Before you start your NZ visa application for 2023:
Here we take you through some of the basics of preparing for your new NZ visa application for 2023 and some expected changes to come throughout the year.
INZ will ask you for a lot of supporting information when you start the visa application process. So stay ahead of the game by learning what you need to gather and then prepare it all in advance.
If you have any doubts about the preparation or actual application process, don't hesitate to contact NZ licensed advisers for expert immigration advice.
Applications can be based on regional jobs. Choose the best place for you and what suits your intention for coming to NZ. The weather can vary dramatically depending on where you choose, so ensure you study up on where job opportunities are as well as the regions before applying for roles.
The biggest city in New Zealand is Auckland, with 1.5 million people. Auckland has a high cost of living. However, migrants often find this balance by finding NZ jobs that pay well and quickly.
Wellington is not the largest metropolitan area. However, nearly 20% of Wellington's jobs are within government branches and agencies, with many accepting job applications from qualified migrants.
Christchurch is the largest city in NZ's South Island. Despite the unfortunate event of an earthquake in 2011, the city has rebuilt itself and is more robust than ever, with a focus on innovation, offering outstanding employment opportunities.
Hamilton continues to grow in all areas, with new opportunities everywhere. Many Auckland companies have relocated to Hamilton to lower their overheads, increasing chances for migrants to find work.
Dunedin is situated south of the South Island. While it may not offer as many growth opportunities as Auckland, it is well-loved and admired for its lifestyle.
Finding accommodation in New Zealand doesn't have to be stressful. Reach out to our experienced immigration advisers for advice and resources.
Read our recent post for tips on finding somewhere to live in NZ, which includes good places to look for accommodation online.
Like anywhere in the world, the cost of living in New Zealand comes with additional expenses on top of your rent.
The cost of living in New Zealand can depend on your salary and where you decide to live. New Zealand's living costs vary significantly between regions. The most common things included in everyday living expenses, excluding rent, are discussed below.
On average, Auckland's living expenses can cost a single person NZ$1,527 per month, excluding rent. The average cost of rent for a two-bedroom apartment is about NZ$560 per week in a reasonably central suburb like Avondale.
The cost of living in Wellington is slightly lower than in Auckland. A single person can pay about NZ$1,384 per month on general living expenses, excluding rent. Median rent costs are about NZ$490 per week for a two-bedroom apartment outside central Wellington.
Christchurch is often cheaper than other cities. Average living costs, excluding rent, are NZ$1344. The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in central Christchurch is about NZ$450 per week.
Migrants looking to move to NZ for work or permanently should understand the basis of New Zealand's salaries. Wages vary by industry and job type, with the median income just under NZ$27 per hour in mid-2021, equivalent to NZ$56,160 per year for a 40-year work week.
For work visa holders, median wage conditions apply, with the median wage increasing to NZ$29.66 on 27 February 2023.
No matter what you're looking for, always take advice! Contact the team at Malcolm Pacific Immigration for a free consultation to discuss your needs and explore which visa is best for you.
Work Visas often have strict conditions set out on the visa document itself. Usually, this includes a restriction to work in a particular occupation, for a specific employer and in a particular region of New Zealand. Find out about the different types of NZ Work Visas.
Student Visas may have strict conditions that are set out on the visa document itself. Typically the conditions restrict the student to a particular course of study at an institution and can sometimes include work rights for part-time employment. Learn about the NZ Student Visa options.
Choosing the right visa from the outset if the intention is to move to New Zealand is critical to a smooth transition from Working Visa to a Residency Visa. Any initial mistake or incorrect choice from the beginning could hinder your chances of a successful application.
For more information and advice on your options and how to start your pathway to residency in NZ, talk to one of the best firms of immigration advisers, Malcolm Pacific Immigration.
If you choose to relocate your partner or entire family, ensure you have selected the appropriate visa to support your partner in employment.
Various partnership visas allow migrants to work in New Zealand if their partner has an NZ work visa. With some work visas, migrants can typically support the following visas for their partner and dependent children:
For more details about the application process, talk to a licensed immigration adviser and discuss your options.
In addition to the requirements outlined on your visa of choice, there are general requirements that are a rule of thumb.
During your application, you must show you are of good character and meet INZ's requirements.
