faq

FAQ

Q: Where is New Zealand?
A:

New Zealand is located in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia, and is a large island nation (similar in size to the UK or Japan) with a population of approximately 4.6 million people. New Zealand consists of two large islands, North Island (where 75% of the population lives) and South Island, plus several smaller islands. The largest city in New Zealand is Auckland (population 1.4 million), which is located in the northern section of North Island and is nicknamed the "City of Sails" because of the many sailboats and yachts that fill its two harbors. Wellington (population 393,600) is the national capital city of New Zealand and is situated at the southern part of North Island. The Mercer international human resources (HR) firm rated Auckland #3 in the world out of 230 cities examined for “Quality of Life” in 2014, 2015 and 2016, while it also ranked Wellington as the 12th best place to live on the planet. Another large city in New Zealand is Christchurch (population 375,200), which is located on the east coast of South Island and is known as the "Garden City." There are several other cities and towns of various sizes across New Zealand, such as Hamilton (population 218,800), Tauranga (population 127,700) and Dunedin (population 116,200). International airports in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch provide easy connections between New Zealand and the rest of the world.     

Q: How can I know if I am eligible for a New Zealand visa?
A:

Our licensed New Zealand Immigration Adviser that we collaborate with can evaluate your details that you provide in our user-friendly online assessment application form and let you know which specific New Zealand visa you are best-suited to apply for, based on your personal profile and the current New Zealand visa regulations.

Q: What are the qualifications of your Immigration Adviser?
A:

Our Immigration Adviser that we collaborate with, Mr. Roy Oz (IAA License #201400797), is a licensed member in good standing of New Zealand's Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) and, therefore, he is authorized to provide consultation and assistance throughout the entire New Zealand immigration procedure according to the highest professional standards. Our Immigration Adviser was also awarded with the Graduate Certificate in New Zealand Immigration Advice. This official qualification was developed through New Zealand’s government to ensure the competency of licensed Immigration Advisers.

Q: What are the different types of New Zealand visas?
A:

There are several types of New Zealand visas, including short-term visitor visas, student visas, temporary work visas, and long-term resident visas. Each visa type has its own advantages and eligibility requirements. New Zealand Visa Expert, in collaboration with the IAA-licensed Immigration Adviser it works with, specializes in assessing and assisting clients who want to apply for a New Zealand Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Resident Visa or a temporary work visa to New Zealand.  In general, a Resident Visa to New Zealand allows a skilled foreign worker and their eligible family members to live, study and work in New Zealand long-term, receive certain benefits, and has the option to apply for New Zealand citizenship after living in New Zealand at least five years and meeting all of the other requirements. As the name implies, a temporary work visa authorizes a skilled foreign worker to live and work in New Zealand for a limited, specified amount of time and, in certain cases, may have an option to apply for a New Zealand Resident Visa, if all of the eligibility requirements are met. Family members of a New Zealand temporary work visa holder may also be able to live in New Zealand if they qualify for a New Zealand visa. This is, of course, a brief overview. Our licensed Immigration Adviser that we work with can evaluate your details and inform you about which specific New Zealand visa you are best-suited to apply for, based on your personal profile and the current New Zealand visa regulations.  

Q: How long does the New Zealand immigration process take?
A:

The amount of time required will depend on several unique factors, such as which New Zealand visa program you are applying for, how quickly you can provide the required information, how fast New Zealand's government can process your file, the needs of New Zealand for your particular occupation, etc. In general, the entire process from the time you submit your assessment details to our licensed Immigration Adviser that we work with to the time you receive a visa decision from New Zealand's government is around 12-15 months (depending on various factors, such as visa eligibility, whether a New Zealand job/job offer is required, etc.). Therefore, the sooner you obtain your New Zealand immigration assessment, the quicker you can find out which New Zealand visa you are best-suited to apply for and, if eligible, the faster you can take the next steps in the New Zealand immigration procedure.

