New year, New Zealand?

It’s that time of year. Sabbaticals are essential to our generation to take a break from day to day life and expand our horizons.

OOf course, it makes sense to work abroad at one point in their careers to climb the ladder quicker and broaden their horizons – so here are some tips for expats considering New Zealand and a new place to raise a family.

New Zealand Immigration monitors:

  • Working holiday travellers going to New Zealand for up to 23 months to travel and work. Some visitors staying for a period no longer than 3 months are not required to have a visa to enter the country, although a visa is required if they wish to stay longer;
  • Potential migrants who wish to live in New Zealand permanently must first obtain a Residence Visa and Permit entitling them to live and work indefinitely in the country; and
  • Temporary workers who wish to travel to New Zealand to work may apply for a New Zealand Work Visa, which in some cases can lead to residence at a later stage.

New Zealand Immigration Policy

New Zealand has both temporary and permanent Visa and Work Permit policies.

Working Holiday Visa Scheme

New Zealand Immigration also allows young travellers between the ages of 18 and 30 the opportunity to work and travel in New Zealand through their Working Holiday Visa Scheme.

 Apply Here for a Working Holiday Visa

The New Zealand Working Holiday Visa Scheme gives young people aged between 18 and 30 the opportunity to travel to New Zealand and undertake employment during their stay.

This scheme allows visa holders casual working rights in order to supplement their travels, and as such any work undertaken must be incidental and to the conditions stipulated on the visa.

Most participants in the Working Holiday Scheme are allowed to remain in New Zealand for a total of 12 months, although this time is extended to 23 months if you are from the United Kingdom.

  Apply here for your New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

Working Holiday Visa Conditions

To qualify for this scheme applicants must:

  • Be a citizen of a country which has a working holiday agreement with New Zealand;
  • Meet Working Holiday basic requirements, such as age, health and character prerequisites;
  • Meet specific criteria based on the applicant’s country of origin, including the length of stay and available funds; and
  • Have not qualified under the Working Holiday Visa Scheme before.

 Free Working Holiday Visa Online Assessment

Applicants for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa must also be genuinely travelling to New Zealand for the sole purpose of holidaying, and must abide by the visa conditions and be able to provide evidence they intend to leave the country when their visa expires.

New Zealand Working Holiday Guide

Upon successfully qualifying for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa with the New Zealand Visa Bureau, you’ll be issued our exclusive Working Holiday Guide.

A full colour, professionally printed guide designed specifically for working holidaymakers, it includes all the information you’ll need for your year in NZ, with detailed listings for accommodation, employment, restaurants, bars, clubs and activities for all of New Zealand’s biggest towns and cities.  What’s more, it also fills you in on all the exclusive discounts you’ll receive with your Visa Bureau Platinum Card.

  Apply for your New Zealand Working Holiday Visa Online

Visa Bureau Platinum Card

The Visa Bureau Platinum Card gives you over NZ$250 worth of freebies and discounts on your New Zealand Working Holiday, ranging from free nights in some of the country’s best hostels to discount camper van rental, savings on your travel insurance, half-price bungy jumping and much, much more!

The Platinum Card also gives you access to the members-only Platinum Card site, where you’ll be kept informed of all the new discounts and offers we add to our Platinum Card package.  To take advantage of these exclusive offers, apply for your New Zealand Working Holiday Visa with Visa Bureau today.

Skilled Migration Category

The New Zealand Skilled Migration Category facilitates the entry of skilled migrants into New Zealand, and is a way for emigrants to obtain permanent residence in New Zealand.

  Free Online Skilled Visa Assessment

The Skilled Migration category is core to the New Zealand Immigration strategy.  The Skilled Migration category offers individuals the opportunity to emigrate to New Zealand by helping boost the New Zealand skilled workforce.

This category was designed to minimise the risk of a mismatch between the skills migrants bring and the skills New Zealand needs. Migration under this category follows a step-by-step application process, from the initial assessment of ability to the settlement stage in New Zealand.

  New Zealand Skilled Migration Assessment

If you are a highly skilled worker, your application to New Zealand may be processed much faster due to new work policy changes.

