Preparing for New Zealand

In many instances, it’s possible to travel to New Zealand with only a valid passport, evidence of ongoing travel arrangements (such as travel tickets), and proof of sufficient funds.

Residents of many countries including the United States of America, Canada, Germany, France, the United Arab Emirates, and South America can visit New Zealand for up to three months without a visa. Residents of the United Kingdom can visit New Zealand without a visa for up to six months, while Australians can visit New Zealand without a visa for an unrestricted time period. Tourists hoping to stay longer than these time periods, or those hailing from countries other than those on the visa free-list, must apply for a visitor visa or permit. This permit allows visitors to stay in New Zealand for up to nine months. Visitor visa applicants are required to have sufficient funds for their stay, and be in good health and of good character.

There are a number of options for international travelers hoping to live in New Zealand permanently. New Zealand welcomes skilled migrants through its most popular visa program. This initiative assigns points to applicants based on their qualifications, work experience, and any job offers in New Zealand. There are also visa options for those hoping to establish a business or study in New Zealand, and those who already have family members living in New Zealand.

New Zealand has special relationships with its Pacific neighbors, and will grant a specific number of visas each year to migrants from Samoa, Kiribati, Tuvalu, and Tonga.

The New Zealand Department of Immigration will notify applicants of the status of their visa within 14 days. If a decision has not been made at this time, the department will provide the name and contact details of the staff member working on the case, or the date a case worker is expected to be assigned. Applicants can contact this staff member at any time during the processing of the visa with any concerns.

Further information about applying for visas and permits is available at the New Zealand Department of Immigration website.

Additional vaccinations are not necessary before traveling to New Zealand, although it is a good idea to ensure all routine immunizations are current before departure.

[Source: New Zealand Department of Immigration]

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