealand (INZ) for resident status.
Resident status in New Zealand entitles you to live, study and work indefinitely in New Zealand.

Residence Visa

A Residence Visa is normally valid for one year and is for a single entry. You must use this visa before its expiry date in order to activate your resident status. This visa allows you to travel to New Zealand and be granted a Residence Permit on arrival.

Residence Permit

A Residence Permit allows you to reside in New Zealand for an indefinite period. However, this permit will expire once you leave New Zealand.
If you wish to leave New Zealand temporarily after taking up residence, you must have a valid Returning Residence Visa in your passport to ensure your re-entry into New Zealand. You will be issued your first Returning Resident's Visa when residence is approved.


Residence Policy - Principal Applicant

People wishing to migrate to New Zealand may gain residence under one of the Migrant visa categories listed at the website of Immigration New Zealand (INZ) Residence applications are considered on the basis of whether the "Principal Applicant" meets the policy criteria. The Principal Applicant may include their partner and dependent children in their application. All applicants must meet standard health and character requirements. Please read the website of Immigration New Zealand (INZ)

English Language Requirement

Principal Applicants in the Skilled Migrants Category must meet a specified standard of English to be granted residence. Principal applicants in the Skilled Migrants category meet the minimum standard of English, if they provide a Test Report Form (no more than 2 years old at the time the application is lodged) showing an overall band score of 6.5 in the IELTS General or 7.0 in the Academic Module.
Also those who wish to establish a business in New Zealand must provide evidence of English language skills.
More about this subject at the website of Immigration New Zealand (INZ)

The first step towards a successful visa application is an assessment of your chances and will determinein which migration visa category you may be eligible to apply; you are invited to use the assessment form HERE for this purpose.


The result of this assessment contains all information needed to apply for visa, inclusive a step by step explanation of the various stages of the migration process plus useful tips and links.



Visa application - in which category? You will find a brief summary of all visa categories HERE

What is the difference between a visa and a permit?
A visa is issued outside New Zealand, and gives the holder a right to enter New Zealand and be issued with a permit to remain. A permit is only issued to people in New Zealand, and allows them to remain within the terms of that permit. For example, someone entering New Zealand with a valid Visitor's Visa will usually be issued, at the airport, with a 3 month Visitor's Permit. A person entering New Zealand with a valid Residence Visa will be issued with a Residence Permit, allowing them to remain indefinitely.

If you don't want to do your visa application yourself, we can recommend reputable services in New Zealand to help you.
If you are looking for a registered and affordable migration consultant, Email us.

Do you have questions? We help!

Many questions arise for those exploring the possibility of immigration, about all aspects relating to starting a new life in a new country and we would like to offer the opportunity for everyone to ask these questions to a fellow-immigrant. This service is free of charge and you are invited to e-mail Janneke and you will receive an answer as soon as possible.

Transferring funds or pensions to New Zealand or buying a property? Check out WorldFirst and save on exchange rates and fees!

NZ lifestyle newsletter


Interested in farming and/or horticulture in NZ? click HERE
More questions about immigration to NZ? click HERE

New Zealand Immigration & Travel DVD
This is a visually informative New Zealand DVD like no other. Created by migrants for migrants to assist in making migrant's experience of travelling to or moving to New Zealand better informed.



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Images courtesy of CleanGreen, VirtualNZ and Tourism New Zealand

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