Immigrate to New Zealand from South Africa

Persons who want to immigrate to New Zealand from South Africa will generally have to apply for a visa applicable to their reason of arriving in this country. The procedure that one will follow in this case also varies based on the duration of stay (visits with a duration of maximum 90 days and visits with a duration longer than 90 days).

The legislation on immigration in New Zealand prescribes various types of visas, which can be granted to South Africans for work purposes, reuniting with family members who are already living here, for business purposes or investments, for study purposes and any other reasons which fall under the provisions of the immigration law; you can rely on our immigration lawyer in New Zealand for in-depth advice on this matter.

South Africans and employment visas in New Zealand

If the reason for which one wants to immigrate to New Zealand from South Africa refers to an employment contract, the legislation prescribes two main types of visas – the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa and the Global Impact Permanent Residence Visa. South Africans must know that these visas can be used as a way for permanent residency in New Zealand. Some of the aspects referring to these visas are the following:

  • • the person who wants to immigrate to New Zealand from South Africa can obtain permanent residency if he or she had a Global Impact Work Visa issued for a period of minimum 30 months;
    • the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa (a document through which a foreigner can obtain the New Zealand residence permit) imposes an age criterion to South Africans, as the applicants are eligible if at the moment when the application is made they have an age of maximum 55 years old;
    • both visa programs grant the right to migrate to New Zealand with one’s partner and children with an age of maximum 24 years old;
    • for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa, the applicant must send an Expression of Interest, which, if approved by the New Zealand Immigration Department, the person will be entitled to obtaining the residency here, but the applicant must send all the required documents in maximum 4 months since the approval;
    • one can immigrate to New Zealand from South Africa under a Global Impact Permanent Residence Visa as of January 2020.

How can a South African visit family members in New Zealand?

A way to immigrate to New Zealand from South Africa for a limited period of time is by applying for a visa that grants the right to reunite with family members. Here, various options can apply, but for South Africans there is a single visa program, which refers to Partner of a New Zealander Visitor Visa; our immigration lawyer in New Zealand can provide in-depth legal assistance on the numerous procedures that must be completed here.

However, it must be observed that the applicant can immigrate to New Zealand from South Africa for a period of up to 24 months; one can apply as long as the family member is the partner of the applicant. At the same time, the respective person must also be a New Zealand citizen or must have obtained the New Zealand residence permit.  

This visa does not grant the right of employment, so if you are interested to immigrate to New Zealand from South Africa for this purpose, this visa program can’t be used. Still, the visa grants the right of participating in a study program with a duration of maximum three months and, after the visa expires, its holder will be entitled to apply for a Partnership Resident Visa. For those who want to obtain New Zealand citizenship, other legal pathways have to be taken.

What are the visa formalities in New Zealand?

The manner in which the visa formalities are completed vary based on the type of visa one requires, due to the fact that different documents will be necessary and the approval of various institutions will be needed (employers, universities, sponsors and others). However, once the visa application was submitted, the applicant should expect the same procedures.

For instance, a person who will immigrate to New Zealand from South Africa has the possibility of submitting the visa application using the online tools provided by the local immigration authorities. As a general rule, the visa application process can last approximately three months, but this can be influenced by the type of visa requested by foreigners, as well as the number of requests for the same visa type.

The legislation on immigration in New Zealand also imposes certain fees for the issuance of the visas and you should also verify the overall costs that will be involved in this procedure. Our lawyer can also provide information on the law regulating the manner in which foreigners can request the issuance of New Zealand citizenship.

You can also contact our immigration lawyer in New Zealand for advice on the visa costs and other aspects that can be of interest in this process (specific documents, police records, the meaning of good character and other criteria).