Which New Zealand Visa is right for you?

There is a broad range of visa options available for your stay in New Zealand. Choosing the right visa type and submitting a perfect visa application is vital for the success of your migration.

Resident Visas and Temporary Visas

Do you need a Permanent Resident Visa or a Temporary Visa?
Do you want to work, join your family, run your own business or retire?
For how long do you want to stay in New Zealand?

The type of visa you will need for your stay in New Zealand depends on your plans.

Applying for a Resident Visa for New Zealand

If you want to live in New Zealand forever or long term you will need a Resident Visa. A Resident Visa will entitle you to stay in New Zealand indefinitely and to work and study.

Visas to become a New Zealand resident:

Skilled Migrant Category

This visa policy is New Zealand's most popular option for becoming a permanent resident.  You will need a sound professional background and find a job in New Zealand: The Skilled Migrant Category.

Business and Investor Visas

Are you an entrepreneur and want to buy or establish and run your own business, or do you want to invest your funds in New Zealand?  
Then one of the Business and Investor Resident Visas might be the best option for you.

Family Visas

Does your partner live in New Zealand as resident or citizen? Are you a parent of a NZ permanent resident or citizen? You might be able to join them in New Zealand under one of the Family Visa policies: Family Resident Visas.

Retirement Visas

If you are planning to make the most of New Zealand's beautiful lifestyle by spending your retirement years in our country, you might want to choose a Retirement pathway.

Employees of a Relocating Business Visa

Are you an employee of a business that is relocating to New Zealand?You might qualify for an Employees of Relocating Business Resident Visa, if you do not qualify under any of the other visa policies.

Residence from Work

If your talents are needed by New Zealand employers, you have an exceptional talent in a field of art, culture or sport, are a religious worker, or are working in an area of identified absolute occupational shortage in New Zealand you might qualify under the Residence from Work Category.

Applying for a Temporary Visa for New Zealand

The objective of New Zealand's temporary entry visas is to facilitate the entry of genuine visitors, students and temporary workers.

Visas allowing you to be in Zealand for a limited time:

Work Visas

If you are looking for a job and want to take up employment in New Zealand temporarily, you will need a work visa.

Entrepreneur Work Visa

The Entrepreneur Work Visa is a category of temporary entry class visa with conditions that allow self-employment in New Zealand.

Family Based Work Visas

If your partner is a NZ citizen, resident or work visa holder, you might qualify for a work visa.

Visitor Visas

If you want to enjoy New Zealand on a holiday, you might need a visitor visa.  This is not required for some countries (visa waiver countries).

Student Visas

If you want to come to New Zealand to study for more than three months you will need a Student Visa.

Guardian of a Student Visitor Visa

Parents and legal guardians can visit New Zealand to live with and care for their children who are in New Zealand on a student visa.

Post-study Work Visas

If you completed a qualification in New Zealand, you may be eligible for a visa allowing you to work for 1-3 years, depending on the qualification.

Horticulture and Viticulture Seasonal Work Visas

If you have a job offer from a recognised seasonal employer, you may be eligible for this visa, allowing you to work in our horticulture and viticulture industries.

Please Note:

You need to be a bona fide applicant:
A bona fide applicant for temporary entry is a person who genuinely intends a temporary stay in New Zealand for a lawful purpose; and in the opinion of an immigration officer is not likely to remain in New Zealand unlawfully, or to breach the conditions of any visa granted.

Sponsorship for temporary entry:
Sponsorship for a temporary entry visa application ensures that applicants have means of support in New Zealand, and protects from the potential cost of the visa holder seeking support or government assistance they are not entitled to.

Children Student Visas

Children of work visa holders might be able to obtain student visas, which will allow them to attend a school in New Zealand

new zealand employers icon

Visitor Visas

Citizens from some countries (so-called visa waiver countries) do not need to apply for a visitor visa before their arrival. As a holder of a visitor visa, you are not allowed to work in New Zealand.

Visitors to New Zealand are limited to a maximum stay on a visitor visa of nine months and may apply for a further three-month visa, allowing a maximum stay of 12 months.

They may stay in New Zealand for a total of no more than nine months in the 18-month period before the proposed expiry date of the visa.


There are four ways of becoming a New Zealand citizen, only one of them is relevant for migrants.

  • Citizenship by birth in New Zealand
  • Citizenship by descent
  • Adoption
  • Citizenship by grant

Please note: The term "Citizenship" is often used in a non-technical sense when describing the term "Residence Visa". Citizenship is quite different.

Understanding citizenship in New Zealand

Compare Popular Visas

Different visa types will entitle you to different levels of rights and access to public services. Compare the different benefits they provide

Essential Skills
Work to Residence
Skilled Migrant Visa
Temporary work visa tied to a specific employer
A Work Visa with pathway to Residence after you have held the visa for 24 months
Residence visa
Visa Duration
Up to 5 years (depending on pay and skill level of job)
30 Months
No limit
55 or under
55 or under
Full Time Job
Required. Visa is issued for a specific job with a specific employer
Required. Must be from an INZ Accredited Employer or for a job on the Long Term Skill Shortage List
Usually required. Job offer is worth a significant number of the available points
Salary is used to indicate the role’s skill band (higher, mid or lower). This affects visa duration and conditions.
Minimum salary requirements:
Accredited employer paid at or above NZD $79,560 per annum
Minimum salary requirements:
ANZSCO 1-3 paid at or above NZD $25.50 per hour
ANZSCO 4-5 paid at or above NZD $38.25 per hour
Partner/ Dependant Visas
Separate visas required for partner/children. They may be eligible for visas based on their relationship to you, depending on your skill band
Separate visas required for partner/children. They may be eligible for visas based on their relationship to you
Partner/children can be included in application
Subsidised access on visas 2 years or longer
Subsidised access
Subsidised access
Primary and secondary:
Domestic student fees

International student fees
Primary and secondary:
Domestic student fees

International student fees
Primary and secondary:
Domestic student fees

Domestic student fees

Read more about visa types:

Are you overwhelmed by the different visa options?

New Zealand's visa policies are complex.
Base your move on solid grounds: Ask us for a Free Assessment first!

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At first, Maj kindly explained the whole process and what to expect. I was coached and introduced to New Zealand job market by their Job Search team, and getting assistance until I got a job in the country. The Visa team would also follow me up on my pending documents, so I never felt left out. Truly recommended for those seeking out an option to live in New Zealand. Big thanks from me and my whole family for things NZIC did for us..!

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NZIC helped me in my way to get a Visa and job search. They were always available to talk to and were open to all sorts of questions. No matter how random they were. Very friendly staff. And even when they had changes in employee and advisors, they always stayed professional and up to date. I can only say good things and recommend them highly.

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Very pleased and satisfied with the service we received from NZIC. They assisted me and my family from start to finish. Always willing to assist, and communicated our progress every step of the way. With their assistance we managed to obtain permanent resident visa status.

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