You must inform INZ about any potential past criminal record or if you have ever provided them with false or misleading information previously. Depending on the issue, INZ offers some solutions to situations as long as you're open and honest with them upfront. For example, INZ can approve a character waiver if your issue is minor, which means INZ can still grant you a residence visa if your application meets all other requirements. This is where advice from an Immigration Adviser is essential.
INZ requires medical examinations to assess applicants' health and to ensure they meet the standards.
If you are applying for a visa, you may need a chest x-ray or medical examination to prove your good health. However, depending on your visa, the application will tell you what kind of medical examinations you need to provide.
You need to speak and understand English for some visas. You can take a test to show INZ that you can use and understand English. Contact licensed immigration advisers for help with finding out which tests we accept and the results you need for your preferred visa.
Ensure you have all the documents you need to apply for your NZ visa in 2023.
Check your passport to ensure it is valid for travel to NZ in 2023 before you apply for your NZ visa. You must ensure that your passport does not expire:
Ensure that your passport has not been damaged, reported as lost, stolen, or invalidated by the governing issuer.
Your visa will outline what forms you need to gather, such as what you need to check off for your visa application. Remember that getting everything prepared ahead of time will save you unneeded stress. As a part of the application process, remember that once you’ve submitted, the control is in INZ’s hands. Here are the approximate application processing times for specific visas:
The processing time for other visa applications varies significantly.
INZ advises travellers not to book travel until their visas are processed and approved. Entering New Zealand without a visa (as visa waiver visitors) requires you to have valid onward travel arrangements. So, for example, when entering New Zealand, you must have a return ticket or proof that a ticket is booked and paid for. The return ticket must be from New Zealand to a country you can enter.
This has been a challenging year on multiple fronts as Covid continues to cause disruptions. In addition, there have been many immigration policy changes this year to streamline the previous regime, and we predict more to come in 2023.
INZ regularly releases updates about New Zealand visa applications and changes to the immigration system. You can also keep yourself informed about work visas, employer accreditation and Immigration NZ news by subscribing to our newsletter or contacting our experienced immigration advisers.
The Government is rebalancing New Zealand's immigration system by implementing a shift in the future migrant workforce to increase New Zealand's business productivity and rebalance the skills gap to support our economy's growth.
The rebalance is designed to make it easier to attract and employ skilled migrants. It also supports sectors in implementing sustainable employment processes. We have summarised key dates of policy decisions that roll out in 2023.
LIST DATES HERE AS THEY ARE ANNOUNCED BY INZ.
EOI selection for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa resumed on 9 November 2022, and INZ selected all EOIs with at least 160 points. However, after 9 November, the points threshold for selection increased to 180 points, which is in place from 18 January 2023, when EOIs are selected again.
INZ announced that the new median wage of NZ$29.66 an hour will be adopted into the immigration system on 27 February 2023.
The NZ Government has made an exception for some sectors. For example, tourism and hospitality have a median wage threshold exemption of NZ$25 per hour until April 2023, with the median wage exception increasing to NZ$28.18 in April 2023.
The Government announced changes to increase access to working holidaymakers already in New Zealand and those looking to travel to NZ. From 31 January 2023, people who held a working holiday visa but didn't travel due to Covid-19 can enter the country again, as they would have received an email notification from INZ from October 2022 onwards about their eligibility and ability to get a new visa.
The Parent Resident Visa restarted on 12 October 2022 and resumed selecting existing expressions of interest (EOIs) on 14 November 2022.
From May 2023, EOIs can be submitted online on the Immigration New Zealand website.
Any EOIs INZ received from 12 October 2022 went into a ballot, with the first random selection from the ballot in August 2023, then every three months after that.
Applying for a New Zealand visa doesn't have to be overwhelming. Reach out to our experienced immigration advisers for advice and guidance on the process.
Our highly experienced licensed Immigration team will take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of New Zealand Immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our team is on standby, ready to help.
Our highly experienced licensed Immigration team will take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of New Zealand Immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our employer team is on standby, ready to help.
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Our team keep ahead of all the latest immigration developments and post updates regularly. Stay up to date by signing up to our newsletter and get these updates directly to your inbox.
Our team keep ahead of all the latest employment and immigration law developments and post updates regularly. Stay up to date by signing up to our newsletter and get these updates directly to your inbox.
Today the government announced a pathway to residence for migrant workers who are living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave who are eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else they will miss out on this one off opportunity.
