Passport, Visa & Permits to Auckland


You must have a valid passport to travel abroad. The process and cost associated with getting a passport can be high so start the process at least six months before you plan to leave. Different countries have different processes for obtaining a passport so contact your local government to find out the process.

A visa is permission to apply to enter a foreign country. Foreign citizens must apply for a visa at a New Zealand embassy or consulate.

Citizens of certain countries may be able to travel without a visa as these countries have a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand. This means a Visitor Visa is not needed if the visit is for 3 months or less. You may apply for a permit at the border by filling in your arrival card. The card is handed out to passengers before they arrive in New Zealand. You have to supply information related to immigration, biosecurity and customs requirements.

The following countries have an agreement with New Zealand which allows for travel:
Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Ireland, Portugal, Israel, Qatar, Italy, San Marino, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Korea (South), Singapore, Kiribati, Slovenia, Kuwait, South Africa, Canada, Liechtenstein, Spain, Chile, Luxembourg, Sweden, Denmark, Malaysia, Switzerland, Finland, Malta, Tuvalu, France, Mexico, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Germany, Monaco, Uruguay, Greece, Nauru, USA, Hong Kong, Norway, Vatican City, Hungary, Netherlands, Zimbabwe, Iceland, and Oman.

British citizens and other British passports holders who have evidence of the right to live permanently in the United Kingdom, may be granted a Visitor's Permit valid for 6 months on arrival.

Visitor Visa

If you are not from one of these countries, you can acquire a visitors visa. The maximum stay under a visitor visa is 9 months. You must prove that:

  • you have a valid passport
  • you are in good health
  • you are of good character and have plans and the means to leave within the period of your permit.
  • the visa you are applying for matches your intentions for your visit.
  • Show that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay. (A minimum of NZ$1000 per person per month of the visit, or NZ$400 per person per month if accommodation has already been paid for -proof of prepayment, such as hotel prepaid vouchers is required.)

In addition, you may not work while you are in New Zealand if you do not have a work visa. You may not study for more than three months while you are in New Zealand (unless you apply for and are granted a student permit). You must only stay in New Zealand for the time allowed by your permit.

Work Visa

The draw of the outside is strong here and every year New Zealand loses many of its youth to Australia and the world at large. This offers a more friendly environment for immigrants as New Zealand is constantly looking to replenish the work force. Work Visas can be applied for before you travel to New Zealand and the total stay may be up to three years. If you are already in New Zealand as a visitor, you may apply for a Work Permit for a total stay of 9 months from the date of your arrival as a visitor. If you enter New Zealand on a Working Permit or Immigrant Visa, remember that you will be limited to work within your specific profession (unless you become a resident).

You may apply for a Work Visa or Permit if you:

  • Hold an offer of employment for which you are qualified
  • There are no suitable New Zealanders available
  • You meet one of the special categories
  • Exchanges the Government has approved.

Skilled Migrant Category

The Skilled Migrant Category is the main path to residency in New Zealand. This works by a point system. Points are earned on the basis of your qualifications, work experience and job, or job offer, in New Zealand.

Working Holiday Visa

This is an excellent way to go abroad and make money in a new place. It is only for temporary work.

The requirements:

  • Between the ages of 18-30
  • Restricted to temporary work
  • The Working Holiday Visa is free for U.S. citizens, although not for the British.

Update 6/12/2009


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