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Move to New Zealand from Canada

Move to New Zealand from Canada

If you are planning to move to New Zealand from Canada there are plenty of legal pathways available for you, depending on the purpose of stay and, more importantly, the duration of stay. The law on immigration in New Zealand provides two basic types of visas, divided based on the duration of the visit, which can refer to short-term stays or long-term stays. Our immigration lawyer in New Zealand can inform you on the most suitable ways to relocate here.

How to move to New Zealand from Canada for work and leisure

Canadian citizens interested in staying in New Zealand for a determined period of time for visiting purposes, working purposes, visiting friends or family, can apply for a visa that is issued for a specific period of time. Visas in New Zealand can be issued for visits which have a duration of less than 3 months (commonly known as short-term stay visas) or visas issued for a longer period of time, which can range from 3 months to 4 years, depending on the visa category.

Short-term stays visas do not allow one to relocate to New Zealand on a permanent basis and apply for New Zealand citizenship. Those who want to work in this country, while visiting New Zealand, can apply for a Working Holiday Visa, which can be obtained by Canadians as well. This visa category is available for certain nationalities and it is addressed solely to young persons who want to stay here for the duration of the visa and then return back home.

This visa type can’t be used as a way to permanently move to New Zealand from Canada and if the Canadian citizen will want to relocate here on a permanent basis, then he or she will need to apply for other types of visas. Our immigration lawyer in New Zealand can provide legal advice on the basic options that can lead to permanent relocation in this country. With regards to the issuance of the Working Holiday Visa for Canadians, the following apply:

  • one can relocate to New Zealand for a period of 12 months to 23 months;
  • when applying for this visa, the Canadian citizens can opt either for a 12 months visa, either for a 23 months visa;
  • this visa type also grants the right of participating in a training that has a maximum duration of 6 months;
  • the right to move to New Zealand from Canada under this visa is open only for persons who have an age between 18 to 35;
  • it must be noted that those who apply for a 12 months visa can change the document into a 23 months visa while being in New Zealand, if they want to spend more time here.

What are the requirements for short-term stays in New Zealand?

As we presented above, a short-term stay in New Zealand is defined as any stay with a duration of less than 90 days. If the stay is above 90 days, it means that the foreigner has to apply for temporary residency and a visa that grants this right. In the case of Canadians who do not want to move to New Zealand from Canada, but who only want to visit the country, specific procedures will have to be completed even for short stays.

Starting with 1st of October 2019, Canadians visiting the country have to apply for a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which is a type of document for which one can apply online. This document is necessary regardless of the duration of stay (any stay of less than 90 days requires the issuance of the document), but it must be noted that it does not represent a visa.

The document has validity period of 2 years since the moment of its issuance and a Canadian can use it for stays of up to 3 months at a time. In order to apply for this document, the Canadian must be the holder of a Canadian passport.

What are the characteristics on the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority?

The New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (or the NZeTA) is a type of immigration document that can be used by the citizens of countries that are on the visa waiver list. Through this document, a foreigner can arrive in this country for various purposes following much simpler regulations and without the need of going through the standard visa application process, which involves the participation of the New Zealand immigration authorities and embassies.

Those who immigrate to New Zealand from Canada on a short-term basis (of maximum 3 months) can arrive here for business purposes, visiting family and friends or simply for tourism purposes. Still, this document can’t be used as a way to permanently moving to New Zealand from Canada, nor does it allow the right to work in this country in the period of stay.

Having the NZeTA is a compulsory requirement for all Canadians who arrive in this country, although they do not need to apply for a visa. In other words, even though the visa is not necessary for short-term stays, the obligation to have the NZeTA document is imposed for all Canadian citizens. Please mind that this document is also necessary in the case in which the Canadians are simply transiting New Zealand to another destination.

In order to obtain the NZeTA, Canadians will have to submit an online application presenting their valid passport, their personal e-mail address, the proof on paying the processing fee and a recent photograph of the applicant. Successful applications will result in the issuance of the NZeTA, which will be sent by e-mail.

The same procedure must be followed in the case of a person who will immigrate from USA to New Zealand. Americans should prepare to complete the same immigration steps as in the case of Canadians who arrive here on a short-term basis.

