Table of Contents

New Zealand Immigration

New Zealand ranks one among the few leading countries that invite immigrants to contribute to its economic development. With most of the industries like engineering, information technology and medicine in the country looking for employees with generalist skills and lack of New Zealanders, with basic skills available for the jobs, there is a growing demand for immigrants who can work in these areas. New Zealand Immigration helps you to live and work in New Zealand permanently and become a part of the community.

Recognized as a highly diverse country, with a large number of immigrants living in different cities, New Zealand promises increasing job opportunities, a stable and secure life, and high living standards for anyone. Some of the best cities to live in the country are Napier, Queenstown, Auckland, Tauranga, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Christchurch, and many more. Other than the low cost of living, these cities offer you enough jobs, affordable housing and thriving friendly community for prospective migrants to settle in. New Zealand Immigration  is easily possible in the following pathways: 



(A) Skilled Migration Visa:

  • Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa
  • Silver Fern Job Search Work Visa

(B) Business Visa:

  • Entrepreneur Resident Visa
  • Global Impact Work Visa
  • Entrepreneur Work Visa

(C) Partner Visa:


  • Partner of a New Zealander Resident Visa
  • Partner of a New Zealander visitor visa
  • Partner of a New Zealander work visa
  • Partner of a Student Visa
  • Partner of a New Zealander Student Work Visa
  • Partner of a worker work visa
  • Partner of a worker visitor visa
  • Partner of an NZ Aid student work visa
  • Partner of Military visitor visa
  • Partner of a Military work visa
  • Essential skills work visa
  • Culturally Arranged Marriage visitor visa
  • Investor 2 resident visa
  • Refugee Family support resident visa
  • Tourism partners


new zealand immigration


Eligibility Requirements for New Zealand Immigration


The above-mentioned visas ask for certain eligibility requirements, which are given below: 


(A) Skilled Migration Visa – Eligibility Criteria


If you are a skilled professional and wish to work in New Zealand, you can apply for the skilled visa like the Skilled Migrant Category Resident visa or Silver Fern Job Search Work visa. However, you need to meet the following essential requirements to apply for any of the skilled visas for New Zealand Immigration.


Age: New Zealand Immigration  under the SMC Resident visa requires you to be under 55 years of age, while for the Silver Fern Job Search Work visa you must be 20 – 35 years. You need to provide sufficient evidence to prove your age.

Proof of Identity: To apply for New Zealand Immigration, you need to submit your certified or original copy of your valid passport or a certificate of identity, issued by the government in your country. Other than this, you must also provide your birth certificate, either in original or a certified copy and two photographs.

Qualifications: For the SMC Resident visa, you are required to have a qualification that helps you earn points. You can claim points for your educational qualification if it:

  • features on the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment, or
  • comes under the  New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) assessment, or
  • is approved by the New Zealand registration authority through assessment as the qualification of the same level as given on the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment and as a part of the qualification for New Zealand occupational registration.


Where you are an applicant for the Silver Fern Job Search Work visa, you must possess a qualification which is equal to a bachelor’s degree (Level 7) in New Zealand or higher qualification or a trade qualification which is equal to a National Certificate (Level 4) or a certificate of Level 4 in New Zealand and it pertained to an occupation on Part B or C of the “List of Skilled Occupations”.


Work Experience: For skilled migration to New Zealand, you are required to have work experience in the occupation that is similar to the one you claim points or the one described on the ANZSCO (Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations) occupation list of skill level 1, 2, or 3. Your educational qualification must be such that is determined by the ANZSCO for the occupation you want to apply for the visa.


Where you do not have the relevant qualification, you must prove that you have appropriate work experience determined by the ANZSCO for the particular employment. In such a case, you must have 5 years of work experience in a skill level 1 occupation to be an alternative for the qualification.


If your work experience in an occupation does not fall under any occupation mentioned on the ANZSCO occupation list of skill level 1, 2, or 3, but you claim points for the remuneration of $35.24 or above per hour during the time of your employment, then you have to meet any of the following to claim points:


  • A qualification similar to or above NZQF Level 4 Certificate, or


  • An NZQF Level 3 qualification that features on the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment, or


  • Relevant work experience of up to 3 years, or


  • Worked in the occupation that is listed on the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) and you met the eligibility requirements of LTSSL for the occupation, or


  • Possessed registration for working and worked in the occupation that asked for the occupational registration in New Zealand.



