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New Zealand - Visas

New Zealand immigration offers a variety of visas, each with its own requirements. Therefore it is important to find out about all the visa options and choose the one that best suits your situation.

Visitor Visa

This is for people going to New Zealand to tour the country, visit friends or family, go on a business trip, go for treatment, attend an event, or study. For you to qualify for a visitor visa, you have to meet a number of requirements:

• You must be able to finance your stay in the country for the entire duration. Therefore, you have to provide evidence that you have enough money to cater for your accommodation, travel, food, drinks, and any other essentials. Normally, the minimum amount you should have is $1000 per month or $400 per month if you already have a place to stay.

• You should not have been deported from any country.

• You should not be a suspected criminal or have any links to criminals because such links make you a potential threat to New Zealand’s security.

• You should not have committed a criminal offence that led to 12 months’ imprisonment or more. You will be required to provide a certificate of good conduct to verify that you have never committed a criminal offence.

A visitor’s visa allows you to be in New Zealand for a maximum period of nine months. This can be continuous or divided into short periods within 18 months. Once the nine months are over, you have to stay outside New Zealand for a period of nine months before you can be eligible for another visitor visa.

Some people are not required to apply for a visitor visa when visiting New Zealand. These include:

• Australian citizens/permanent residents
• New Zealand citizens who live/study/work abroad
• UK citizens and passport holders
• Citizens of countries which have a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand including Argentina, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malta, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Uruguay, Chile, Hungary, South Korea, Andorra, Austria, Malaysia, Slovenia, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Kiribati, Oman, Portugal, Qatar, San Marino, Finland, Indonesia, Kuwait, Mexico, Monaco, Nauru, France, Italy, Israel, Ireland, Germany, Greece, Liechtenstein, and the USA. Skilled Migrant Visa

These people only need to apply for a visitor permit, which allows them to stay in New Zealand for 3 months, with the exception of UK citizens, who can stay for 6 months. However, they must also meet the requirements of applying for a visitor pass.

Working holiday visa

This type of visa is for young people between the age of 18 and 35. It allows them to do casual jobs in New Zealand for a period of 12 months, and 23 months for UK citizens. Only people from countries that offer New Zealand citizens the same expat privileges can acquire a working holiday visa. When applying for a working holiday visa, you must have a return ticket or proof that you can purchase one.

Work visa

A work visa acts as a temporary permit to work in New Zealand. To qualify for a work visa, you will need to first secure a job in the country. However, the job must be listed on the Immigration New Zealand skill shortage list for the visa to be granted. The visa allows you to stay and work in New Zealand for a maximum period of 3 years.

Work to residence visa

This allows you to apply for a residence visa after 24 months of working in New Zealand, provided you meet these requirements:

• You have had a work to residence visa in the last 24 months.
• You have worked full time for an accredited employer or held a long-term skill shortage job for the past 24 months.
• You receive an annual basic salary of at least $55000 if employed by an accredited employer and $45000 if on a long-term skill shortage job.
• You have met the age, health, and character requirements.

Residence visa

A residence visa allows you to live, study, work, and vote in New Zealand for an indefinite period of time. It also enables you to seek publicly funded services. Australian citizens do not need a residence visa to live in New Zealand. Any other person who will be accompanying you to New Zealand can be listed as a secondary applicant on your application for a residence visa. To qualify for the visa, you should meet several requirements:

• You should be in good health, i.e. you should not be suffering from a disease that can be transmitted to other people. Therefore, you and the secondary applicants are required to get a full medical examination.
• You should have a certificate of good conduct to show that you are not criminals.
• You should be proficient in speaking and writing in English. If not, you will need to state that you are planning to attend English classes.
• You should have sufficient funds to facilitate your stay as well as that of your dependents for at least the first four years.

Student visa

A student visa allows you to live and study in New Zealand for the entire duration of your study. Before you can apply for a student visa, you will be required to receive a letter of admission from a learning institution in New Zealand. You will also be required to pay all tuition fees or provide evidence that you will be able to pay. You need to provide evidence that you will be able to meet all the other expenses in the course of your stay. The minimum financial requirements are $1000 per month if you have not secured accommodation or $400 per month if you already have accommodation. The visa also allows you to work for no more than 15 hours per week to finance your stay. However, you can apply for a work permit if you get a job.

Investor visa

This enables you to live in New Zealand while investing in business ventures in the country.

Entrepreneur visa

This allows you to buy or start a business in New Zealand.

Read more about this country

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