Please mind that this document can’t be used for the purpose of relocating here on a long-term basis. For this, other visa options must be observed.

How can a Canadian apply for a resident visa in New Zealand?

A resident visa is, as its name suggests, a type of immigration document that grants the right to residency in New Zealand. In the case of those who want to move to New Zealand from Canada on an indefinite basis, resident visas have to be obtained, on various legal grounds. Common requirements refer to employment opportunities in this country, which must be accompanied by a New Zealand residence permit.

The manner in which a person can receive the right to permanent residency here will vary based on the visa that the foreigner has obtained. However, in most of the cases, one has to spend few years in New Zealand under a visa which grants the right to temporary residency (even for temporary residence one must have a New Zealand residence permit) and then the person can apply for a permanent visa. This also applies to those who want to move to New Zealand from Canada, as per the regulations established by the Immigration Office.

A foreigner, including Canadian nationals, can obtain residence in New Zealand on a permanent basis through visas such as the following:

  1. the Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports) Work Visa;
  2. Entrepreneur Resident Visa;
  3. Long Term Skill Shortage List Resident Visa;
  4. Partner of a New Zealander Resident Visa;
  5. Refugee Family Support Resident Visa;
  6. Intercountry Adoption Resident Visa, etc.

What are the arrival formalities for those who immigrate to New Zealand from Canada?

In the process of moving to New Zealand from Canada one will need to follow the same arrival formalities that are applicable in the case of other foreigners. This means that after going through the security check, Canadian citizens can easily collect their luggage, but here, one has to know that certain objects can be retained by the airport security.

In the case in which they have objects that can be considered a biosecurity risk, the airport authorities can take the said objects, and they can refer to plants, food and foodstuffs, animal products or even outdoor recreational equipment. This is why you must always check the law on immigration in New Zealand that refers to this matter.

The procedure for immigration in New Zealand for all foreigners starts during your way to this country; the flight crew is instructed to provide all passengers arriving in New Zealand the Passenger Arrival Cards, which can be completed during your flight. If you are moving to New Zealand from Canada you will need to complete this document, in which you will provide information on the content of your luggage.

If you have goods or products that are considered risk products, you must declare them on the Passenger Arrival Card, which is a legally binding document. In the case in which you have such goods, then you must dispose of them on your arrival and in the case in which the airport security will discover other goods or products that can be considered of risk, then you can receive a fine.

Goods such as any type of food, animals or animal products, plants or plant products, equipment that is used for gardening, fishing, diving, items that were used for outdoor activities or for farming activities, can all be considered a risk for the New Zealand environment and this is why such measures were taken.

What are the traveling requirements to New Zealand in the context of Covid-19?

Due to Covid-19 pandemics, all countries across the world have imposed drastic measures in order to reduce the spread of this health condition. This is why, if you are moving to New Zealand from Canada, even for a short period of time, you must verify the current legal requirements imposed by the local institutions, besides meeting all the immigration requirements (having a suitable visa, NZeTA, residence permit, etc.).

Although the New Zealand institutions have created two separate legal procedures – for those who arrive from safer areas or from those who arrive from quarantined regions, it must be noted that all foreign travelers are required to provide a negative Covid-19 test that was taken with maximum 72 hours prior to their departure to New Zealand.

Please mind that when moving to New Zealand from Canada with small children, specific rules will need to be applied in this case as well. Children with an age below 2 years do not have to take a Covid-19 test, but those above this age will need to present a negative pre-departure test.

We also mention that the visa options prescribed by the immigration law in this country offers multiple types of visas and if you want to move to New Zealand from Canada, you can always rely on the legal assistance of our lawyer. If you need in-depth information on how to relocate here, please contact our immigration lawyer in New Zealand. You can also receive information on the legal procedures for obtaining New Zealand citizenship.

If you want to move from Canada on a permanent basis (or even long-term basis) it means that you will apply for residency in New Zealand. Our lawyers can present the costs associated with the visa formalities, but you must also take into consideration the costs related to living here.

The cost of living (calculated for the country’s large cities) for 1 person is around NZD$3,000, costs which also include rent.