Q: What is the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Visa Program?
A:

The Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Visa is a points-based Resident Visa for immigration to New Zealand. Points are given for various factors such as skilled employment, education, relevant work experience, age and family. An Expression of Interest (EOI) containing the applicant’s relevant details is filed with New Zealand’s government, plus the EOI fee must be paid. Applicants who appear to meet the eligibility requirements, which also include age, health, character and English language criteria, may be issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for a Resident Visa to New Zealand. An applicant must be 55-years-old or younger when the ITA is issued. After the ITA is received, the New Zealand Resident Visa application, supporting documents, and required fees must be properly submitted to New Zealand’s government within four months. If the Resident Visa to New Zealand is approved, the skilled foreign worker and his/her eligible family members will be authorized to immigrate to New Zealand. With a Resident Visa to New Zealand, you and your eligible family members will have the opportunity to live, study and work in New Zealand long-term and enjoy a high standard of living as new Kiwis. Furthermore, after you live in New Zealand at least five years with a valid New Zealand Resident Visa and meet all of the other criteria, you may be able to apply for New Zealand citizenship! 

Q: What is a temporary work visa?
A:

New Zealand has a temporary work visa that authorizes an eligible skilled foreign worker to live and work in New Zealand for a specified amount of time.  In general, to qualify for a temporary work visa to New Zealand, you will need to obtain a genuine and qualifying New Zealand job offer from an accredited employer or have an occupation that is in high demand in New Zealand, plus meet the requirements for age, health, character, English language skills, etc. After you live and work in New Zealand for a certain amount of time with the temporary work visa and meet other criteria, you may be able to apply for the long-term New Zealand Resident Visa.

Q: What if I am assessed as unlikely to qualify for a New Zealand Resident Visa?
A:

If you are evaluated as unlikely to meet the eligibility criteria for a New Zealand Resident Visa, our Immigration Adviser that we work with will inform you about possible options you may have available. In many cases in which a client is unlikely to meet the eligibility requirements to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for a New Zealand Resident Visa through the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Program, there may be an option to meet the criteria once they obtain a genuine and qualifying New Zealand job offer. Another potential option might be to apply for a New Zealand temporary work visa which may provide a pathway toward New Zealand permanent residency in the future. In order to help you maximize your immigration potential by finding qualifying skilled employment in New Zealand, we are pleased to be collaborating with a successful recruitment company located in New Zealand to offer you personalized job search assistance which can facilitate finding suitable employment there. Sometimes other steps can be taken to qualify for a New Zealand visa, such as improving one's English language abilities, getting more work experience, acquiring additional education/training, etc. Our Immigration Adviser that we collaborate with will explain your options in your Assessment Results and this knowledge can prove helpful in making an informed decision about how to proceed.     

Q: What is an Expression of Interest (EOI)?
A:

An "Expression of Interest" (EOI) is your official notification to New Zealand's government that you would like to apply for immigration to New Zealand through the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Resident Visa Program. After your relevant details are submitted in your EOI and the EOI fee is also paid, a New Zealand immigration official will review your file. If they assess that you are likely to receive at least 100 points for various factors in this points-based New Zealand immigration program, they may next place your file in the EOI "pool" of potential candidates for up to six months. Points are awarded for such factors as age, education/qualification, work experience, skilled employment, family, plus bonus points can also be received. Approximately every two weeks, New Zealand's government issues an Invitation to Apply (ITA) to candidates in the EOI pool who have 160 or more points. An ITA may also be issued to candidates in the EOI pool who have 100-159 points AND have obtained a genuine offer of qualifying employment in New Zealand. Once the ITA for a New Zealand Resident Visa is issued, a skilled foreign worker will have up to four months to submit their complete visa application with all of the required documents and fees. 

Q: What costs are involved in the procedure?
A:

In addition to the fees for our professional services, there are also governmental fees (e.g., EOI fee, visa application fee, etc.) and other costs (e.g., IELTS exam, medical exam, etc.) associated with the procedure. You will also need to pay for travel and other expenses if you move to New Zealand and have enough money for housing, food, transportation in New Zealand, and other living expenses. You can read more details about the EOI fee and SMC Resident Visa application fee in our FAQs.

Q: How much is the Expression of Interest (EOI) Fee?
A:

When your Expression of Interest (EOI) is submitted to New Zealand's government, you must also pay the EOI governmental fee which is $530 New Zealand Dollars (NZD) if your EOI is filed online or $680 NZD if you submit a paper-based EOI. The EOI governmental fee is paid in New Zealand Dollars by credit card (e.g., Visa or MasterCard), bank draft or bank cheque (acceptable payment methods may vary by country), is non-refundable and is subject to change at any time by New Zealand's government. Please note that there may be additional New Zealand governmental fees later (such as the visa application fee and immigration levy), which can vary depending on your country of citizenship, where you are living or other factors. 