Today the government announced a pathway to residence for people living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else you miss the boat.
The government has moved the introduction of the new employer accreditation process across to mid-2022. At the same time, the Minister of Immigration announced new work visa rules for migrant workers who are already in New Zealand and working full time.
The government has increased the median wage to $27 per hour from 19 July. Any Skilled Migrant residence application lodged after this date will need to include a skilled job offer that pays at least $27 per hour. For some lower-skilled occupations, the minimum pay rate increases to $40.50 per hour.
From 19 July 2021
From 30 June 2021
Employers of migrant workers must become accredited from 1 November 2021 before work visa applications can be processed. Most employers are not accredited. Those that are accredited will have to roll into the new system when it goes live in late September.
From mid-2020 (delayed)
Skilled occupation "Dairy Cattle Farmer" spilt into three occupations. New occupations are: "Dairy Farm Manager", "Assistant Dairy Farm Manager" and "Dairy Herd Manager". Each sit at different skill levels, therefore, the award of points will depend on pay rates, job tasks and other requirements.
From 15 February 2021
The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool for six months (to be reviewed in April 2021). Invitations to Apply for Residence remain suspended. The last selection from the Skilled Migrant pool took place on 18/03/2020.
From 7 October 2020
The government added four new occupations that are now regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. These are:
Aged or disabled carer, Bicycle mechanic, Driller and Nursing Support worker.
From 27 July 2020
Anyone invited by Immigration NZ to apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category where their invitation is dated between 1 November 2019 and 15 April 2020 (inclusive) has now been granted an additional six months to lodge their residence application.
From 27 May 2020
The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool. This means Invitations to Apply for Residence are also suspended. Malcolm Pacific Immigration does not anticipate selections to resume until after the general election held on 17 October 2020.
Immigration NZ is now prioritising Skilled Migrant Residence applications where the main (principal) applicant meets the criteria:
From 24 February 2020
From 7 October 2019
The government recently added more occupations that are now to be regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. In order to qualify for points, the job must be paying at least the current median wage (or higher for certain occupations) at the time the residence application is lodged.
From 1 November 2021
From 1 November 2021 anyone who is not a NZ citizen must be fully vaccinated (unless exempt) before travelling to New Zealand. Fully vaccinated means your last dose of vaccine was given at least 14 days before travelling and it was an approved vaccine.
Applications for employer accreditation closed at the end of June 2021. Applications lodged before the closure date are still being processed. New applications for accreditation open on 9 May 2022. The process will be quite different to what employers have experienced in the past. Businesses will need to meet minimum standards.
Wednesday, 1 December is fast approaching and it is estimated that around 16,000 individuals and families can apply in the first wave for the 2021 Resident Visa opening next month. It is exciting for the thousands of people who have been waiting patiently to become residents that finally the finish line is in sight.
The first wave of applicants can apply from 1 December 2021. Around 16,000 applications are expected in this first wave. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. In total, the government expects approximately 110,000 applications that will include about 165,000 people.
The second group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 March 2022 are those who hold an eligible work visa and either meet "Settled", "Skilled" or "Scarce" as set out above. In total Immigration NZ estimate around 110,000 people will qualify to apply for this visa.
The first group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 December 2021 are those that on 29/09/2021:
Is this the only requirement to qualify for residence? No. In addition to the eligible work visa criteria workers also need to be regarded as one of the following:
People who were lawfully in NZ (or in Australia when the travel bubble closed between April and July 2021) on 29/09/2021 need to meet the visa eligibility criteria:
The government has introduced a limited pathway to residence for people who are already living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave of people eligible to apply. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. The deadline to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa is 31 July 2022.
A small number of critical health workers (taking up jobs for six months or longer) or specialist workers (taking up jobs that are for longer than six months) who were granted border exemptions may also have eligibility for the 2021 Resident Visa. They will need to have arrived in NZ and lodge a 2021 Resident Visa application.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
The work visa categories set to close are:
In order to address labour shortages in New Zealand's crucial industries the NZ government has implemented a "Green List" of sought-after high-skill occupations. This list offers a prioritised pathway to residency.
There are qualification and/or occupational registration requirements to meet. Occupations are broken down into two tiers:
The recent additions in May 2023 across many sectors on the Green List NZ can be found here