New Zealand

Residence Visas

There are several ways to gain residence in New Zealand. Here is a brief look at some of them:

  • Work to Residence categories
  • Skilled Migrant category
  • Family category
  • Business and Investment categories
  • Work to Residence categories

    Holders of work visas granted under one of the Work to Residence categories can apply for New Zealand residence after working in the country for 2 years.

    Skilled Migrant category

    This is a points system where points are awarded for meeting criteria such as age, recognised qualifications, recognised work experience and a job offer.

    Briefly, the application process is as follows:

  • Register an Expression of Interest (EOI) first. If you score at least 160 points, you will be automatically selected but you must meet the requirements for health, character and English language;
  • Selected EOIs are then invited to apply for residence. You must produce relevant documentation to prove that you qualify for the points you had claimed in your EOI;
  • You will be further assessed and depending on the outcome, be granted residence or a work to residence visa with certain conditions.
  • Family category

    This category allows partners, dependent children and parents of New Zealand residents or citizens to move to New Zealand.

    Partner - Partner refers to husbands, wives, civil union or de facto partners of a New Zealand resident or citizen. Living together for at least 12 months in a genuine and stable relationship is the key requirement to meet.

    Dependent Children - Dependent children of parents who are New Zealand residents or citizens and living here permanently can join them in New Zealand, subject to satisfying specific conditions such as a child’s financial dependency and age.

    Parents – This category has been suspended by INZ until further notice.

    Parent Retirement category – Parents of adult children who are New Zealand citizens or residents living here, and are able to invest NZ$1 million in New Zealand for 4 years may consider this visa type. The parents do not need to register an EOI but must satisfy certain financial, investment and other general requirements.

    Business and Investment categories

    There are 2 schemes open to Investors seeking investment and residence pathways:

  • Investor Plus (minimum investment of NZ$10 million for at least 3 years); or
  • Investor (minimum investment of NZ$3 million for at least 4 years).
  • They must satisfy specific criteria such as business experience, investment funds and minimum time required to be spent in New Zealand. After residence is granted, certain conditions must also be fulfilled.

    Entrepreneurs who wish to run their own business in New Zealand may consider the Entrepreneur work visa. They will be able to apply for residence once they have run their business for 2 years, or 6 months if they meet extra conditions.

    There are other specific requirements to meet as well such as investment capital and evidence of having established a high-growth and innovative business with export potential.

    Key employees of a business that is relocating to New Zealand may be eligible to apply for residence under the Employees of Relocating Business Category, if they and the employer are able to fulfil a number of requirements.

    Initial temporary work visas will be granted to allow the workers to travel to New Zealand to make the relocation arrangements.