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Category Archives: New Zealand

July 12, 2024

New Zealand is a popular destination for self-employed professionals looking to leverage its robust economy, high quality of life, and welcoming immigration policies. For self-employed African professionals, New Zealand offers several pathways to settle and potentially bring their dependents over.

This detailed guide covers the top eight immigration routes, providing concrete information, addressing common questions, and dispelling misconceptions.

 

  1. Entrepreneur Work Visa

Overview

 

The Entrepreneur Work Visa is designed for individuals who want to establish or buy a business in New Zealand. This visa is an excellent option for self-employed professionals looking to start their entrepreneurial journey in a thriving economy.

 

Eligibility Criteria

 

– Capital Investment: Minimum capital investment of NZD 100,000 (excluding working capital).

– Business Plan: Detailed business plan demonstrating the viability and benefits of the business.

– Points System: Score points based on factors such as capital investment, business experience, and job creation.

– Health and Character: Must meet health and character requirements.

 

Process

 

  1. Submit a Business Plan: Present a comprehensive business plan to Immigration New Zealand (INZ).
  2. Apply for the Visa: Submit an application with required documentation.
  3. Establish Business: Start or buy the business in New Zealand.
  4. Operate Successfully: Run the business for at least two years.
  5. Apply for Residence: Apply for permanent residency under the Entrepreneur Residence Category.

 

Advantages

 

– Direct Pathway: Clear path to permanent residency through business success.

– Family Inclusion: Ability to include partner and dependent children in the application.

 

Misconceptions

 

– Immediate Success: Business success is not guaranteed; careful planning and execution are essential.

 

  1. Investor Visa

 

Overview

 

The Investor Visa is suitable for high-net-worth individuals who wish to invest significantly in New Zealand. It is divided into two categories: Investor 1 (minimum investment of NZD 10 million) and Investor 2 (minimum investment of NZD 3 million).

 

Eligibility Criteria

 

Investment Funds: Proof of required investment funds.

– Age: For Investor 2, must be 65 years or younger.

– Business Experience: Relevant business or investment experience.

– Health and Character: Must meet health and character requirements.

 

Process

 

  1. Submit EOI: Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to INZ.
  2. Invitation to Apply: If selected, receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA).
  3. Invest Funds: Transfer and invest the required funds in New Zealand.
  4. Residence Application: Apply for permanent residency.

 

Advantages

 

– Significant Investment: Ability to invest in a stable and growing economy.

– Permanent Residency: Direct pathway to permanent residency.

 

Misconceptions

 

– Immediate Residency: Investment does not guarantee immediate residency; compliance with visa conditions is crucial.

 

  1. Global Impact Visa

 

Overview

 

The Global Impact Visa (GIV) is part of the Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF) program, designed for innovative and entrepreneurial individuals who want to create a positive global impact from New Zealand.

 

Eligibility Criteria

 

– Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Demonstrated track record of innovation and entrepreneurship.

– Fellowship Acceptance: Acceptance into the EHF program.

– Health and Character: Must meet health and character requirements.

 

Process

 

  1. Apply to EHF: Submit an application to the EHF.
  2. Acceptance: Get accepted into the EHF program.
  3. Apply for GIV: Submit a visa application through INZ.
  4. Create Impact: Develop and execute innovative projects in New Zealand.

 

Advantages

 

– Support Network: Access to a robust network of entrepreneurs and innovators.

– Pathway to Residency: Opportunity to apply for permanent residency after three years.

 

Misconceptions

 

– Limited Availability: GIV is competitive and not suitable for everyone; acceptance into the EHF is critical.

 

  1. Self-Employment under the Essential Skills Work Visa

 

Overview

 

While traditionally for employed roles, the Essential Skills Work Visa can sometimes be tailored for highly skilled self-employed professionals who secure a contract with a New Zealand company.

 

Eligibility Criteria

 

Job Offer/Contract: Secured contract with a New Zealand company.

– Qualifications and Experience: Relevant qualifications and extensive work experience.

– Market Test: Employer must demonstrate a shortage of local skilled workers.

– Health and Character: Must meet health and character requirements.

 

Process

 

  1. Secure Contract: Obtain a contract with a New Zealand company.
  2. Apply for Visa: Submit an application with supporting documents.
  3. Work in New Zealand: Fulfill the terms of the contract.
  4. Apply for SMC: Use work experience to apply for the Skilled Migrant Category.

