New Zealand visa

New Zealand visa

Traveling to New Zealand

If you hold an Australian passport you can enter New Zealand visa-free, also if you have a permanent residency in Australia, or hold a passport of a country eligible for a visa waiver to travel to New Zealand, you can apply for New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA). This New Zealand eVisa allows visitors to apply easily online and come to New Zealand for short-term visits and tourism. 

For nationalities that are not eligible for the NZeTA, there are many types of New Zealand visa you need to apply for. Whether looking to study, travel for tourism, or join a family member, there is a wide variety of visa options to choose from. Each visa type will vary in terms of validity, required application materials, processing time, and conditions.

Applicants can apply for their New Zealand visa online or on paper. For online applications, all materials and fees can be submitted through the official New Zealand Immigration website. 

New Zealand visa types

There are several main categories of New Zealand Visas that you can select from. These
categories each include many sub-types of visas. Applicants can select the category that best
describes their purpose of travel. There are single-entry New Zealand Visas and multiple-entry
New Zealand Visas available for every category. There are also many New Zealand Permanent
Residence Visas for those looking to stay in the country for a longer period as well as New
Zealand Express Entry Program Visas for business persons.

There are two main categories of New Zealand visas:

  1. Temporary Class Visas (Temporary Visa)
  2. Residence Class Visas (include Resident Visas and Permanent Resident Visa)

New Zealand Visas can also be divided based on the purpose of traveling into:

  • New Zealand Visitor Visas
  • New Zealand Student Visas
  • New Zealand Working Visas
  • New Zealand Family Visas
  • New Zealand Business Visas

Many types of visas are considered to fall under multiple categories. The Working Holiday Visa for example is available for select countries and allows holders to visit, study, and work. Other visa types like APEC Business Travel Card is technically both a Visitor and Working Visa. 

The main categories of New Zealand visas include:

Visitor visas

The New Zealand Visitor Visa is for tourism and visitors looking to stay in New Zealand for up to 9 months, there are several types of visas available. The type of visa you select will depend on the purpose of your trip, your nationality, and how long you decide to stay. 

The following are the main types of New Zealand Visitor Visas:

Visitor Visas for family and children: 

  • Child of a Worker Visitor Visa
  • Parent and Grandparent Visitor Visa
  • Child of a Student Visitor Visa
  • Guardian of a Student Visitor Visa
  • New Zealand Partner Visa
  • Partner of a Worker Visitor Visa
  • Partner of a Student Visitor Visa
  • Partner of Military Visitor Visa
  • Child of a New Zealander Visitor Visa
  • Adoption Pre-citizenship Visitor Visa
  • Adoption Visitor Visa
  • Child of Military Visitor Visa

Visitor visas for cultural purposes: 

  • Tour Escort Visitor Visa
  • Academic Visitor Visa
  • Arts and Music Festival Visitor Visa
  • Short-term Entertainment Act Visitor Visa
  • Sports Events Visitor Visa
  • Culturally Arranged Marriage Visitor Visa

Visitor visas for business purposes: 

  • Business Visitor Visa
  • Visiting Media Visitor Visa
  • APEC Business Travel Card
  • Dismissed Worker Visitor Visa

Other:

  • Temporary Retirement Visitor Visa
  • Trafficking Child Victim Visitor Visa
  • Antarctic Traveller Visitor Visa
  • Occupational Registration Visitor Visa
  • Refugee Claimant Visitor Visa
  • Medical Treatment Visitor Visa

Student visas

New Zealand is a popular destination for students taking courses at all levels of education, from high school to graduate school. New Zealand Student Visa types range from short-term to long-term durations to accommodate a variety of different types of courses. The visa type you select will depend on the duration of your studies and the type of course, among other things. Please note that a Visitor Visa will allow you to study for up to 3 months only. 