For all the above, you are required to gather the documents in support of your claim; however, you do not have to provide any of them while lodging your Expression of Interest (EOI).


As for New Zealand migration under Silver Fern Job Search Work visa, you qualify for it if you have a trade qualification, with at least two years of work experience. To have your work experience recognized, it must be:


  • Related to your trade qualification


  • Earned in a ‘comparable labour market’, which New Zealand Immigration  thinks the same in the list of countries it identifies.


  • The work experience you gained it legally to work in a country.


  • The experience you gained after your qualification



Skilled Employment: Without employment or receiving an employment offer in a skilled occupation, you hardly qualify for skilled migration visa to New Zealand. In case you receive an invitation to apply to travel to New Zealand, you need to produce evidence of your skilled employment with the details such as work experience, qualifications, and occupational registration. Furthermore, you can have the Employer Supplementary Form duly completed by the prospective employer and sent along with the application.

If it is for the Silver Fern Job Search Work visa, you must have the intention of finding long-term employment in New Zealand.



English Language Skills: You must prove your English language skills to qualify for immigration to New Zealand under the skilled visa program and provide any of the following:

  • An acceptable English language test result.
  • Proof of the citizenship of Canada, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, or Ireland and evidence showing you have a minimum of 5 years work experience or studying in the above-mentioned countries or New Zealand or Australia.
  • A degree or certificate to show you have a recognized qualification which is equivalent to New Zealand level 7 bachelor’s degree. You must have qualified in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the USA or Ireland and have studied for a minimum period of 2 years in any of the countries mentioned above to receive the qualification.
  • Proof of a recognized qualification that is equivalent to a postgraduate qualification in New Zealand, which you have acquired in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the USA, the UK, or Ireland and have studied for a minimum of a period of one year in any of the countries mentioned above to receive the qualification.



Health Requirement: To immigrate to New Zealand, you need to meet the health requirements and undergo a medical examination to prove that you are in good health. The medical examination to conduct must include: Physical examination, Urine and blood tests and Chest x-ray, if required. The result produced must be within three months old.



For Skilled Migration New Zealand, you are said to be in good health if you meet the acceptable standard of health requirements given below:



  • You will not cause danger to the health of the people in New Zealand.
  • Your stay in New Zealand will not cost a lot of money to the health and special education services offered by the government.
  • You can work or study for which the visa is granted to you.



Character Requirement: As for this, you need to provide a police certificate if you are 17 years or more from:

  • Your native country
  • Any other country where you have stayed a minimum of 12 months at a stretch or in different periods in the last ten years.

You are considered to be of good character if you do not have serious character issues like:

  • A conviction for an offence and imprisonment for a term of 5 years or more.
  • A conviction for an offence in the last 10 years and imprisonment for a term of 12 months or longer.
  • Forbidden from entering New Zealand.
  • Deported, removed or excluded from any country.



Expression of Interest (EOI): The next step is to lodge your EOI and qualify and enter the pool. For the purpose, you must score a minimum of 100 points.



Invitation to Apply for PR: The migration to New Zealand process ends with an invitation to apply for PR, which should be done within four months of receiving the ITA.

For the Silver Fern Job Search Work visa, you have to meet the following additional requirements:



Financial Status: You need to provide evidence of having enough money to live in New Zealand. For the purpose, you have to have at least NZ $4200 to live and work in New Zealand and you must prove this with the bank statements, bank draft, credit card statements and traveller’s cheques.



Onward Travel: You are required to have a travel ticket or sufficient money to book one to leave New Zealand if you want to apply for this visa. For the purpose, you need to provide evidence of:

  • A travel ticket
  • A bank or credit card statement showing enough money to book a travel ticket
  • Confirmed travel bookings



Skill Migration Visa – A Two-Stage Process


The New Zealand Immigration under the skilled visa is a two-stage process:


  • The first process is to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) and it is possible if you score 100 points and get accepted into the pool. Nevertheless, to get selected your EOI must score 160 points and above.