 

Advantages

 

– Professional Growth: Opportunity to work in your field while gaining New Zealand experience.

– Stepping Stone: Pathway to permanent residency via the Skilled Migrant Category.

 

Misconceptions

 

– Traditional Employment: Many believe this visa is only for traditional employment; it can cater to contract-based self-employment under certain conditions.

 

  1. Post-Study Work Visa to Residence

 

Overview

 

For African students who have completed their studies in New Zealand, the Post-Study Work Visa allows them to gain work experience, potentially leading to permanent residency.

 

Eligibility Criteria

 

New Zealand Qualification: Completed a qualification that meets New Zealand’s study requirements.

– Job Offer: Relevant job offer (not mandatory but beneficial).

– Work Experience: Gain relevant work experience in New Zealand.

 

Process

 

  1. Complete Studies: Graduate with a qualifying New Zealand qualification.
  2. Apply for Post-Study Work Visa: Obtain a work visa to gain experience.
  3. Gain Experience: Work in a related field.
  4. Apply for SMC: Leverage experience to apply for the Skilled Migrant Category.

 

Advantages

 

– Educational Leverage: Transition from education to employment and residency.

– Work Experience: Gain valuable local work experience.

 

Misconceptions

 

– Automatic Residency: Completing a qualification alone does not guarantee residency; relevant work experience and job offers are crucial.

 

  1. Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa

 

Overview

 

The Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) Work Visa is for professionals whose skills are in high demand in New Zealand, offering a direct pathway to permanent residency.

 

Eligibility Criteria

 

– Occupation on LTSSL: Job offer in an occupation listed on the LTSSL.

– Qualifications and Experience: Relevant qualifications and work experience.

– Health and Character: Must meet health and character requirements.

 

Process

 

  1. Check LTSSL: Confirm your occupation is on the LTSSL.
  2. Secure Job Offer: Obtain a job offer in the listed occupation.
  3. Apply for Visa: Submit an application to INZ.
  4. Work for Two Years: Gain work experience in the LTSSL occupation.
  5. Apply for Residence: Apply for permanent residency.

 

Advantages

 

– In-Demand Skills: Priority processing for high-demand skills.

– Clear Pathway: Defined route to permanent residency after two years.

 

Misconceptions

 

– Immediate Residency: Not immediate; requires two years of relevant work experience.

 

  1. Partnership Visa for Self-Employed Partners

 

Overview

 

If you are in a genuine and stable relationship with a New Zealand citizen or resident, you can apply for a partnership visa, which allows you to live and work in New Zealand.

 

Eligibility Criteria

 

– Relationship: Genuine and stable relationship with a New Zealand citizen or resident.

– Evidence: Proof of cohabitation and financial interdependence.

– Health and Character: Must meet health and character requirements.

 

Process

 

  1. Proof of Relationship: Gather evidence of your relationship.
  2. Apply for Visa: Submit an application with supporting documents.
  3. Live and Work: Obtain a visa to live and work in New Zealand.
  4. Apply for Residency: Transition to permanent residency after two years.

 

Advantages

 

– Family Unity: Opportunity to live with your partner.

– Work Flexibility: Ability to work in any role or be self-employed.

 

Misconceptions

 

– Immediate Approval: Relationship visas require thorough evidence and scrutiny.

 

  1. Start-up Visa

 

Overview

 

The Start-up Visa is for self-employed professionals looking to launch innovative start-ups in New Zealand, offering a unique pathway to residency through entrepreneurship.

 

Eligibility Criteria

 

– Innovative Business Idea: Must present an innovative and scalable business idea.

– Funding: Secure sufficient funding for the start-up.

– Business Plan: Detailed business plan demonstrating potential for growth.

– Health and Character: Must meet health and character requirements.

 

Process

 

  1. Develop Business Idea: Create a viable business plan.
  2. Secure Funding: Obtain necessary funding for the start-up.
  3. Apply for Visa: Submit an application with supporting documents.
  4. Establish Business: Launch and grow your start-up in New Zealand.
  5. Apply for Residency: Apply for permanent residency based on business success.

 

Advantages

 

– Innovation Hub: Access to New Zealand’s growing start-up ecosystem.

– Residency Pathway: Clear path to residency through business success.

 

Misconceptions

 

– Easy Approval: Requires a solid business plan and proof of innovation.

