Types of Visas

Which Visa

Here is a brief guide of some visa options if you are wishing to visit, work or become resident in New Zealand. Please talk to us as there may be other categories than those listed here and other requirements. This is intended as a brief outline only and you would need to discuss with a Licensed Adviser to see if you qualify.
Regardless of whether you require a visa or not to come to New Zealand, you will also need to meet health requirements and character requirements, before you will be allowed entry to New Zealand. Discuss with us, without obligation if you will meet these requirements.

Temporary Entry – Working

Work Visa for Skilled Migrants and their partners.

This is the most popular application for our clients to start their journey. Immigration will grant temporary work visas to people who have a job offer from a New Zealand employer for people skilled in occupations that are in demand here, your spouse/partner is also eligible for a work visa for the same period of the skilled applicant.

Work Visas are also granted to people coming here for a particular purpose or event, and people who want to gain work experience or work after studying in New Zealand.

Working Holiday

If you’re aged between 18 and 30 years you may be eligible to experience life in New Zealand on a working holiday.

Studying – Student Visa

Children of people on a work visa are eligible to apply for a student visa to attend primary, intermediate or secondary school.

People who wish to study for a tertiary qualification may gain a student visa either for the period of study they have paid for or for the length of course. Check with us for details.

Visiting – Visitor Visa

You must be considered to be a genuine visitor, before you will be allowed entry to New Zealand. If you are not from a country on the visa free list, you will need to apply for a visa to come to New Zealand. If you are from a country on the visa free list subject to meeting requirements you will be granted a Visitor Visa on arrival. Ask us if you are from a country on the visa free list.

If you are in New Zealand and wish to extend your stay you may qualify for an extension of your Visitor Visa.

Family Temporary Entry

If you intend to stay temporarily with your family member who is a New Zealand citizen or resident you may choose to:
Visit New Zealand under one of the following categories:

– Partners of New Zealand residents and/or citizens
– Culturally arranged marriage
– Dependent children of New Zealand residents and/or citizens
– Parent or grandparent multiple entry visa
Work in New Zealand under partners of New Zealand Residents and/or citizens category.

Resident Visa

There are several categories

Skilled Migrant

If you are between 22 & 55 and hold qualification(s) and/or have experience and/or have a job offer in New Zealand we can calculate your points and advise if you qualify. Processing is generally 6 & 9 months.


Parents: People who have children settled in New Zealand and have had residence for at least 3 years and can sponsor them may qualify to gain residence.

This is a capped category and applications usually exceed the annual cap. Application usually takes up to 2 years to process.

Partners: If you are the husband, wife, defacto or civil union partner of a New Zealand citizen or resident and you can show you live in a genuine, stable relationship and have resided together for 12 months or more you may gain residence. If your relationship is stable and genuine but you do not yet qualify to apply for residence you may qualify for a work visa in order for you to remain together until you meet the requirements. Processing time can take from a few months to a year depending on the verifications which need to be made and branch handling your application.

Dependent Child: Child of a New Zealand resident. You and your parent(s) may wish to be reunited in New Zealand. Your parent(s) may have already settled here and now, you’d like to come to New Zealand to live with them. You will need to be dependent and not married or have a partner.

If you are a child and wish to move to New Zealand to live with your parent(s), you will need to apply for residence in New Zealand. Your parent must be a New Zealand citizen or resident and be living in New Zealand. If your parent(s) are not residents or citizens but are living here on a work visa or student visa you may still qualify for a visa to join them.

Investing and doing business in New Zealand

New Zealand is a prosperous English-speaking country with powerful passports that have multiple immigration options open to investors and entrepreneurs. Because of strong interest in migration to New Zealand, the investment visa categories in New Zealand are highly selective and require large investment amounts. Investment opportunities are essentially split into two categories: the Investor Visa, which requires a passive investment of a significant amount of capital, or the Entrepreneur Visa, which requires substantial experience and a commitment to building a business in the country. Within the Investor Visa category, there are multiple levels of investment that confer different benefits. New Zealand targets high net worth individuals and has strict standards for proposed businesses within their border.

Before selecting an investment location, investors should consider the outcome of their investment (temporary or permanent residency), the type of investment required, processing times, and long-term commitments demanded by the program and any restrictions on dual nationality. New Zealand has certain presence requirements, but the specific length of residency required will depend on the investment level. Furthermore, some investment levels may require English language skills.

New Zealand offers residency to both investors and entrepreneurs. Investors can qualify for residency in New Zealand in the Investor 2 or Investor 1 categories. The basic Investor 2 category requires a minimum investment of NZ$3 million for four years. The Investor 1 category requires an investment of NZ$10 million, but only for three years, and lifts restrictions on age, business experience, settlement funds and language skills, and reduces time spent in New Zealand to 44 days per each of the last two years of the investment period. Applicants are first granted temporary residence, which lasts the duration of their required investment period. Once they have fulfilled the investment length requirements of the program, investors will be able to apply, with their families, for permanent residence in New Zealand.

Those interested in starting their own business in New Zealand can consider the Entrepeneur Work and Residence visas. The Entrepreneur Work Visa is the first step in acquiring residence on the basis of a business investment. This category requires a minimum investment of $100,000, a business plan, and a certain score on a scale measuring the business’s likelihood of success and value for the country. If approved, applicants will be given a one-year start up period, and two more years to run their business before applying for residency.

New Zealand has established institutions to promote and run the investment residence programs. New Zealand has nomination requirements depending on the investment category. Prospective investors can contact our experienced advisers to learn more about investment opportunities, application requirements and how to get started.

Temporary Retirement Visitor Visa

Temporary Retirement visitor visa valid for up to two years for principal applicants aged 66 and over with comprehensive travel insurance and substantial investment funds.

Employees of a relocating business

This is to facilitate the granting of residence to employees of businesses relocating to New Zealand, who do not qualify for residence under any existing categories.