Q: What is an "Invitation to Apply" (ITA)?
A:

Immigration to New Zealand through the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Resident Visa Program is "by invitation only." First, you must file an Expression of Interest (EOI), providing New Zealand's government with your relevant details and informing them that you would like to apply for a New Zealand Resident Visa through the SMC Visa Program. The EOI fee must also be paid. Second, if you obtain enough points for various factors, based on the details you provide in your EOI, New Zealand's government may issue you an official Invitation to Apply (ITA) for a Resident Visa to New Zealand. You must be 55-years-old or younger when you receive the ITA. Once the ITA is issued, you will have up to four months to properly submit your complete visa application along with the required documents and governmental fees. If all goes well, you will be approved for New Zealand immigration and issued a Resident Visa to New Zealand! 

Q: What are the English language eligibility criteria for the SMC Resident Visa?
A:

In order to meet the minimum English language eligibility requirements for a New Zealand Resident Visa through the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Visa Program, the main applicant (i.e. the skilled foreign worker) must obtain a minimum overall score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) General Test or Academic Test and the score/certificate must be less than two years old. In some cases, the main applicant for a New Zealand SMC Resident Visa may be able to meet the minimum English language criteria if he/she can do one of the following: (1) provide proof of being a citizen of Canada, Ireland, the UK or the USA and show evidence of having studied or worked at least five years in one of those countries, Australia or New Zealand; OR (2) provide proof of having a recognized qualification that is comparable to a Level 7 Bachelor's Degree received in New Zealand and which was obtained after studying for that qualification at least two years in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK or the USA; OR (3) provide proof of having a recognized qualification that is comparable to a postgraduate Level 8 qualification received in New Zealand and which was obtained after studying for that qualification at least one year in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK or the USA. There is also a minimum English language eligibility requirement for a spouse/partner and dependent children over age 16 that must be met. In the event that a spouse/partner and/or dependent child over 16 years old does not meet the minimum English language criteria, they must pre-pay New Zealand's government to receive English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes which they can take after they move to New Zealand. Please note that this is a general overview and that more details can be provided during the process as needed.   

Q: What if my family doesn't meet the English language requirements?
A:

If your spouse/partner and/or dependent child(dren) over 16 years of age do not meet the minimum English language requirements for immigration to New Zealand, you will need to pre-pay a fee to New Zealand's government so that your family member(s) can attend English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes after they move to New Zealand. The minimum English language level for a spouse/partner or dependent child 16-years-old or above is an overall score of at least 5.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam (General or Academic). The scores must be less than two years old. There may be other ways, however, for family members to meet the English language criteria for immigration to New Zealand. The cost of the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course will depend on the family member's assessed level of English and the fee must be paid after the New Zealand visa is approved and before the visa is issued. Family members will have up to five years to complete their ESOL program after they immigrate to New Zealand. Please note that if the main applicant is claiming points for a spouse/partner, then the spouse/partner must receive a minimum overall score of 6.5 on the IELTS General or Academic exams and the score must be less than two years old. There may, however, be other authorized ways to prove that a spouse/partner meets the minimum English language criteria when the main applicant is claiming points for a spouse/partner. Please note that this is a general overview and that more details can be provided during the process as needed.      

Q: Are there health requirements for a New Zealand visa?
A:

Yes! To be approved for a New Zealand visa, you and any accompanying family members must all meet the health criteria established by New Zealand's government. In general, to meet the health criteria for a New Zealand visa, a person must not pose a public health risk AND he/she must not have a medical or other condition that will "impose excessive costs and demands" on New Zealand's health services or special education services. Furthermore, someone applying for a New Zealand Resident Visa or temporary work visa must be healthy enough to work in New Zealand in the employment for which they will be issued a visa. For example, if someone has tuberculosis (i.e., poses a public health risk), or is undergoing dialysis treatment (poses "excessive costs and demands" on New Zealand's health system), or needs full-time care because of a "physical, intellectual, or cognitive and/or sensory incapacity" (i.e., poses "excessive costs and demands" on New Zealand's health and/or special education system), the visa(s) are unlikely to be approved. Thus, all members of a family (i.e., the main applicant, spouse/partner and dependent children) who are applying for a New Zealand Resident Visa through the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Visa Program will normally be required to have an approved medical exam and obtain a chest x-ray as part of the New Zealand visa application procedure. 