  • From the pool, the EOI is selected every two weeks and if you meet the Skilled Migrant EOI selection criteria, you are invited to apply.


  • On the invitation, you send the application for PR for a Skilled Migrant visa.


  • The decision on the application takes at least 6 months.


new zealand immigration


(B) Business Visa – Eligibility Criteria


The New Zealand Immigration under the business visa offers you three categories like the Entrepreneur Resident visa, Global Impact Work visa and Entrepreneur Work visa. You need to, however, meet the following eligibility requirements to acquire any of these visas.



For Entrepreneur Resident visa:


  • Where you have been self-employed for a period of fewer than two years, you are required to have an Entrepreneur Work visa.
  • You must have been operating a business for a minimum period of 6 months. This business must have been set up by you or as a result of buying 25 per cent of the shareholding in business in New Zealand.
  • You have to show that your business has realized the goal mentioned in the business plan.
  • You run a profitable business to have an annual salary for you, which is at least as much as the full-time minimum wage paid in NZ.
  • With your business, you contribute to the economic development of New Zealand.
  • You must have made enough capital investment; if your business is less than two years old, you must have invested a minimum of NZ$500,000.
  • Your business needs to conform to the NZ employment and immigration law.
  • You must not have received any welfare assistance.



For Global Impact Work visa:


  • To qualify for this visa you need to show that you have access to maintenance funds to a minimum of NZ$ 36000 to support your family and you for the first year. The funds may be in any form of a job offer for you or your partner, scholarships, bank statements in your or partner’s name, and any other source of income.
  • You must have received an invitation through a ‘Letter of offer’ for the Edmund Hillary Fellowship programme.
  • Where you are selected on the investor profile, you need to furnish proof of the investment funds or assets that you earned legally.

For Entrepreneur Work visa:


  • You must have the capacity of making a capital investment of a minimum of NZ $100,000.
  • Where your capital investment is less than NZ $100,000, you can request for a waiver provided your business is in ICT, science or high-value export sector or it shows high-level of innovation prospects.
  • You must have scored a minimum of 120 entrepreneur points.
  • You are required to submit a detailed business plan.
  • You must also possess New Zealand occupational registration to operate a business in NZ.
  • Where you are granted an Entrepreneur Work visa, you must start-up your business within 12 months and show that you have made the investment or taken appropriate steps to invest in the business.
  • You are required to sign and agree to take part in an evaluation of the Entrepreneur Work visa category in the declaration form.

Other Common Eligibility Requirements for New Zealand Immigration under the Business Visa


  • You need to submit your original or certified copy of passport and two acceptable photographs as identity proof.
  • You must also meet the health requirements by undertaking the necessary medical examinations like physical examination, urine and blood tests and chest x-ray.
  • As for character requirements, you must produce a police certificate.
  • You are required to confirm that you are a ‘fit and proper person’ for Immigration New Zealand. For that, you must have complied with not only the immigration laws but also the employment and taxation laws.
  • You have to meet the English language requirements.
  • To include your family, your partner and children have to meet eligibility criteria for the visa.


new zealand immigration


New Zealand Partner Visa


When you have New Zealand Partner Visa you can live work and study in the country, either as a permanent or temporary resident. You and your partner can live in New Zealand and enjoy the privileges provided by the country. There different types of New Zealand Partner Visa granted by the immigration department based on the requirements and circumstances you are applying for the partner visa.  You can include your dependent children if your children are 24 or under. 


New Zealand Partner Visa Processing Partnership Requirements


You are allowed to live or visit New Zealand if your partner is living in the country or your partner or you are applying to live or visit the country. Your eligibility will be approved based on your partnership. The New Zealand immigration law consider partnership as two individuals of the same or opposite sex who live jointly in a “genuine and stable relationship” such as

  • A lawful marriage
  • A civil union
  • A de facto relationship.


To be eligible for the above-mentioned requirement, your supporting partner must be a New Zealand visa holder or New Zealand citizen while you put on an application for the visa based on your partnership with your partner.


