Emigrating to New Zealand
New Zealand is one of the most popular locations for UK citizens to settle. With its beautiful scenery, high standard of living and ease of access, many British people decide to live there permanently. If you are thinking of moving to New Zealand, you will need to choose the best route to obtaining residency for you.
Points Based Immigration to New ZealandUnder this system, the New Zealand Immigration Service (NZIM) uses a points-based procedure in order to decide whether or not you will be invited to apply for residence, which is begun by submitting what is called an ‘expression of interest’. To lodge an expression of interest, you must be between the age of 20 and 55 (inclusive), have a good character and good standard of health, a reasonable command of English and score 100 or more points in the system, which takes into account the following:
Skilled EmploymentIf you have already been working in New Zealand or have been awarded an offer of employment, you will be awarded points, the maximum being 60. You can also be awarded bonus points if your employment is in an identified ‘growth area’ (10 points) or if your partner or spouse also has employment (20 points).
QualificationsYour level of education will determine how many points you get, with a maximum of 55 points, with bonus points for any spouse’s qualifications and any New Zealand recognised qualifications.
Work ExperienceThe number of years you’ve spent in a particular job determines up to 15 points, with bonus points for work in an identified growth or skills shortage area (of up to 15 points).
AgeYour age will have an effect on your application ranging from between 5 to 30 points. You will gain the maximum points if you are aged between 20 to 29 years.
Close Family in New ZealandParents, adult children, brothers and sisters are classed as close family, where 10 points are awarded if applicable.
Those who score over 140 points will automatically be invited to apply. Those without a job offer who have a job offer and score between 100 and 140 will be selected (depending on number of applicants).
Employment VisasThere are a number of visas for which you can apply to enter into New Zealand depending on your circumstances:
Employment Visa – This is a temporary visa where you will move to work with a New Zealand company for a set job and period of time. Generally these aren't used to migrate to New Zealand on a permanent basis, although some can lead to applying for residency. You will need to be able to fill a position proven by local employers that they are unable to fill them with New Zealand residents.
Long-Term Business Visa – This visa is a business visa that encourages innovation and investment. You need to be able to show that you have a worthwhile business plan. Once you have your Visa, you can apply for residence if you can prove that your business is working and has been doing so for two years, benefiting New Zealand (under the Entrepreneur Category) or under the Entrepreneur Plus Category if your business is running exceptionally and you have employed at least three New Zealand residents and invested at least NZ$0.5 million into the company.
Investment Visa – If you have a large amount of capital that you're willing to invest, and have business skills or experience to contribute, you will be able to apply through this route.