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Healthcare for Immigrants in New Zealand

In New Zealand, the government subsidises the national health care system. This means that every New Zealand citizen and resident benefits from free or low-cost health care throughout the country.

Besides New Zealanders, as a migrant, you may be eligible to benefit from the country's public healthcare system if:

  • You hold a residence visa or;
  • You have a work visa that's valid for two years or more.

New Zealand's subsidised healthcare system provides immediate access for urgent treatments but has waiting lists for non-urgent services. Because of these potential delays at some stages of the public system, many New Zealanders and eligible migrants chose to get health insurance. Insurance of this kind avoids queues as well as giving access to private hospitals.

There are several different health insurance providers, and their prices and services can accommodate most people's requirements.

What if I am not eligible?

Migrants not eligible for public health care, do not qualify for health insurance in New Zealand either.

Insurance companies offer an upgrade to the public health system but still rely on it to function. That’s why people who don’t have access to public health care can’t have health insurance.

If you are not eligible for public health care, it is strongly advisable to get travel insurance.

It would be best if you bought your travel insurance before leaving your home country. Having in mind how long it might take until you meet the requirements for public healthcare will help you decide which policy is the one that fits best.

If you are considering moving to New Zealand, we can help you.

Ask us for a Free Assessment, to see which visa you should apply for and what are your chances of success. Our Licensed Immigration Advisers can help you avoid mistakes, saving time and money.

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