What are your options for moving to New Zealand in 2022?

New Zealand certainly has no shortage of views!

When is New Zealand likely to reopen its borders to visitors?

The government anticipates a phased reopening of our borders starting 2022. Requirements for entry and post-arrival quarantine will depend on the country of origin’s risk profile (i.e., vaccination levels and effective pandemic control) and the vaccination status of the person seeking entry.

What skills are in demand in New Zealand?

These vary widely, depending on what skills are currently in short supply. In broader terms, health care (including in-home and aged care), information technology, civil and residential construction, and engineering are reliably in demand. You can find out if your occupation is on the Skill Shortage List using this INZ list checker.

Do I need to match with an employer before I apply for a visa?

Only if you’re applying for a work visa and are ineligible for a work visa that provides open work rights, authorising employment with any employer in any sector. While not mandatory for securing residence, NZ policies place significant value on employment already secured, which will improve residence eligibility and influence application processing priority.

Do I have to quarantine?

Yes. Currently, every person entering New Zealand from any country will be required to isolate in a government-managed quarantine facility for 14 days. The Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) programme reserves hotel rooms expressly for this purpose, and you will need to secure a reservation in an approved MIQ facility (spaces are limited) and present your reservation voucher to airline staff before you are allowed to board your flight to New Zealand.

Do I need to be vaccinated?

Yes. Full vaccination will be required for non-New Zealand citizens arriving in the country from 1 November 2021. Your last dose of a government-approved COVID-19 vaccine must be administered at least 14 days before arrival. You will also need a negative COVID test result within 72 hours of travel.

What sort of visa can I get now to enter New Zealand?

The only people who can gain access to New Zealand now are people who qualify for a Critical purpose visa. You can also apply if you are the partner of a New Zealand citizen or visa holder.

Can I apply for residence now even though the Borders are closed?

Yes, but the processing priority is in favour of those that are onshore, which means there will be longer than normal delays for applicants offshore.

Once the borders re-open in 2022 how do I apply for a work visa?

There are multiple classes of work visa, each with differing requirements. Generally, you should have an offer of employment from a New Zealand employer. Depending on the type of work visa you’re applying for, the employer may have to demonstrate that they have been unable to recruit a New Zealand citizen or Resident Visa holder due to a lack of skills in the local labour market. Health and character requirements will need to be met through provision of medical and police clearances.

What is the Skilled Migrant Visa points system? How does it work?

This is currently on hold, however, due to the global pandemic and set to be restarted in mid-2022.The application process has two phases. Your initial application requires you to lodge an expression of interest (EOI) declaring your intent to apply for residence. The EOI includes the calculation of an eligibility score based on certain applicant attributes, e.g., your age, qualifications, job offer, and work experience. Each answer given is worth a designated number of points, and you must meet a point threshold in order for your application to be put into the Resident Visa EOI pool (point threshold subject to change). If your EOI is selected, the government will invite you to apply for residence, at which point a formal application (phase two) can be made.

Can I invest in New Zealand and obtain residence?

The Migrant Investment (Investor 1 and Investor 2) visa categories are for investors who wish to gain residence in New Zealand.

Can I bring my partner? What about family?

Yes, depending on the type of visa you apply for. For example, applications for a Resident Visa may include your partner and any dependent children aged 24 and under.

What about parents?

Due to current pandemic restrictions, the Parent Resident Visa category is closed, with no indication as to when or whether it will reopen. Parents who have the capacity to make a substantial financial investment in New Zealand may apply in the Parent Retirement Resident Visa category.

Learn more about moving to New Zealand in 2022.

Aaron Martin is one of New Zealand’s most highly regarded practitioners in immigration law, with decades of experience in assisting private individuals, business, and corporate clients. Skilled in evaluating complex cases, ministerial intervention, appeals, and character or medical waivers.

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