Q: What is the "good character" requirement for a New Zealand visa?
A:

In order to protect the safety of the residents of New Zealand, most individuals applying for a New Zealand visa will need to provide acceptable evidence that they are a person of good character. This will usually require that a police certificate be obtained for each New Zealand visa applicant over 17-years-old from the country of their citizenship and from each country where they have lived at least 12 months during the past 10 years. The police certificate(s) will not be required until after the Invitation to Apply (ITA) for a New Zealand visa has been issued. A police certificate must be less than six months old when the New Zealand visa application is submitted. People who have been convicted of certain crimes, been associated with particular types of criminal groups, are considered likely to engage in drug offenses or other criminal activities, or are otherwise assessed by New Zealand's government as likely to pose a risk to safety and/or public order, may not be eligible for a New Zealand visa. This is a generalization, but the main point is that New Zealand's government wants New Zealand to continue to be one of the most peaceful, stable and safest countries on Earth. In fact, New Zealand was ranked as the world's 4th safest country in the 2015 Global Peace Index.

Q: Can you help me search for jobs in New Zealand?
A:

Yes! In order to help you maximize your immigration potential by finding qualifying skilled employment in New Zealand, we are pleased to be collaborating with a successful recruitment company located in New Zealand to offer you personalized job search assistance. This is a valuable service that can greatly benefit you and your family, since this recruitment firm has the experience and extensive connections in New Zealand that can facilitate finding suitable employment there and increase your likelihood of being issued a visa to New Zealand. In many cases, a genuine New Zealand job offer will be required in order to move forward with the New Zealand immigration process. Once you secure a qualifying offer of employment in New Zealand, you can next benefit from the expertise of our licensed New Zealand Immigration Adviser that we work with, who can guide you confidently step-by-step through the visa application procedure.

Q: Can my family immigrate to New Zealand with me?
A:

If you apply for the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Resident Visa to New Zealand, your spouse/partner and dependent children (as applicable) may also be able to immigrate to New Zealand with you, if you and they meet all of the eligibility requirements. In order for your spouse/partner and/or dependent children to be included in your Invitation to Apply (ITA) for a Resident Visa to New Zealand, you must first include them in your Expression of Interest (EOI). You and your spouse/partner (opposite sex or same sex) must normally be at least 18-years-old and be able to provide satisfactory evidence that you have been living together in a "genuine and stable relationship," whether that be a legal marriage, civil union or de facto partnership. To qualify as a dependent child for the purposes of immigration to New Zealand, your child or the child or your spouse/partner must: (1) be under 17 years old, unmarried and legally authorized to leave their country of residence to immigrate to New Zealand (e.g., if there are custody issues due to divorce, etc.); OR (2) be 18-20 years old, unmarried and not have any children of their own; OR (3) be 21-24 years old, unmarried, not have any children of their own, and depend on their parent(s) "totally or substantially" for financial support. Adequate evidence will need to be provided to confirm the eligibility of a dependent child. In the event that an adult child does not meet the eligibility requirement to be included as a dependent child on your Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Resident Visa application, they might still have an option to immigrate to New Zealand in their own right, if they meet the eligibility criteria for a New Zealand visa. Your spouse/partner and dependent children (as applicable) must also meet certain English language, health and character requirements, plus other criteria may apply. Please note that this is a generalization; there may be additional requirements; the eligibility criteria may be different if you are applying for a temporary work visa to New Zealand; and New Zealand's government may update the visa requirements for family members at any time.       

Q: Why should I and my family immigrate to New Zealand?
A:

There are several reasons why New Zealand is an attractive destination for skilled foreign workers and their families. 

First, there are many jobs available for qualified foreign workers who possess the education, job skills, English language abilities and other characteristics needed for high-demand occupations in New Zealand. 

Second, New Zealand is one of the world’s most beautiful countries, famous for its sunny beaches, snow-capped peaks, lush forests and many opportunities to enjoy the Great Outdoors. 

Third, New Zealand is a peaceful place to live, ranked as the fourth safest country on the planet in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Global Peace Index (GPI). 

Fourth, New Zealand is a very healthy place to live, ranked #1 in the world for "health status" in the 2015 OECD Better Life Index.

