Home New Zealand Immigration New Zealand Immigration Service

New Zealand Immigration Service

New Zealand Immigration Service

The New Zealand Immigration Service is responsible for regulating the entry and stay of foreigners in New Zealand. It is a government agency under the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) that works with other government agencies to ensure that the immigration process is safe, fair and efficient.

New Zealand has a points-based immigration system, which measures the potential contribution of immigrants to the country based on various factors. These factors include education, work experience, age, adaptability, and language proficiency. Applicants must score a certain number of points to be eligible for a visa.

The visa categories are divided into two: temporary visas and resident visas. Temporary visas are issued for short-term stays such as for study, work, or visit. Resident visas, on the other hand, are issued for long-term stays and eventually lead to citizenship.

Temporary Visas

The most common temporary visa types are student, work, and visitor visas.

Student visas are for foreign students who want to study in New Zealand. Applicants must be enrolled in an approved educational program to be eligible for a student visa. The length of the visa depends on the duration of the program. Students may be allowed to work part-time while studying depending on their course and level of study.

Work visas are designed for foreign workers who want to work in New Zealand. The type of work visa needed depends on the nature of the job and the length of stay. Essential Skills Work visas are issued to workers with skills that are in demand in New Zealand but cannot be filled by locals. The duration of the visa depends on the duration of the job.

Visitor visas are issued to foreigners who want to visit New Zealand for tourism, family reasons or business. The length of stay is usually up to 9 months, with some exceptions.

Resident Visas

Permanent resident visas are available for those who meet the eligibility criteria. There are a number of paths to permanent residency such as Skilled Migrant Category, Family Category, Business Category, and Refugee or Protection Category.

The Skilled Migrant Category is the most popular pathway to permanent residency. Applicants are evaluated based on the points system mentioned earlier. If an applicant has enough points and meets other criteria such as age, health, and character, they may be invited to apply for a resident visa.

The Family Category is designed for families of those living in New Zealand who are citizens or permanent residents. There are various subcategories depending on the nature of the relationship such as partners, children, and parents.

The Business Category is for those who want to invest or start a business in New Zealand. The Entrepreneur Work Visa, the Investor visa and Global Impact Work Visa are available under this category.

The Refugee or Protection Category is for those seeking asylum in New Zealand. The government gives assistance to those who are fleeing persecution or other forms of human rights abuses in their home country.

Changes to the Immigration System

New Zealand has a constantly evolving immigration system. The government regularly reviews the system and makes changes as necessary. The following is an update on some of the recent changes to the immigration system.

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the immigration system. The government has put measures in place to ensure that essential workers can still enter New Zealand while managing the risk of COVID-19 in the community.

The government has introduced a new way of allocating Skilled Migrant Category visas. Instead of holding regular ballot draws, the system now uses the Expression of Interest (EOI) process. Applicants who meet the requirements can submit an EOI, and the highest-ranking EOIs are invited to apply for a resident visa.

The Family Category has been expanded to include family members of migrants who hold a Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa. This means that family members of those who have obtained work visas under the Talent (Accredited Employer) policy can be added to their visa application.

The government has introduced a new visa pathway for victims of domestic violence. The Domestic Violence – Victims’ Protection visa allows victims to leave their abusive relationships and remain in New Zealand while their immigration status is being resolved.


The New Zealand Immigration Service plays a vital role in regulating the entry of foreigners into New Zealand. There are various visa categories available for both temporary and permanent stays. The points-based system ensures that only those who will make significant contributions to the country are granted visas.

The government regularly makes changes to the immigration system to ensure that it remains fair, safe, and efficient. The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated additional measures to manage the risk of the virus in the community.

It is important for immigrants to stay informed about any changes to the immigration system and to meet all the necessary criteria for their visa application to ensure a smooth process.

Immigration to New Zealand is a formal legal process that requires the filing of forms with the proper authority, a review, and ultimately the ruling made on the status of an immigration request. The New Zealand Immigration Service provides all the necessary forms and access to New Zealand laws and customs in order to greatly prepare individuals who are looking to move to New Zealand.

There are different forms for immigration to New Zealand; these forms are dependent upon the circumstances for which individuals are planning on moving into the country. There are separate rules and regulations for those who desire to make a permanent move into New Zealand with a family, and those who are looking to spend only several months to a year working within New Zealand. There are even specific immigration rules outlined by the New Zealand Immigration Service for students who are looking to study at one of New Zealand’s Universities.

One of the largest advertised immigration to New Zealand sections is in regards to working. There are a number of opportunities for new businesses and for workers to find jobs in New Zealand. However, in order to be able to come over and work within the nation, the proper work-visa and employment forms must be completely filled in and filed in order to be considered for this job opportunity. Overall, it is important to utilize the New Zealand Immigration Service in order to gain access to all information necessary for movement or travel.