There are several types of Student Visas that students can apply for:

  • Fee Paying Student Visa
  • Pathway Student Visa
  • Exchange Student Visa
  • MFAT-funded NZ Scholarship Student Visa
  • Student and Trainee Work Visa
  • Trafficking Child Victim Student Visa
  • Dependent Child Student Visa
  • Vocational Trainee Student Visa
  • Child of a Refugee Claimant Student Visa
  • Foreign Government Supported Student Visa

Working visas

There are many types of New Zealand Working Visas for those looking to work in an existing company or have been offered a job. Applicants should select their visa type based on the type of job they will be doing, their skills, regular occupation, and duration of stay in New Zealand. Some New Zealand Resident Visas are also included in the category of Working Visas because they allow the holder to work for the duration of their stay. 

The main types of New Zealand Working Visas include: 

  • New Zealand Skilled Migrant Visa
  • Accredited Employer Work Visa
  • Recognized Seasonal Employer Limited Visa
  • Domestic Staff of a Diplomat Work Visa
  • Partner of a Student Work Visa
  • Working Holiday Extension Work Visa
  • Entertainers Work Visa
  • Fishing Crew Work Visa
  • Business Visitor Visa
  • Post Study Work Visa
  • Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa
  • Work Exchange Scheme Work Visa
  • Pacific Access Category Resident Visa
  • Second or Subsequent Resident Visa
  • Partner of a Worker Work Visa
  • Global Impact Permanent Residence Visa
  • Student and Trainee Work Visa
  • Religious Worker Work Visa
  • Migrant Exploitation Protection Work Visa
  • Victims of Family Violence Work Visa
  • Visiting Media Visitor Visa
  • Global Impact Work Visa
  • Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports) Work Visa
  • Trafficking Victim Work Visa
  • Supplementary Seasonal Employment Work Visa
  • Specific Purpose Work Visa
  • Employees of Relocating Business Resident Visa
  • Partner of Military Work Visa
  • APEC Business Travel Card
  • Entrepreneur Work Visa
  • Partner of an NZ Scholarship Student Work Visa
  • Primary Sector Trainees Work Visa
  • Short-term Entertainment Act Visitor Visa
  • South Island Contribution Resident Visa

Family visas

New Zealand Family Visas are intended for those looking to join a family member, child, partner, or spouse. There are many different types of Family Visas depending on who you are joining and the reason for travel. Nationality and duration of stay will also factor into the visa type you choose. 

The main types of New Zealand Family Visas are: 

  • Partner of a New Zealander Resident Visa
  • Child of a Worker Visitor Visa
  • Parent and Grandparent Visa
  • Partner of a Student Work Visa
  • Parent Retirement Resident Visa
  • Child of a Student Visitor Visa
  • Guardian of a Student Visitor Visa
  • Partner of a New Zealander Visitor Visa
  • Dependent Child Resident Visa
  • Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa
  • Partner of a Worker Work Visa
  • Partner of a Worker Visitor Visa
  • Culturally Arranged Marriage Visitor Visa
  • Parent Resident Visa
  • Partner of a Student Visitor Visa
  • Dependent Child Student Visa
  • Partner of Military Visitor Visa
  • Child of Military Visitor Visa
  • Child of a New Zealander Visitor Visa
  • Partner of Military Work Visa
  • Adoption Pre-citizenship Visitor Visa
  • Intercountry Adoption Resident Visa
  • Partner of an NZ Scholarship Student Work Visa
  • Refugee Family Support Resident Visa

Business visas

Applicants looking to do business or invest in New Zealand can apply for one of the following Business Visa types. The visa type you select will depend on your nationality, duration of stay, and purpose of doing business in New Zealand. Many of these overlap with the Working Visa category above. 

  • Entrepreneur Resident Visa
  • Business Visitor Visa
  • Global Impact Permanent Residence Visa
  • Global Impact Work Visa
  • Temporary Retirement Visitor Visa
  • APEC Business Travel Card

New Zealand visa requirements

Each New Zealand Visa type will require a different process and documents. However, there are certain documents that are required for almost all visa types. The requirements for your application will depend on what category of visa you are applying for (Student, Working, Visitor, Business, etc.) and the visa type you select.

