New Zealand Visa Types: Which is the Right Type of Visa For You?
Are you planning to visit the “Land of the Long White Cloud,” New Zealand? The country will awe you with its spectacular scenic beauty, exotic beaches, vibrant cultural experiences, delicious food & wine and innumerable tourist attractions.
It is also a prominent commercial hub, frequently visited by business travellers from across the world. However, a large group of foreign citizens also visit New Zealand to study abroad, work, join a family, start a business or live permanently. For each type of traveller, there is a different type of New Zealand visa available.
With a broad spectrum of visa options available, it can be challenging to determine which is the right option for you. In this guide, we will discuss the most common New Zealand visa types which will help you submit the right visa application and proceed with your migration process.
Types of New Zealand Visas Available
The type of New Zealand visa you will need depends on your purpose of visit. Let’s discuss each of your options here:
New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA)
Beginning in October 2019, the New Zealand Immigration Authority introduced the New Zealand eTA which allows qualified residents to visit the country without the need to apply for a regular visa. The NZeTA is an official travel document that you must mandatorily hold if you are visiting New Zealand from a visa-waiver country for:
Whether you are visiting New Zealand by air or cruise, you must hold a New Zealand eTA if you are coming from one of the 60 eTA-qualified countries. The entire process is handled electronically and you do not need to visit a New Zealand embassy or consulate to apply for a regular visa. In most cases, the applications get processed immediately and are approved within 24-72 hours.
Once approved, the eTA will be sent electronically to your registered email address provided at the time of filing the application. Remember, the NZeTA is available only to visitors coming from a visa-waiver country as approved by the New Zealand Immigration Authority. Using this visa, members of visa-waiver countries can:
Travel to New Zealand for tourism and commercial purposes without having to apply for a visa
Pass through the airport as a lawful transit passenger on their way to another country (if you hold the nationality of a visa-waiver country) or to and from Australia
A New Zealand eTA is valid for 2 years but you can stay in the country for not more than 3 months during each stay. Furthermore, you are not eligible to spend over 6 months during any 12-month period of your visa validity.
To get a New Zealand eTA, you would require the following:
Proof of nationality belonging to 60 New Zealand eTA-qualified nations if you are visiting via air. Such limitations do not apply if you are arriving via cruise ship. This requires having a valid passport
A valid email address through which all communication about your New Zealand eTA will be conducted
A debit card, credit card or PayPal account is required to pay the fee to acquire an NZeTA
Details of a return ticket or hotel accommodation
A clear photograph of your face that fulfil all NZeTA requirements
However, even if you meet these requirements, your New Zealand eTA may get rejected on the following grounds:
If you have a health condition that can be hazardous for public safety or become a burden for New Zealand’s health service
Have been prohibited to enter another nation, ousted or expelled
Have been criminally convicted or have a criminal history
If you meet all the requirements, you can apply for a New Zealand eTA on our website. Travellers from qualified nations must complete the application form correctly and pay a fee using a credit or debit card. Residents of the USA who are visiting New Zealand can check their eligibility requirements here, while UK residents can check their criteria here.
New Zealand Visitor Visa
Travellers coming from non-visa-exempted countries are not eligible for a New Zealand eTA; rather, they would require a visitor visa to enter the country for purposes as mentioned herewith:
Tourism and sightseeing
Business & trading
Short-term unpaid and paid jobs in New Zealand
Medical examination, therapies or exercises
However, you can travel and stay in New Zealand on a visitor visa for not more than 3 months in most cases. The validity of this New Zealand visa cannot be extended for more than 9 months. Family members, including children under 19 years, can be included in your visitor visa application.
However, to get the visa, it is important to provide proof of having enough cash to fund your tour. You must hold $1000 per month while your stay in New Zealand. Therefore, you must provide your bank account statement or credit card details as proof of funds.
Additionally, holders of a visitor visa must provide supporting documents that show they are travelling solely for the purpose of tourism or business. You should provide details of your return ticket or onward journey.