Fifth, people who live in New Zealand enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world. In 2017, Auckland was ranked #3 in the world for quality of life out of 450 cities evaluated by the Mercer international human resources firm, while Wellington was considered the 15th best city to live in the world. The Economist rated 140 cities around the globe and declared Auckland to be the #8 most livable city in the world in 2016. Furthermore, the 2016 Expat Insider survey revealed that New Zealand is the #5 best country for expats to live and work abroad and is considered the #1 country for work-life balance. The 2016 and 2015 HSBC Expat Explorer Survey found that New Zealand is considered to be the #2 best country in the world for foreign workers and their families to live and work. Additionally, the 2015 Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report declared New Zealand to be the #2 richest country in the world out of the 200 countries it evaluated, while New Zealand came in 1st place out of 149 countries in the 2016 Legatum Prosperity Index. People who live in New Zealand also enjoy a laidback/relaxed lifestyle that does a good job of balancing work with leisure.  

Sixth, New Zealand is a very welcoming country that extends hospitality to newcomers and helps them feel right at home. For example, Conde Nast Traveler magazine listed Queenstown, Auckland and Wellington among the top 20 friendliest cities in the world in August 2016. The 2016 Expat Insider survey which was also published in August 2016 found that 83% of expats who live in New Zealand think that New Zealanders have been very friendly toward them.

Finally,  the 2015 United Nations “World Happiness Report” considered New Zealand as the 9th happiest country on Earth out of the 158 countries that it evaluated around the globe. 

These are just some of the many reasons why people want to immigrate to New Zealand.  

Q: What is the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa application fee?
A:

After the Invitation to Apply (ITA) for the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Resident Visa has been issued, a visa application fee and immigration levy (fee) must usually be paid to New Zealand's government when the Resident Visa application is submitted. These governmental fees are in addition to the Expression of Interest (EOI) fee which is paid to New Zealand's government before the ITA is issued. The Resident Visa application fee can vary, depending on the citizenship of the applicant and whether they are living inside or outside of New Zealand, and it ranges from about $1,620 NZD to $2,505 NZD (as of April 2016).  Only one Resident Visa application fee is paid to New Zealand's government and it covers the main applicant as well as their spouse/partner and dependent children (if applicable) who are included in their Resident Visa application. The immigration levy, paid by most main applicants for a Resident Visa to New Zealand (there are some exceptions), helps to pay for immigration-related services and is $580 NZD (as of April 2016). Only one immigration levy is paid to cover the main applicant as well as their spouse/partner and dependent children (as applicable) who are included in their Resident Visa application. New Zealand has bilateral fee-waiver agreements with about one dozen countries (as of April 2016), so the citizens of some of those fee-waiver countries may not have to pay the Resident Visa application fee and/or immigration levy. Furthermore, if your spouse/partner and/or dependent child(ren) over 16-years-old do not meet the minimal English language requirements, you will also need to pay a fee to New Zealand's government for them to attend English classes in New Zealand. Please note that the New Zealand governmental fees and requirements are subject to change at any time according to the discretion of New Zealand's government.  

Q: What are the requirements for New Zealand citizenship?
A:

To apply for New Zealand citizenship, you will need to live in New Zealand at least five years as a legal long-term resident (i.e., holding a valid New Zealand Resident Visa or Permanent Resident Visa); have a genuine desire to continue living in New Zealand long-term; possess English language skills that are adequate enough for you to engage in common everyday activities (e.g., banking, shopping, etc.) without needing help; meet the "good character" criteria (e.g., not be convicted of a crime in New Zealand, etc.); plus other eligibility requirements may apply. If approved for New Zealand citizenship, you will also be required to attend an official New Zealand citizenship ceremony. Furthermore, there are governmental fees that must be paid during the process to apply for New Zealand citizenship. As of January 1, 2016, a governmental fee of $470.20 NZD must be paid for each adult being granted New Zealand citizenship, while the New Zealand citizenship fee for a child less than 16-years-old is $235.10 NZD (as of January 1, 2016). Please note that there may be additional requirements and fees to apply for New Zealand citizenship and that New Zealand's government may change the requirements or fees at any time without prior notice. After being granted New Zealand citizenship, you will have access to various economic rights and have the option to apply for a New Zealand passport.