To apply for their visa type, most applicants will submit the following list of documents: 

Valid passport or identity document

All applicants will need to be able to present a valid form of identity document when they apply. For example, applicants seeking a Visitor Visa should ensure that their identity document is valid for at least 3 months after their expected departure date.

Application form (online or on paper)

Almost all New Zealand Visa applications can be submitted online. The New Zealand Visa application can be submitted through the official New Zealand Immigration website. Some applications may be submitted on paper depending on the visa type.

Applicant photo(s)

Applicants must provide clear, acceptable photos with their application. Online applications require one, while on-paper applications need two.

Medical insurance

Most applicants must show proof of medical insurance, valid for the entire duration of their stay.

Funds or sponsorship evidence

Applicants must show that they can support themselves during their stay. This proof of funds or sponsorship can be submitted as bank statements, traveler’s checks, pay slips, an employment agreement, or any other relevant financial document.

New Zealand visa application

The exact steps you will need to take to submit your New Zealand Visa application will vary depending on many factors including your nationality, the duration of your stay, and your purpose of travel, among other factors. The following is a list of steps that most applicants will need to take to apply for their New Zealand Visa. 

  1. Determine your travel plans

    Each visa type has a unique processing and application time so it’s important to have an idea of your travel timeline before applying for your New Zealand Visa.

  2. Select your visa category and visa type

    Every traveler will have a unique reason for visiting New Zealand. Determine your visa category and visa type based on your purpose of travel and duration of stay.

  3. Gather application documents

    Preparing an application will vary for every visa type. Before submitting your application, it’s important to gather all the necessary documents.

  4. Submit your application

    Most New Zealand visas can be applied for online through the New Zealand Immigration website. Others will need to be sent by post including a complete application form, a valid identity document, and other supplemental documents.

  5. Wait for your visa decision

    Application processing times depend on the visa type and other factors concerning your travel plans and nationality. If needed, the immigration officers will request further information and supplemental documents.

  6. Arrive in New Zealand

    If your application is successful, you will be able to travel to New Zealand for the purpose of visiting, studying, working, or engaging in business deals, among other activities.

Where to apply for a New Zealand visa

Nearly all New Zealand Visa types can be applied for online through the official New Zealand Immigration website.

Applicants will create an account and submit their application, upload any required documents, and pay the fees online. Some applicants may need to submit their application on paper and send their documents and proof of identity to the relevant immigration office. 

New Zealand visa application processing time

The amount of time required to process an New Zealand Visa depends on the visa type and the duration of travel. The processing time may be longer if you have submitted the application on paper or if you are asked to provide additional documentation. For example, a Visitor Visa can take between 5 and 51 days to process, while a Student Visa could take between 29 and 67 days on average. 

New Zealand visa fees

Fees for a New Zealand Visa will vary based on your reason for travel and your visa type. All fees are charged in New Zealand dollars (NZD). A Visitor Visa, for example, will cost $NZD 246 for the application processing, whereas an Entrepreneur Work Visa can cost up to $NZD 3,920 just for the application. Applicants need to ensure they have sufficient funds to pay the application fees before applying. Online application fees can be paid with a credit card. Application fees are non-refundable if the application is rejected. 

New Zealand visa FAQ

How much does a New Zealand Visa cost? 

The fees for a New Zealand Visa will change depending on the specific visa type. Applicants should check the official New Zealand Immigration website to verify to see all required fees for each visa type. 

How long is a New Zealand visa valid?

The validity of your New Zealand Visa will depend on the visa type and the other factors concerning your nationality and purpose of stay. Some visas are only valid for 3 months, while others can be extended for many years. 

Is a New Zealand tourist visa easy to obtain?

The process for obtaining a New Zealand Visitor Visa is straightforward and can almost always be completed in a few simple steps, either online or on paper. Applications that are mailed in may require additional time and supplemental documents. Each visa type requires a slightly different process to be successful. 

Can a visitor work in New Zealand? 

While some Visitor Visas do not permit visa holders to work during their stay, there are many visa types that overlap between the Visitor and Working Visa categories. The New Zealand Working Holiday Visa, for example, does permit holders to work for the duration of their stay. 

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