If you are travelling in a group, you can apply for a New Zealand Group Visitor Visa. However, you must arrive and leave the country together in a group. One person must complete the group visa application and it is important for all individuals to finish their application individually.
Working Holiday Visas
Working holiday visas are available to young people, between 18-30 years of age, who can visit and work in New Zealand for up to 12-24 months, depending on the country from where you come. The eligibility requirements to obtain this type of New Zealand visa are:
You must hold the nationality of an eligible country as set by the New Zealand immigration authority
You must be 18-30 years of age. Some eligible countries have an age range of 18 to 25 years
Your passport must be valid for at least 15 months from your expected date of departure from New Zealand
You must have no criminal convictions and should be in good health before arriving in the country
For the duration of your stay in New Zealand, you must get a complete medical insurance
However, during your visit on a New Zealand working holiday visa, you are not allowed to accept a permanent job offer in the country. If you are found seeking a permanent job in the country, your visa may get rejected and you will be deported to your own country.
New Zealand Work Visas
If you want to visit New Zealand and work there for a longer period of time, then there are several options for New Zealand work visas as discussed herewith:
Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa
This is one of the most popular New Zealand visa types that is suitable if you want to live in the country permanently and have the required skills that can help drive New Zealand’s economic growth. If you have a job in an area where there is a shortage of skills, your visa application under this category is most likely to get approved.
With the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa, you can live, study and work in New Zealand. If you meet all the conditions, you can also apply for permanent residence. To apply for the visa, you will need to meet the following criteria:
- You should be 55 years or below when you apply
- You should have enough qualifications, experience and skills for the Expression of Interest to be accepted
- You should speak English well
The visa application can include your spouse and dependent children aged 24 years or below.
Specific Purpose Work Visa
The Specific Purpose Work Visa is for foreign nationals who want to visit the country for a specific event or purpose. You should have the expertise or skills that can benefit New Zealand. The following people are eligible to apply for this type of visa:
- Professional coaches
- Businessmen on secondments
- Philippines nurses who want occupational registration
- Sports players
- Specialist services or installers
To apply for Specific Purpose Work Visa, you must have the required skills and expertise for the specific event or purpose. Remember, you must provide documents supporting your visit – a specific purpose or an event. You must specifically define the time period that you will need to live in New Zealand for that particular occasion or event.
Long-Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa
This is one of the New Zealand visa types that allow foreign nationals to work in a job role that falls under the category of Long-Term Skill Shortage List. With the Long-Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa, you can apply for permanent residence in New Zealand by working in the country for up to 30 months.
However, to get the visa, you should have employment in a job role in which there is a shortage of skills in New Zealand. With this visa, you can also apply for permanent residence after 2 years of working in the job role.
To apply for this visa, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be 55 years of age or less
- You should hold an idea to work in a job robe on the Long-Term Skill Shortage List, and also have the understanding, skills and job-related enlistment to perform the work
This visa allows you to stay and work in New Zealand for up to 30 months after which you can apply for permanent residence.
Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa
It is for foreign nationals who have skills required by an accredited employer in New Zealand. Using this visa, you can work in the country for any accredited employer. After 2 years of working in the job role, you can apply for permanent residence. The key requirements you must fulfil to apply for Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa are:
- You must be 55 years of age or less
- You should hold an idea of business or all-day work from an accredited business entity
- The idea of business should be of any kind of progressing work for two years
- The compensation from such activity should be more than NZ$55,000
This is only a handful of New Zealand visa types that you can apply for. To learn more about your options, get in touch with us.
To submit your New Zealand eTA application form, visit www.newzealand-visa.org.
Ensure that you have checked the eligibility for your New Zealand eTA. If you are from a Visa Waiver country then you can apply for an eTA regardless of the mode of travel (Air / Cruise). United States citizens, Canadian citizens, German citizens, and United Kingdom citizens can apply online for New Zealand eTA. United Kingdom residents can stay on New Zealand eTA for 6 months while others for 90 days.
Please apply for a New Zealand eTA 72 hours in advance of your flight.