To get the New Zealand Partner visa granted, you and your partner need to be:


  • 18 years or more and if you are 16 or 17 years, you must have the permission of your parents or guardians  
  • Seen your partner before you submit a visa application under a partnership visa category.
  • You and your partner must not be close relatives

To be eligible for New Zealand partner visa you should submit the evidence of ‘living together’ and you have the proof that you and your partner are in a genuine and stable relationship and stay in the same home, it should not be:

  • Staying in different homes and spending time together in each other’s home
  • Staying together only during holidays
  • Flat-mate

Evaluating Partnership Relationship


You are required to produce the following details for assessment of your partnership.

  • Time or duration you are together
  • The time you have been in a relation and living together as a duo or couple.
  • The living measures
  • The monetary arrangements and support you provide each other
  • The financial  commitments you share
  • Your commitment to living together
  • The possessions, you own or share, if any,
  • Any kids of you together and the provisions to take care of them
  • Domestic tasks that you share between you and your partner
  • Social recognition of your relationship.

Proof of Partnership


You must produce proper proof of you and your partner living together in a “genuine and stable relationship”.  The authorized papers evidencing this is measured to be more trustworthy and qualified for the New Zealand Partner visa. If you can produce the joint tenancy agreement of renting the property, that will be considered as the most trustworthy proof of your relationship. You can also produce documents for evidence of a genuine and stable relationship, even though you need not produce all.

  • marriage or civil union certificate
  • birth certificates of children you share
  • email, cards, letters, and social media discussions
  • photographs of you and your partner together
  • Others proof of recognition of your association
  • Evidence of choices and ideas you make together
  • Proof of parenting together
  • Proof of your leisure time-sharing together
  • joint rental agreement or home loan
  • bank account together
  • Proof of assets you own together
  • Joined credit cards or hire purchase documents
  • Bills of power or phone  that shows the combined utility account

General Eligibility Criteria for New Zealand Partner Visa


You must fulfil the general requirements for having any of the above types of New Zealand Partner visa.

  • Proof of Identity:
  • Health:
  • Character
  • Your Partner’s Character
  • Bonafide
  • Immigration Status of your Partner 
  • Partner’s Place of Residence
  • Eligible NZ Supporting Partner
  • Partner Visa

Processing Time: The New Zealand Partner visa processing time is based on the type of visa, online or a paper application, and how quick you produce the necessary evidence and other documents for the processing.

Fees: The fees for the New Zealand partner visa is based on the kind of visa you are applying for. 


New Zealand Immigration – Frequently Asked Questions


The New Zealand Immigration  needs to be addressed because there are many complications found in the applications for the work, business and partner visas due to the absence of enough information and/or supporting documents. You can find some of the most important questions and answers to help you have a better understanding of the visa and procedure. 

  1. How can I obtain a work visa?

You need to apply for a New Zealand work visa with the immigration office. Where you receive a valid job offer, you may find it more likely to be eligible to get a work visa. For more information, you can check the types of work visas and the eligibility requirements on this page. 

  1. How can I find that my skills are in demand in New Zealand?

You can verify for your skilled job on the List of Skilled Occupations and Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) list and the demand for it. Normally, a majority of skilled occupations are in high demand in New Zealand. 

  1. Can I take my family to New Zealand?

It is based on the type of work visa you are applying for. If you apply for the Skilled Migrant Resident visa, you can include your partner and dependent children in your application. Nonetheless, for the temporary visa like the Silver Fern Job Search Work Visa, you cannot include your spouse and children for migration. 

  1. What are the advantages of obtaining an Entrepreneur Work visa?

If you are granted an Entrepreneur Work visa, you can immigrate to New Zealand and buy or set up your business. You can run your business in NZ for three years. Moreover, you can bring your partner and dependent children who are aged 19 or under New Zealand. Finally, this visa helps you apply for the Entrepreneur Resident visa to stay here permanently. 

  1. What is the processing time for a partner visa?

The processing time for  New Zealand partner visa depends on many factors, Wait times maybe 3 months to 9 months if you provide all the required papers and it also depends on the present backlog of like cases and the problems with you, if any. 

