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Immigrate to New Zealand from France

Immigrate to New Zealand from France

French nationals can immigrate to New Zealand from France following certain immigration procedures. France is a part of the visa waiver system, which allows the nationals of countries included in this system to arrive here without applying for visa.

This, however, applies only in the case of short-term stays (arrivals in New Zealand with a duration of maximum 90 days). For any visits longer than this, regular visa formalities must be concluded.

French nationals who want to visit, work, study here are invited to request legal assistance from our immigration lawyer in New Zealand, who can present the main visa conditions to fulfill.

The formalities for relocating from France are the same as the ones applicable in the case of those who will immigrate from USA to New Zealand.

Differences can appear in the case of certain visas, such as the work holiday program, which can have its own particularities for each country involved in the program (such differences can refer to the maximum age of the applicant, the duration of the stay, etc.).

For France, the work holiday program allows French nationals a residency in New Zealand of up to 12 months, and the same applies to American nationals. However, for other nationalities, such as it is the case of British citizens, residency can be extended to a period of up to 23 months.

Differences as these can appear in the case of other visas, based on the nationality of the applicants.


What are the rules for short-term immigration to New Zealand?


When a French person (who is a French passport holder) wants to migrate to New Zealand on a short-term basis, the immigration formalities are very simple. There aren’t any visa obligations to complete in the traditional sense.

However, French nationals must apply for the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA). The NZeTA acts as a visa document that can be obtained by applying online.

The NZeTA is granted when a foreign national, arriving from a visa waiver country, comes to New Zealand for any of the following: 1) transit, 2) tourism or 3) business, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The advantage of this electronic document is that once obtained, the document is valid for a period of 2 years, which means that French nationals do not have to apply for it every time they relocate to New Zealand.

Still, the duration of a stay can’t be longer than 3 months. Applicants must know that authorization of the application can be completed in 1-2 business days, but there is also the possibility to select a priority service, which ensures the processing of the application in only 2 hours.

Please mind that is it compulsory to have a valid NZeTA issued before the arrival in New Zealand. Our immigration lawyer in New Zealand can present the documentation one has to submit for the issuance of the electronic visa.


How can young French persons move to New Zealand?


Young French people who want to migrate to New Zealand have many options, depending on their purpose of stay. They can arrive here for tourism, for business, for reuniting with family or for work purposes.

The legislation regulating immigration to New Zealand also prescribes a work holiday program, especially designed for French nationals arriving here for both employment opportunities and travel.

The program is known as the France Working Holiday Visa and it is addressed solely to French passport holders (permanent residents of France can’t participate).

Below, those interested can find out some of the basic requirements:

  • applicants must prove that they have at least NZ$4,200 as financial resources;
  • the visa is available for a period of 12 months and in this period, the visa holders can participate in study/training of 6 months;
  • the program is addressed only to persons with an age of minimum 18 years old and maximum 30;
  • there is a visa processing fee of NZ$280 (which includes the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy of NZ$35);
  • it is rather easy to immigrate to New Zealand from France under this visa when it comes to the processing of the visa, as most of the applications (90% of them) are processed in a period of 18 days.


This visa imposes certain limitations, such as: 1) the visa holder can’t work on permanent work contracts, 2) can’t bring children or the partner under this visa, 3) the application can be completed only online.

For those who want to relocate to New Zealand for permanent employment or to bring their close family members, other visa options have to be explored. For this, you can always contact our immigration lawyer in New Zealand.