More visitors than ever are travelling to New Zealand. If you are thinking of visiting New Zealand, whether to explore the delights of this diverse country, to visit friends or family or for relocation, you will need to do some homework before you plan your trip.
Here we give you a brief overview of New Zealand visa requirements, how to apply for a visa and information about what you may and may not take into the country.
All visitors travelling to New Zealand regardless of their visa type must carry a passport with at least three months’ validity after their proposed exit date.
There are several categories of individuals who do not require a visa for visiting New Zealand. These include New Zealand citizens or residents; Australian citizens travelling on Australian passports or residents of Australia with current residency visas; and citizens of countries that share the visa waiver agreement with New Zealand.
There are more than fifty countries presently in New Zealand’s visa waiver scheme. Check with the New Zealand immigration office for an up-to-date list before travelling to ensure your country is included or ask your travel agent if they have the latest visa waiver information.
If you enter on the visa waiver scheme you will be required to hold an onward or return ticket to a country you are permitted to enter and to demonstrate evidence of your ability to support yourself during your stay in New Zealand. Typically this figure would be expected to be around NZ$1000 per month per individual.
UK citizens and passport holders who can demonstrate their right to be living permanently in the UK are permitted to remain in New Zealand for up to six months without a visa.
If you wish to remain in New Zealand for more than three months (six months for UK citizens) or if your country is not in the visa waiver scheme, you must apply for a visitor’s visa. If granted, a visitor’s visa gives you the right to remain in New Zealand for a total of up to six months out of a 12-month period. It gives you the right to enter the country as a visitor and also for study purposes (up to three months in a 12-month period), to get married or to take part in unpaid sporting and cultural events. If you wish to engage in activities that are not included in this list, if you wish to study for more than a three-month period or if you are intending to remain for longer than six months you must apply for a study visa, a work visa, other form of specialist visa or permanent residency.
For some time New Zealand has been actively encouraging immigration of skilled workers who meet their selection criteria. For those lucky enough to make the cut the country offers an outstanding quality of life, excellent professional prospects and some of the most dramatic scenery on earth. Why not book your trip and find out whether a future in New Zealand is for you?