If volcanoes, bungy jumping, and wine festivals spark your interest, New Zealand must be next on your destination list! Before planning your trip, you must obtain a visa for New Zealand. Like in many other countries, a visa will allow you to travel, study, or work there.
There are several types of New Zealand visas for which you can apply, based on your reason for going and personal situation. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about acquiring a visa for New Zealand.
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How to Determine the Type of Visa You Need for New Zealand
The first thing to do before applying for a visa is to analyze your unique situation. This will help you determine the type of visa for New Zealand that fits your needs. Below is a list of factors to consider:
- The purpose of your stay- travel, study, work, or visit
- How long you plan to say- short term vs. long term
- If you’re going alone or with company
- Age and nationality
- Your training and experience
- Level of English
- Your financial situation
After creating your list, you can compare it to the requirements of each visa. Next, let’s review the different types of visas available.
Types of Visas for New Zealand
While there are several different visas for New Zealand, all of them fall under three main categories: tourism, student, and work. Below, we’ll examine the most commonly used visas within those categories.
Tourist Visas for New Zealand
These visas are designed for those who travel to New Zealand to explore the country, to study, or visit a family member or acquaintance living there.
There are two types of tourist visas from which you can choose:
- The Visitor Visa
- The Visa Waiver Visitor Visa
The Visitor Visa allows you to enter New Zealand for tourism, such as exploring the country or to visit a family member or friend. Under this visa, you can stay in New Zealand for a maximum of nine months. You cannot work in New Zealand under the visitor visa, but you can study there for a maximum of three months.
Prices vary for this type of visa, depending on your nationality. For citizens of Mexico and the United States, the visitor visa costs as low as NZ$35. For individuals from other countries, including Canada and Colombia, the visitor visa costs NZ$246. The cost also depends on your method of application. Applying for the visa by mail has more fees than if you apply online.
- Proof of identification- having a valid passport
- Good health- evidence of a medical exam
- Be of good character- provide a police certificate if over age 17
- Be financially stable- bank statements, employment letter, or sponsorship form
- Health care- proof of medical insurance or the ability to cover medical costs
- Onward travel- proof of a plane ticket leaving New Zealand
If you plan to bring a family member, they must fulfill the same requirements.
Visa Waiver Visitor Visa
Fortunately for many visitors, New Zealand permits travelers from dozens of countries to visit without a visa. As long as you meet the entry requirements and your country of origin is on New Zealand’s Visa Waiver list, you can skip the visa application process.
The Visa Waiver is completely free! The only thing you’ll need to pay for is the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) form, which costs $12 if you complete it online. An NZeTA confirms that you have permission to enter New Zealand.
The Visa Waiver has all of the same requirements as the Visitor Visa, in addition to the following:
- Authority to Travel- have an NZeTA
- Proof of Citizenship- have a passport from one of the countries on the visa waiver list
Visa Waiver Countries
There are dozens of countries on New Zealand’s Visa Waiver list, including Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, the United States (and U.S. territories), Canada, and the United Kingdom. To see if your country is eligible, you can view the full list here.
Working with the Visitor Visas
Unfortunately, you cannot work in New Zealand while under a tourist visa. Taking that risk can result in deportation and the Australian authorities revoking your ability to enter the country for several years.
If you need a visa to work in New Zealand or stay in the country for longer than nine months, continue reading!
Student Visa for New Zealand
The Student Visa is the best option for international students who plan to study in New Zealand for a course that extends three months. There are a few types of student visas for New Zealand. The most common one is the Fee Paying Student Visa, which allows you to study full-time in New Zealand for a maximum of four years. You can also work while under a student visa.
The Fee Paying Student Visa costs NZ$310. Also, be aware that there is no refund if your student visa application declines. Processing can take up to 63 days, so it’s best to apply a few months in advance of your course start date.
The main requirement is to have an offer of a place, or enrollment in a course, at an educational institution that the New Zealand Qualifications Authority approves. You must also have the following:
- Coverage of tuition fees- letter from the school confirming paid fees or a scholarship
- Medical and travel insurance- you can arrange this through your educational institution
- Permission to work- a letter from legal guardians if you’re under 18 years of age
- Full-time vacation work rights- a letter from your school to confirm the holiday schedule
The remaining requirements are the same as the visitor visa–good health, good character, financial stability, and onward travel.
Courses You can Study with a Student Visa
- English courses
- Vocational or certification courses
- Undergraduate and Postgraduate University Studies
- Combinations of more than one course
Working with the Student Visa
The student visa for New Zealand allows you to work 20 hours per week (part-time) during the semester and 40 hours per week (full-time) during the holiday vacation period.
For example, if you enroll in a 4-month English course and have the final month as a holiday break until the next semester, you can work an average of 20 hours a week during the months of your courses. Once the course or semester ends, you can work full-time during that last month.
Working Holiday Visa for New Zealand
The Working Holiday Visa allows you to work in New Zealand for up to one year. If you’re from Canada or the United Kingdom, this visa allows you to work up to 23 months.
Only individuals from certain countries can apply for this working visa, including Mexico, Spain, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and the United States. Also, you must be between the age of 18 and 30. Once the Working Holiday Visa expires, you can apply for the Work Holiday Extension Work visa to stay a maximum of three additional months.
The working holiday visa costs NZ$280.
This visa has the same requirements as the visitor visa, in addition to the following:
- Age 18-30
- No previous approvals- proof that this is your first working holiday visa
- Current residency- the country on your work visa must be your primary residence
Partner Visa for New Zealand
If you have a significant other, there are options to travel as a companion to New Zealand if one of you already has a visa. While there are several different types of partner visas, if you have a student or work visa, your partner can apply for a Partner of a Student Visitor visa and a Partner of a Worker Visitor visa.
Each of these visa have a version that allows your partner to work during their stay in New Zealand. Keep in mind, the partner visa is only available for someone accompanying a significant other who already has a visa for New Zealand.
The Partner Visa costs NZ$495 when applying for it online. There are additional fees for mailing in a paper application.
In addition to the general requirements of a visitor visa, you must also have:
- Proof as an Authentic relationship- evidence of being together, such as photos or a shared residence
- An Eligible NZ Supporting Partner form- this confirms support from the partner
Get Your Visa for New Zealand with GrowPro
For more details about each visa, as well as information about the other visas for Zealand, you can always visit the official website of the New Zealand Immigration Department. As for learning about studying, living, and working in New Zealand, we have a complete guide to New Zealand that you can download for free!
At GrowPro Experience, we’re dedicated to providing you with the best tips, resources, and experiences for traveling, living and studying abroad. Although we’re not able to process visas, we will happily guide you through every available visa option and connect you with our trusted immigration agents.
Take a look at our list of amazing experiences in New Zealand to learn how you can prepare and create a personalized budget for your trip. Your dream adventure to New Zealand awaits!