Frequently Asked Questions: New Zealand Visas

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Which visa should I apply for?

The New Zealand visa that is right for you depends on your personal situation, what you want to do in New Zealand (visit, work, study) and how long you want to go for. At Relocate Down Under we can help determine the best option for you and your family, both for your immediate needs and any long-term goals you have.

As a first step, complete our free eligibility assessment and we will determine the best visa for your situation.

Who can apply for a Partner of a New Zealander Visa?

If you are the partner of a New Zealand citizen or resident and you are living together in a genuine and stable relationship, you may be eligible for a New Zealand Partnership Temporary or Resident Visa.

Depending on how long you have been living together and what you wish to do in New Zealand, you may be able to apply for a Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa, a Partner of a New Zealander Visitor Visa or a Partner of a New Zealander Resident Visa.

Take our free New Zealand Partnership Eligibility Assessment to find out if you’re eligible.

Do I need a job offer to get a work visa?

The short answer is yes – if you are applying for an Accredited Employer Work Visa you will need to have an acceptable job offer in order to get your visa. This will need to be from an Accredited Employer who has had a Job Check application approved. You will also generally need to have a job offer of skilled employment to have enough points to be invited to apply for a Skilled Migrant Resident visa.

Although most job advertisements will specify that you must have a valid work visa or the right to work in New Zealand to apply, it is absolutely fine (and also legal) for you to apply for a job first and then submit your application for your visa, once you have been offered the job. You obviously cannot start work until you have a valid work visa approved by Immigration New Zealand, though.

This is where we come in. As a client of Relocate Down Under we will help you on your search for employment by advising which types of roles you need to apply for to be granted a visa and checking that your job offer meets the New Zealand Immigration requirements. We will also make sure that you have all the necessary documents ready for when you receive your job offer, so that your new employer does not have to wait any longer than necessary for you to start work. Any potential employer will have the reassurance that, since you are working with a Licensed Immigration Adviser, your application for a visa should go as smoothly as possible.

What is an Accredited Employer Work Visa?

The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) was in 2022 to replace six previous work visas (including the Essential Skills Work Visa, Talent Accredited Employer Work Visa and Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa).

In order to be eligible to apply for an Accredited Employer Work Visa you need:

  • an offer of employment with an Accredited Employer who has had a Job Check approved
  • your offer of employment will need to be full time, paid at the market rate and at or above the New Zealand median wage (which is currently NZ$29.66 per hour).
  • Unless your occupation is on the New Zealand Green List or pays at least twice the median wage, your employer will need to prove that they weren’t able to find a suitable New Zealand candidate for the role you have been offered.
  • You will need to be suitably qualified for the role through either a recognised qualification or a specified number of years of relevant work experience, and have an acceptable standard of health and character.

How long will my AEWV be granted for?

An Accredited Employer Work Visa can be granted for the period the employment is offered for, up to a maximum of 3 years.

If your role is exempt from the median wage threshold (and you earn less than the median wage) you can hold an Accredited Employer Work Visa for up to 2 years.

Can I bring my family with me if I apply for an Accredited Employer Work Visa?

Partners of workers (who have been living together in a genuine and stable relationship for 12+ months) can apply for a temporary work visa on the basis of their relationship with the work visa holder, as long as the work visa holder will be paid at or above the median wage (at least $29.66 per hour).

From 31st May 2023, partners of an AEWV holder who are granted a partnership-based work visa will have new visa conditions. This will mean they will need to work for an Accredited Employer and be paid at least the median wage (or the wage threshold, if the role is covered by an un-capped sector agreement). A job offer will not be required to be granted this visa, however, and they will be able to change employers without contacting INZ.

Only partners of workers in a role on the Green List or earning twice the median wage will be eligible to apply for an open temporary work visa without these conditions. 

Dependent children can apply for a Dependent Child Student or Visitor Visa if their parent(s) will be earning at least NZ$43,322.76 per annum. 

What is a Straight to Residence Visa?

