What do I need to live in New Zealand?

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Whether you want to study abroad, work, undertake or invest, New Zealand has the ideal opportunities and visas for entering the country legally.

Student visa

For those who want to do an exchange of study, or work and study, and want to live in New Zealand for a period longer than three months, it is necessary to apply for a student visa before arriving in the country. The application is made directly on the New Zealand immigration website and you are asked for a series of documents that prove your time of study.

This visa does not allow the exchange student who stays for less than 14 weeks to work in the country. Work activity is only allowed for students enrolled in a Category 1 school – on a course with a minimum duration of 14 weeks, and only 20 hours of work per week are allowed.

Those who are enrolled in a category 2 school can also carry out work activities for 20 hours a week, however, the course must have a minimum duration of 24 weeks and the student must have a 5.5 mark on the IELTS (International English Language Testing System).

Work visa

As New Zealand is a country with relatively few local inhabitants, the work visa – Work Visa – can be applied for inside or outside its territory. There are several types and durations in this category, including the post-study work visa, which is focused on people who have recently completed their studies.

For those who already have a job offer, around eight different types of visas are available, which must be conferred directly with New Zealand immigration. And, for those who do not yet have a job, there are currently nine visa alternatives.

New Zealand immigration provides a list of occupations in demand, which is updated regularly. On this list are the occupations where skilled labor is lacking. If you have experience and the necessary qualifications, a work visa may be easier to acquire.

For Brazilians, the Working Holiday Visa is also available, a work visa that lasts 12 months – and New Zealand only offers a quota of 300 per year. This visa allows you to work and travel knowing more about the country. One of the only restrictions is that the recipient of this visa cannot work in the same place for a period exceeding three months.

Investor or entrepreneur visa

New Zealand is one of the most receptive countries in the world for new business opportunities, so if you want to settle in a new continent and see a gap in the New Zealand market, there is a visa for those who want to invest or open their business in the country.

For experienced entrepreneurs who want to live in New Zealand, the Entrepreneur Work Visa allows you to set up your new business and, if you meet all the required aspects, apply for a residency visa after a period of six months.

Some of the requirements to apply for this visa are:

  • Have a business plan with a minimum investment of NZ$100,000 — excluding working capital;
  • Meet criminal requirements;
  • Present English proficiency exams;
  • Start implementing the business in less than 12 months.

However, if your focus is to invest in the New Zealand economy, a necessary requirement is to present and prove an investment plan of at least NZ$3 million dollars over a four-year period.

You need to have simpler requirements, such as health matters, a criminal record and English leveling, but you also need the applicant to be 65 years of age and stay in New Zealand for at least 438 days – required limit within the period total of your investment plan, which is usually four years.

How can I take my family to New Zealand?

Moving to a new country takes planning and organization, and if you want to live in New Zealand, but you want your family to come along, there are some possibilities to make this a reality.

Exchange as a couple is a possibility that can benefit you and your partner, bringing an equally rich experience to both of you in a new continent.

Immigration considers children as dependents and spouses as partners. Therefore, if you are going to study and work in New Zealand, it is possible to include dependents on the student visa – but only if their stay is at least one year in the country.

If you have children, they can attend a public school during their exchange. If the partner applies for the correct visa, he is also allowed to study for a period of 12 weeks, but will not be able to work.

For children and teenagers, living in New Zealand has countless opportunities, as there is an excellent educational network there, safety, nature, the possibility of playing sports that are not so common in Brazil and the experience of living in a new continent. Another difference is knowing more about New Zealand English, which is a language with some differences from American English.

It is also possible to participate in the New Zealand immigration scoring program, which qualifies certain applicants for residency in the country. The process, called Expression of Interest (EOI), relies on professional information, your qualifications and experience – everything is counted in points, which must add up to 160.

How do I prepare to live in New Zealand?

Change in general is always a complicated and bureaucratic process, so when it comes to a new country (and a new continent), extra care and attention is required. Depending on the purpose of your trip, whether it’s a temporary trip or a permanent move, some steps must be taken — with professional help for everything to go right.

First, it is extremely important to make a financial plan for you and your family, in which you are free from any unforeseen events that may occur. You must include all expenses from leaving your home country until approximately three months after your arrival in New Zealand. In addition to these details, don’t forget to:

  • Confirm that your passport is valid;
  • Check if any vaccine is required for entry into the country;
  • Confirm all documentation requested by New Zealand immigration;
  • Prepare your move, whether temporary or permanent.

After seeing what is needed, it is recommended to contact a specialized exchange agency in New Zealand to assist with the more complicated procedures of the move, such as the necessary documentation for travel and entry into the country, choice of housing and, if necessary, showing what is the best time to do the exchange.

With regard to documentation, it is recommended to organize everything that is requested physically and digitally, so as not to run any risk in immigration. Housing must also be carefully analyzed before moving. If it is final:

  • Check all your material possessions;
  • Sell what you need and what you no longer need;
  • Cancel cable TV, internet and other monthly obligatory expenses;
  • Make a checklist of everything that must be done before your trip.

If possible – and if it’s within your budget – also make an initial visit to the city you want to move to, to see up close if it’s the right location and whether your choice will stick there. If possible, take the opportunity to visit other nearby cities to discover new options. After all, you can identify more with another region than the one initially chosen.

The Australian Center is a specialized and capable agency in the countries of Oceania that can help you and your family to make your dream of living a new culture and living in another country come true. In this post we show you how this is possible and what processes are required for you to live in New Zealand, be it a temporary or permanent move.

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