  1. Is it possible for me to immigrate to NZ on a Skilled Migrant visa if I have enough skills and experience but no formal qualification?

The eligibility criteria for the Skilled Migrant Resident visa require you to have a recognized qualification, skilled employment, and work experience to be considered for the visa. Where your skills and experience help you get an employment offer in NZ, you may have a chance to qualify for the visa. 

  1. How could I qualify for an Entrepreneur Work visa?

For an Entrepreneur Work visa, you need to meet the eligibility requirements like:

  • English language requirements
  • Health and character requirements
  • Be a fit and proper person
  • Make a minimum capital investment of NZ $100,000
  • Score 120 entrepreneur points
  • Provide  a detail business plan
  • Possess NZ occupational registration
  • Must start a business within the first year of the visa
  • Agree to take part in the Entrepreneur Work Visa category evaluation.
  1. I am on a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category, but I have lost my job and not been employed for 3 months? What should I do?

 The New Zealand law requires anyone to conform to the visa conditions.  In this case, you should meet the s.49 (1) conditions by taking up another skilled job for a minimum of three months. If not, your visa will be cancelled and you must leave the country. 

  1. My partner and I have been living together for less than 12 months, is possible to get a partner visa then?

In many circumstances, exceptions are made, but you cannot count on it. The applications are measured on a case-by-case basis. You can opt for a temporary New Zealand visa if don’t have the required amount of time together for a permanent visa and this will allow you to meet the requirement. 

  1. I am in NZ on SMC job search visa on 9 months duration, but I am still on a job hunt. Can I extend the visa?

There is no extension available for the Skilled Migrant job search work visa. You have 9 months to find an ongoing skilled job and if you have not found one within the time limit, your residency will be declined. 

  1. Does my occupation require New Zealand registration?

According to the New Zealand law, you need to register to work in some occupations. And if you want to apply for the visa, you should have the registration done before the visa is granted. To know the occupations that need registration, you can get the help of an immigration consultant. 

  1. I have a work visa but my employment details are not matching. What should I do?

As some visas restrict work to a specified employer, location or occupation, you may sometimes have one of these restrictions in your visa. You can apply to change the condition and there are two options available:

Option1: You can apply for a variety of condition.

Check your visa conditions and apply to change the condition.

Option 2:Where your work visa is under the Essential Skills Category and your job in the ‘essential skills demand lists’, you can apply for a variation of conditions. Here you also need to satisfy the requirements of the list. For instance, you can apply to change the employer but not the occupation or region. 

  1. I have been speaking my partner for a long time through phone and e-mail but we never met before. How can we obtain a partner visa in this case?

To obtain a partner visa, it is essential that you have met your partner previously and this requirement is mandatory. You will not be excepted from this requirement in any case. You must have lived with your partner a minimum of a period of one year to apply for a permanent visa.  You can obtain a temporary visa for your partner to visit or travel to New Zealand or travel which should be your partner’s home country to satisfy the requirement.   

  1. Can I get repayment of my application charge if my visa is cancelled or rejected?

This is based on if your visa application is complete on not. If the Immigration New Zealand has already completed your visa application, you will not get the refund of the fee irrespective of it being rejected or cancelled. This is because there is some cost involved in the assessment of the application.

In case the application is not completed and you withdraw it, you can apply for the refund; however, it is at the discretion of the relevant authority of Immigration New Zealand. You can nevertheless send the refund request to the relevant authority in the same office and wait for the reply. 

  1. What is the time duration to immigrate to New Zealand, once I am issued with my resident visa?

You need to enter New Zealand within one year once your New Zealand partner visa is issued, unless your resident status will be abandoned, and you may need to re-apply.


Immigration Help – Leading New Zealand Immigration Expert


If you are looking for New Zealand Immigration, you can get in touch with us. Mr Sanjayai Kapoor is the Licensed Adviser New Zealand Immigration.


You can call us on our Mobile/ WhatsApp No. +61433303774 or drop an email at [email protected]


    Just let us know, our consultants will be happy to assist you.