The Green List identifies a number of Tier 1 roles that are eligible for a Straight to Residence Visa, which you can apply for either from within New Zealand or from overseas. Minimum salary and registration requirements will apply for some jobs. 

The roles that are eligible for the fast-track to residence on the Green List, fall under the following sectors:

  • Construction
  • Engineering
  • Health and social services
  • Primary industry and science
  • ICT, electronics and telecommunications

What is a Work to Residence Visa?

If you are working in a role that pays at least twice the median wage (NZD $59.32 per hour) and are eligible, you can apply for residence after working in New Zealand for 2 years.

The Green List also identifies a number of Tier 2 roles that are eligible for work to residence. If you are working in one of these occupations, and are eligible, you can apply for residence after working in New Zealand for 2 years. 

Will I be eligible for a Skilled Migrant Resident Visa?

The Skilled Migrant Category is based on a points system which is calculated across a number of different factors including your age, offer of skilled employment, skilled work experience and qualifications. You also need to meet health, character and English Language requirements.

There are 2 stages in the process of getting a Skilled Migrant Resident Visa. The first stage of is to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). EOIs must hit a points threshold to be selected from the pool. If you are successful at this stage, you will be sent an Invitation to Apply.

The fastest way of understanding if you could be eligible for this visa category is to take our free eligibility assessment. A Licensed Immigration Adviser will review your situation and be able to advise whether you have enough points to be invited to apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa.

If I apply for a Resident Visa, can my family come with me?

Yes, you can include your partner and dependent children in your Skilled Migrant, Straight to Residence and Work to Residence Visa applications. When your New Zealand visas are approved, you will all be granted residence, enabling your partner and dependent children to work and study in New Zealand too.

How long will it take for my application to be approved?

The time it takes for Immigration New Zealand to process a visa varies considerably depending on the visa type. It will also depend on whether Immigration New Zealand need to request any additional information.

Working with us, we will also ensure that your application is as complete as possible at the point it is submitted, which will help your visa to be processed quicker.

If you are applying for a Resident Visa with long processing times, we can also apply for temporary visas on your behalf, whilst you wait for a Resident Visa to be approved, enabling you to start your New Zealand dream sooner.

What do your fees cover?

Our fees cover all the work that Relocate Down Under will carry out on your behalf with regards to your visa application and/or immigration matter. This includes the cost of phone calls, photocopying and other office related tasks.

Any other costs, such as the Immigration New Zealand application fees, obtaining a medical or police certificate, getting documents certified, getting your qualifications assessed, English language tests, using an interpreter and courier fees, are paid directly to the relevant supplier by you.

Why should I use Relocate Down Under?

Deciding to move to New Zealand is a big decision, which takes up time and effort and can be very emotional. Many New Zealand visa applications get declined not because the applicant isn’t eligible, but because they’ve misunderstood a key requirement or missed out an important element in their application. A visa application with mistakes can be time-consuming, incur extra costs and even prevent you from immigrating. It can also be very stressful, especially if you have a new employer waiting for you to start work.

At Relocate Down Under we take away that stress from you. We focus on making sure your application is as complete as possible and complies with the latest immigration instructions, to make the process as smooth as possible for you. 

Being based in the UK means that we are available to speak at a time that is convenient to you. And having the expertise of a New Zealand Licensed Immigration Adviser to support you every step of the way, can give you peace of mind.

We’ve been through the process ourselves, so understand how it feels from both sides. Which is why we make it our priority to give you the best possible experience as you set off on your New Zealand dream. Your dream is our priority.

What is a licensed immigration adviser?

Under New Zealand law, only Licensed Immigration Advisers are permitted to provide advice on New Zealand visas. By engaging the services of the Licensed Immigration Advisers at Relocate Down Under, you are ensuring the advice you receive complies with New Zealand Immigration Law. As Licensed Immigration Advisers, we will generally hear about changes to immigration policy before it becomes common knowledge.

You are able to see our New Zealand immigration adviser’s licence on the IAA website

If you want to find out more about how we can help you, feel free to contact us.

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