Other Visa Options for New Zealand

There are a number of ways in which you can enter New Zealand either permanently or temporarily. The Skilled Migrant Visa is just one entry route into New Zealand but if that category doesn't fit your needs then there are other visa options for NZ that are listed below.

Essential Skills Visa

New Zealand has an Essential Skills in Demand List which reflects skill shortages in the country. You could apply for an Essential Skills Visa if you fall into one of these categories:

  • Already have a job offer that matches the Essential Skills List
  • Are here for a specific event
  • Students or apprentices who wish to study and train in New Zealand
  • Partners of visa holders who wish to work
  • Participants in work exchange schemes

The visa is only a temporary one but once you are living and working in New Zealand you can then apply for a residence visa under the Skilled Migrant Category. There is also no limit to the number of visa extensions you can apply for. Find out more and apply online for an Essential Skills Visa.

Silver Fern Categories

Young people aged between 20-35 who are highly skilled and qualified can apply to enter New Zealand for up to 9 months to look for suitable employment. The government make 300 such places available for young people each year so competition is high.

Once you have completed your Silver Fern Application you must apply for a Silver Fern Practical Experience Visa which will allow you to stay in New Zealand, working for the same company, for up to 2 years.

Family Stream Visa

If your partner is already living and working in New Zealand and you wish to join them and perhaps look for work yourself then you can apply for a Family Stream Visa. You will need to provide evidence of your relationship with your partner and be subject to health and character checks. You can either apply for a visa whilst still in the UK or you can apply in New Zealand. See the requirements for a Family Stream Visa for more information.

Working Holiday Visa

If you are a student on a gap year or just want to explore working life in New Zealand for a short while, then you can easily apply for a working holiday visa. You must be over 18 and under 30 and be able to show proof of sufficient funds and intention to return home before your visa expires. Visas last 23 months, during which time you may only work for up to 12 months for any one company however you may study for up to 6 months. This is a great way to get a taste of living and working in New Zealand and to discover what skills are needed if you want to live in New Zealand permanently.

Applications for working holidays in New Zealand are quick and cheap – find out more from the working holiday section of Immigration New Zealand.

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