Travelling to New Zealand

Since March 2020, the New Zealand border has been closed to almost all travellers to stop the spread of Covid-19.

If you are not a New Zealand citizen, permanent resident, or returning resident, you will need to obtain a travel exception to enter New Zealand. Registered Dentists, Hygienists and Oral Health Therapists are considered to be “critical health workers” and are eligible for the grant of a travel exception, subject to meeting other visa criteria.

Obtaining a New Zealand visa
If you are outside of New Zealand, you will need to make a request to travel as an exception to New Zealand’s border restrictions by submitting an expression of interest to apply for a critical purpose visitor visa, or a variation of conditions on your current visa (if applicable).

Including family members
The type of visa your partner and children apply for will depend on whether they want to work or study in New Zealand, and the type of visa you hold as the principal applicant. You will be required to demonstrate that your relationship with your family members is genuine.

Pathways to Residency
There are a number of benefits to obtaining residency in New Zealand, including:

  • The ability to remain in New Zealand indefinitely
  • Purchase property
  • Study or work without conditions or restrictions
  • A pathway to New Zealand citizenship

The lifestyle and opportunities available to New Zealand residents is highly sought after, and consequently the residency programme is very competitive, requiring migrants to demonstrate they can meet the strict criteria for each visa type.

If you want to live and work in New Zealand in the long term, you should be aware of the criteria you will need to meet to apply for residency at the start of your immigration journey. Do not wait until you are in New Zealand before assessing your residency options, as any employment decisions you make now may affect your eligibility for residency in future.

This document is intended as a guide only. If you require a full assessment of your eligibility for a New Zealand visa, please contact to book an initial assessment. McMillan & Co are lawyers, mediators and notary publics located in Dunedin, New Zealand, who specialise in Immigration Law.

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