Emigrating to New Zealand

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Emigrating to New Zealand

There are many reasons for wanting to move to New Zealand. This country boasts a wonderful climate, breath taking landscapes, lush forests with a rich wildlife. New Zealand is renowned for its honest and friendly people as well as having a diverse, sophisticated society. From this, it is easy to see why many people consider immigrating to this country.

If you wish to migrate to New Zealand, you need to apply to the New Zealand Immigration Service for resident status. Resident status in NZ entitles you to live, study and work indefinitely in this country. Below is a brief guide to gaining residence in NZ.

Do I Qualify?

There are a variety of different routes you can take to qualify for residence in New Zealand. However, before you begin the process of applying, you need ensure at an absolute minimum, you:

  • Are of a good standard of healthøYou will need to have a doctor do a medical assessment on you and your family and provide certificates to confirm this.ø
  • Are of good characterøPolice certificates need to be provided for you and all members of your family (over 17 years old) to prove you are all of good character.ø
  • Have a high standard of EnglishøGenerally, you and all members of your family (who are over 16 years old) must have the ability to read, write and speak English to a high standard.ø

Entry Categories

Skilled Migrant Category (Points based)
This is a good option if you have post school qualifications and at least 2 years work experience. This is suitable for qualified persons under the age of 55 yrs old and who:

'..can add value to New Zealand by contributing to an innovative workforce and in turn help our economy achieve sustainable growth.'

Immigration New Zealand. 2005. Gaining New Zealand Residence (online). Available: http://www.immigration.govt.nz/nzopportunities/williqualify/gainingnzresidence/skilledmigrant.htm (15/03/06)

If you then meet the minimum point threshold of 100, you can then complete the application and you will then be contacted by an immigration officer.

Please note that all formal documentation (including the Skilled Migrant Category Point Indicator) is on the official New Zealand Immigration site: www.immigration.govt.nz

Work Visa / Permit (Not points based)
This is a good option if you are qualified in a specialised or 'in-demand' field or have an exceptional talent in sports of the arts. You can apply for a work permit which means you temporarily work in New Zealand and after 2 years you can apply for permanent residence. You must have a genuine offer of ongoing employments, with a specific base salary.

Family (Not points based)
This is a good option if you have any immediate family who is already a New Zealand citizen or resident to sponsor you. This can be applied to a partner, parent, sibling and adult or dependant child. The family member must have been a resident for a specific amount of time.

This is a viable option if you have a proven track record in business and

'the capacity to build or invest in new businesses and introduce new skills and technologies.'

Immigration New Zealand. 2005. Business-Investors & Entrepreneurs (online). Available:
http://www.immigration.govt.nz/nzopportunities/williqualify/gainingnzresidence/business.htm 15/03/06

There are, of course, a number of business migration options available including:

Investment - If you are 54 years or younger and have a minimum of NZ$2,000,000 to invest in New Zealand.

Work to Residence - If you can get one, qualifying for permanent residence is straightforward. All you need to do is work in NZ for 2 years. There are 3 main ways to get one: WR1 Talent (Accredited Employers), WR2 Talent (Arts, Culture & Sports) or WR3 (Long Term Skill Shortage list)

'For both types of talent visa you must be aged less than 56 years and have found an employer (WR1) or organisation of national repute (WR2) that wishes to make use of your talents in New Zealand.

Additionally, for WR2 Talent (Arts, Culture and Sports) you need to have exceptional talent in your field, be prominent in your field and satisfy the immigration service that your presence in New Zealand will enhance the quality of New Zealand's accomplishments in your field.

If you are fortunate enough to find your skills on the Long Term Skill Shortage List you will qualify for permanent residence in New Zealand after you have worked here for two years. There are currently no age limits on visas for LTSSL work.

The NZIS has to be satisfied that your training or experience qualifies you for the job you have been offered. The current long term skill shortage list consists mainly of general, medical and IT skills.'

ENZ. 2006. The New Zealand Work Visa & Work Permit (Online). Available from: http://www.emigratenz.org/work-visa-new-zealand.html (15/03/06)


Under all entry categories, the New Zealand Immigration Service charge processing fees for applications. There are some countries that have fee exemptions (including Austria, Finland, Japan, Italy and the US), however, people from all countries have to pay a fee to submit an 'Expression of Interest'. More details on these fees can be found on the official New Zealand Immigration website

What is the difference between a visa and a permit?

A visa is issued outside of New Zealand, which means that that the person can then enter the country and be issued with a permit to remain (within the terms of the permit). For example a person with a visitor's visa can travel into NZ and at the airport, be issued with a 3 month visitor's permit. A permit is only issued to persons who are already in the country and are then allowed to remain within the terms of the permit. Therefore a person entering New Zealand with a valid Residence Visa will be issued with a Residence Permit, allowing them to remain indefinitely.

For more details on all of the above points, please consult the New Zealand Immigration site.
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