The process of obtaining a New Zealand visa is different for each category of visa available under the local legislation. There are several basic categories of visas, providing access to the country for different reasons. The main reasons for which a foreigner can immigrate to New Zealand for a given period of time or on a permanent basis refer to visiting purposes, reuniting with family members living here, for work reasons, business and investments and studying here. Foreigners can also be granted with New Zealand citizenship and here, several options are available.
As a foreigner, one can apply for a New Zealand visa in the case in which one needs medical treatment that can be provided in this country, but one can also apply for visas addressed to refugees. The types of documents and procedures the applicant must follow will depend on these basic categories presented here and you can rely on our immigration lawyer in New Zealand for advice on how to apply for a visa suitable to your situation.
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How can foreigners obtain a New Zealand visa for visiting purposes?
The process of obtaining a visa for visiting purposes, which can be used to migrate to New Zealand for determined periods of time, will vary based on the nationality of the applicant and the type of visitor visa one applies for. Here, the local authorities provide two main options – the Visitor Visa and the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority.
The nationality of the applicant is the main aspect that will determine the type of New Zealand visa that must be requested because, as a general rule, most of the applicants have to apply for a visitor visa, but, if the applicant is included in the list of the visa waiver countries, then he or she can request the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA).
According to the New Zealand Immigration Office, countries such as Belgium, Canada, France, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, Romania, San Marino, Mexico, Sweden, the United States of America and several other countries are included in the list of the visa waiver program, which means that passport holders of such countries or their permanent residents are entitled to apply for the NZeTA. Please mind that those who arrive here only for visiting purposes can’t stay more than the duration of the visa, nor can they apply for New Zealand citizenship.
Thus, if you want to immigrate from USA to New Zealand for a short visit (that can have a duration of maximum 90 days), you can arrive here under the NZeTA, a document that can be obtained rather easy compared to other short-term visas.
Please mind that the passport must be valid with at least 3 months more than the date of departure from New Zealand. The visa is valid for a period of 2 years.
If you want to immigrate from USA to New Zealand you must know that you can book direct flights. In general, airline companies will fly to Auckland from Los Angeles and San Francisco and in most cases, a trip can take approximately 13 hours.
The price of a ticket varies greatly based on the company, the date when the ticket is booked, and it is important to know that the cheapest flights are available during spring time.
However, it must be noted that even though the applicant is from a visa waiver country and the reason for which the person wants to arrive here is related to medical treatment, then the applicant must apply for a New Zealand visa. You may find out more information on how to obtain a visa for medical purposes from our immigration lawyer in New Zealand, who can help you prepare the required papers and provide advice on the medical documents the applicant has to include in his or her file.
We invite you to watch the following video, which presents the basic steps in obtaining a New Zealand visa:
How may visas were issued for visiting purposes in New Zealand?
The statistics on the number of New Zealand visas issued for visiting purposes show an increasing trend with regards to the number or requests and the number of visa approvals. Since 2011, the number of visitors has been gradually increasing from more than 1 million visitors to more than 2 million visitors in 2019, as presented below:
• in 2010-2011, 1,185,902 foreigners have received the New Zealand visa for visiting purposes;
• in 2011-2012, there were 1,250,591 such visas granted to foreigners;
• in 2013-2014, the number of visas increased at 1,341,747 and in 2014-2015, it increased at 1,491,277;
• in 2015-2016, the request for New Zealand visa for visiting purposes further increased, to 1,719,814 visas;
• the year of 2017-2018 marked a new record, of more than 2 million visas issued (2,092,897).
How can one obtain a New Zealand visa for work purposes?
If you want to immigrate to New Zealand for work purposes, you have the possibility of applying for one of the many visas created for this purpose. When applying for a New Zealand visa for employment, the basic criteria refer to the person’s nationality and the availability of a job offer (one can arrive here with a job offer or without one). When applying for employment here, the foreigner will always receive a New Zealand residence permit for the duration of the work contract. For some entrepreneurs, the option to apply for a New Zealand investment visa can be a suitable one.
If a person has received a job offer in this country, one can apply for visas such as Essential Skills Work Visa, Long Term Skills Shortage List Work Visa, Post Study Work Visa, Recognized Seasonal Employer Limited Visa, Religious Worker Resident Visa or the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa, to name a few.
Depending on the selected visa category, the person will receive a New Zealand residence permit issued for a specific amount of time, but one can also be entitled to NZ permanent residency.
There are many types of visas that provide the possibility to residency in New Zealand on a permanent basis. Persons who arrived here as religious workers can apply for permanent residency in the case in which they have been working in this country for a period of 3 years.
In order to apply for residency, a proof of continuing the work in this country must be proven.
Each type of visa has its own criteria that must be respected by the applicant and in the case of the latter New Zealand visa we mentioned above, one has to know that the age of the applicant is of high importance, as only persons with an age below 55 years old can apply for it.
This visa provides the right of bringing your close family members to live here. Additional rights can be obtained and if you need extensive information on this type of visa or any other prescribed by the national law, you can always address our immigration lawyer in New Zealand.