The new Essential Skills work policy separates occupations into highly skilled and lower skilled levels.  Those applying for highly skilled visas may now be eligible for a temporary work permit, rather than a permanent residency visa.

If you are a highly skilled worker and are applying for a skill level one occupation that earns over $55,000, you can now be granted a five year work permit, rather than having to apply for a Residence Visa.  You can also apply for three-year extensions to your permit, provided the need for your skill still exists at the time of application.

  Online Assessment for the New Zealand Skilled Visa

To be eligible to emigrate to New Zealand you must:

  • Be under the age of 56 years;
  • Meet the health, character and English language requirements; and
  • Be able to meet the threshold of 100 points in the Points System to register an Expression of Interest.

If successful, you will be given:

  • A Residence Visa allowing you to enter New Zealand. It must be used within 12 months of the date of issue, and cannot be renewed or extended. If you do not travel to New Zealand within the 12 months, the visa will expire and you will have to reapply for residence; and
  • A Residence Permit issued on your arrival to New Zealand, allowing you to remain in the country permanently; or
  • A Work Permit allowing you to remain in the country for five years, after which you can apply for multiple three-year extensions to stay legally in the country.

 Free New Zealand Immigration Online Assessment

Work Permit Category

The Work Permit category was designed to attract overseas workers who will contribute to New Zealand’s industry and economy. This is a temporary work category with the opportunity to gain residence at a later date, if eligible.

  New Zealand Work Permit Online Assessment

The objective of the New Zealand Work Visa and Permit Policy is to contribute to the development of New Zealand industry and economy by attracting skilled migrants.

Work Visas/Permits are granted on a temporary residence basis, that is, they specify the maximum amount of time you are allowed to live and work in New Zealand.

To qualify for a Work Visa/Permit you must:

  • Be in good health and of good character;
  • Have a valid passport; and
  • Genuinely intend to work lawfully in New Zealand for a limited time.

   New Zealand Work Permit Online Assessment

Work Permit Streams

In general, there are two streams of Work Visas/Permits in New Zealand.

Skilled Stream

  • This stream consists of 4 broad policies and a small group of other categories which facilitate the entry of skilled people.

Family Stream

  • This enables partners of holders of Work Visas and Permits undertake temporary employment in New Zealand.

A Work Visa will allow you to travel to New Zealand and your Work Permit will be issued once you arrive. New Zealand citizens or New Zealand Residence Permit holders, as well as Australian citizens or Australian residents who hold a current Australian Resident Return Visa, do not need a permit to work in New Zealand.

   New Zealand Work Permit Online Assessment

Business Migration Category

This Business Migration Category is for business owners, investors and entrepreneurs who wish to migrate or own a business in New Zealand.

  Online Business Visa Assessment

The objective of the New Zealand Business Visa category is to contribute to economic growth in New Zealand by attracting business owners, investors and entrepreneurs.

The business categories under this policy can be either for permanent residence, or temporary entry with the option to lead to residence after several years working in New Zealand.

Temporary Entry

Long Term Business

  • This temporary entry category is a special Work to Residence category which facilitates the entry of people interested in establishing business opportunities in New Zealand, and would like to explore their options before applying for permanent residency. Free Online Business Visa Assessment

Business Residence

You may qualify for residence in New Zealand as an investor, entrepreneur or an employee of a relocating business under one of the following categories.


  • This category aims to attract skilled business people with capital to invest in New Zealand, and allow them to be granted residence if they meet all qualifying criteria.  Free Online Investor Visa Assessment


  • This category aims to attract applicants who can demonstrate they have been actively participating in business and contributing to New Zealand’s economic development.  Free Entrepreneur Visa Assessment

Employees of Relocating Businesses

  • This category facilitates the entry of employees of businesses relocating to New Zealand, who do not qualify for residence under any other category.  Read More on this Business Visa

All applicants under the New Zealand Business visa category must meet all English language, health and character prerequisites to receive residence.



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Editor in chief Suzi Dixon studied at Bournemouth university, went away for a while to work at The Daily Telegraph, then moved back to the sunny South coast for a quiet (er) life. Bournemouth News & Info is her website and she is assisted by the fabulous Fred From France in all things geeky and technical. Hire us to make your website, too, if you like.

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