New Zealand ranked second on the list of best destinations to live out of 31 countries in the HSBC global expat explorer study for 2018 and 6th out of 65 countries in the Expat Insiders survey of 2017. Its nature and great openness to the world will certainly provide you an unforgettable experience.
This page informs you on the formalities to travel to New Zealand.
Can I get a visa exemption?
First, define the duration and reason for your stay. Indeed, for touristic trips lasting less than 3 months, citizens from 46 nationalities are exempted from visa. The list of the countries benefiting from this exemption is available online.
What is the process to obtain a visa?
The complete list of visas for New Zealand is available on the immigration website . If you don’t know which visa to choose, the website can also help you find the one that suits you the best. To do so, you will have to indicate some criteria on the "Explore visa options" page. You will then have to choose up to 3 options in those listed on the website. Then, you can compare them and select the type of visa that best fits your profile. Check all the conditions for obtaining the chosen visa and apply online. You will need to register on the website.
Once the request is done, you will receive an email from the immigration office containing the list of documents required for your visa application and explaining the rest of the process. If you don’t receive the email, make sure to check the "junk/spam" folder of your mailbox.
What documents are needed?
In addition to your passport, some documents are regularly requested to obtain a visa for New Zealand:
- A proof of available funds. For most visas, you will have to prove that you will be able to support yourself at the beginning of your stay. The amount usually requested is NZ$ 4,200, or about 2,500€. In some cases, you might be asked to justify savings covering up to NZ$ 1,000 (600€) per month for the duration of your stay.
- A medical certificate edited in the past 3 months.
- A certificate of health insurance, as well as civil liability and repatriation ones. In the event that an unforeseen incident occurs during your stay in New Zealand, the authorities want to make sure your expenses will be covered by a private insurance.
- A return flight ticket. This ticket is a proof that you will not exceed the length of stay written on your visa. You will have to provide it upon arrival on the territory. If you can’t book your return ticket yet, you’ll need to add this ticket’s cost on the proof of available funds.
Visa prices vary according to their type. A tourist visa, named visitor visa, that is valid for 9 months will cost you NZ$ 211 (about 130€). While long-term visas, such as work ones, usually cost NZ$ 495 (around 300€).
Things to do upon arrival
Once you arrive in New Zealand, you’ll need to fill out a Passenger Arrival Card and to give to the customs.
Your passport entry on the territory can be registered either by the custom officers, or directly on automatic terminals. If you choose to use the terminals, your entry date will be recorded but not stamped on the passport. In this case, we recommend you to carefully keep your ticket stub: it will be your proof of entry in the country. It may be requested by your insurance provider later on, to justify your medical expenses in New-Zealand.
If you are going to work there, you will need to get an IRD number. This number is a tax number and allows you to pay your taxes locally. Employers generally do not hire candidates with no IRD, since the tax cut on the employee’s salary will be higher.
It will also ease the process to open your local bank account.
To learn more about life on-spot, feel free to read our article on daily life in New Zealand.
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