New Zealand

Who needs a visa?

In general all nationals require visas to enter New Zealand, although exceptions do apply.

Please contact our Global Immigration Team for further advice.

Business Visa

Business visas are issued to visitors travelling to New Zealand to attend business meetings, discussions and seminars.

Type of Visa

Applicants on a business visit normally use the Visitor Visa.

Application Process:

All applications will need to be submitted in the applicant’s country of residence.

Processing time:

Processing times for Visitor Visas tend to vary, and change, without notice. For those applications submitted to the High Commission in the UK, the processing time is generally 4 weeks.


The Visitor Visa generally permits the holder to enter New Zealand for a period of up to 3 months within a 12 month period.

Work Authorisation

Due to the number of categories, the information below provides details of favoured work authorisation categories.

Type of Visa:

The most common type of work authorisation is the Temporary Work Permit (TWP).

There are a number of requirements that an applicant must meet in order to apply for a TWP. There are also a number of requirements that the applicant must meet according to the category in which the applicant is applying for a TWP.

The TWP has numerous sub categories.

Application Process:

In general the following process applies to a TWP:

  • An application for work authorisation is required to be made.
  • Once work authorisation has been granted, proof of approval will be provided.
  • The appropriate visa can then be applied for by the applicant, at the applicable New Zealand diplomatic post in the applicant’s country of residence.

Processing time:

Processing times for visas does vary, and change, without notice. In general the processing time for both work authorisation applications and visas is 4 to 8 weeks.


work authorisation and applicable visas can be issued for single or multiple entries, and are normally issued for a period up to 3 years.  In some cases, 5 year validity may be granted.

The issue of a visa, and the period for which it is valid, are entirely at the discretion of the New Zealand authorities.


Dependants are not able to be included in the principal applicant’s application. Dependants need to apply for their own Visitor, Student or Work Visa to stay in New Zealand.

Providing the principal applicant holds a Work Visa, dependants may be eligible to apply for a Work Visa under the “Family Stream” category.

Penalties for Non Compliance


Employers who fail to show that they have taken reasonable precautions, and exercised due diligence to ensure they are not employing unauthorised foreign workers to work in New Zealand, in accordance with the requirements of the Immigration Act 2009, could face a financial penalty.


Employees without valid work authorisation may be subject to having their visas cancelled, removal from New Zealand and may be prohibition from re-entering New Zealand.

Points to Note

  • There must be an entity / host organisation in New Zealand.
  • The New Zealand entity may need to provide proof of local recruitment campaigns.
  • Employees must be qualified and hold relevant work experience for the position.
  • A local employment contract may be required.
  • The employee may need to provide a Police Clearance Certificates from all counties that he/she has lived in for 5 years or more from the age of 17.


The contents of this article are for information purposes only.  The information and opinions expressed in this document do not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for legal advice or a comprehensive statement of law or current practice.  Immigration rules and requirements frequently change without notice.  You should not rely upon the contents of this document but instead should seek appropriate professional and legal advice in the light of your personal circumstances.  No liability is accepted for the opinions contained or for any errors or omissions. Please contact our Global Immigration Team for further information.