 

Conclusion

 

New Zealand offers diverse and promising pathways for self-employed African professionals to settle and build a life in this beautiful country. Whether through entrepreneurship, investment, innovation, or leveraging educational qualifications, there are numerous routes to permanent residency.

Understanding the specific requirements and benefits of each pathway is crucial to making an informed decision and successfully navigating the immigration process.

By following the detailed information provided, self-employed professionals can confidently pursue their dreams of settling in New Zealand, potentially bringing their dependents along for a prosperous future.

June 28, 2024

New Zealand is a popular destination for skilled professionals seeking permanent residency due to its robust economy, high quality of life, and welcoming immigration policies. For skilled professionals from Africa, there are several pathways to achieving permanent residency in New Zealand. This guide outlines five guaranteed pathways, each designed to cater to different skills and circumstances.

 

  1. Skilled Migrant Category (SMC)

 

Overview

The Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) is the primary pathway for skilled professionals to gain permanent residency in New Zealand. This points-based system assesses applicants based on factors such as age, work experience, qualifications, and job offers.

 

Eligibility Criteria

 

Age: Must be 55 years or younger.

– English Language: Proficiency in English.

– Health and Character: Must meet health and character requirements.

– Points System: Must score at least 160 points in the points-based system.

 

Key Steps

 

  1. Expression of Interest (EOI): Submit an EOI through the Immigration New Zealand (INZ) website.
  2. Invitation to Apply: If your EOI is selected, you will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for residence.
  3. Application Submission: Submit your residence application with supporting documents.
  4. Decision: INZ assesses your application and makes a decision.

 

Advantages

 

– Direct Pathway: A direct route to permanent residency.

– Family Inclusion: Allows you to include your partner and dependent children in your application.

 

Misconceptions

 

– Job Offer Requirement: While having a job offer significantly boosts your points, it is not mandatory to submit an EOI.

 

  1. Work to Residence Visa

 

Overview

 

The Work to Residence (WTR) Visa is a two-step process that allows skilled workers to transition from a temporary work visa to permanent residency after two years.

 

Eligibility Criteria

 

– Job Offer: A job offer from an accredited employer or in an occupation on the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL).

– Qualifications and Experience: Relevant qualifications and work experience.

– Age: Must be 55 years or younger.

– Health and Character: Must meet health and character requirements.

 

Key Steps

 

  1. Work Visa Application: Apply for a WTR Visa based on a job offer.
  2. Work for Two Years: Work in New Zealand for the accredited employer or in the LTSSL occupation.
  3. Apply for Residence: After two years, apply for permanent residency under the Residence from Work category.

 

Advantages

 

– Accredited Employers: Easier application process if working for an accredited employer.

– Pathway to Residence: Clear pathway to permanent residency after two years.

 

Misconceptions

 

– Immediate Residency: This visa is not an immediate residency visa but a pathway that leads to permanent residency after fulfilling certain conditions.

 

  1. Essential Skills Work Visa

 

Overview

 

The Essential Skills Work Visa allows skilled workers to live and work in New Zealand temporarily. This visa can be a stepping stone to permanent residency if you secure a job that meets the criteria for the Skilled Migrant Category.

 

Eligibility Criteria

 

– Job Offer: A job offer from a New Zealand employer in an occupation where there is a shortage of local workers.

– Qualifications and Experience: Relevant qualifications and work experience.

– Market Test: The employer must demonstrate that they have made genuine attempts to recruit a New Zealander for the role.

 

Key Steps

 

  1. Job Offer: Secure a job offer from a New Zealand employer.
  2. Work Visa Application: Apply for an Essential Skills Work Visa.
  3. Work in New Zealand: Gain relevant work experience in New Zealand.
  4. Apply for SMC: Use the work experience to apply for permanent residency under the Skilled Migrant Category.

 

Advantages

 

– Job-Based: Provides an opportunity to gain valuable New Zealand work experience.

– Stepping Stone: Can be a stepping stone to the Skilled Migrant Category for permanent residency.

 

Misconceptions

 

– Temporary Visa: This is a temporary visa, not a direct pathway to permanent residency, but it can lead to residency through the SMC.

 

  1. Entrepreneur Work Visa

 

Overview

 

The Entrepreneur Work Visa is designed for individuals who want to establish or buy a business in New Zealand. Successful entrepreneurs can eventually apply for permanent residency under the Entrepreneur Residence Category.

 

Eligibility Criteria

 

– Capital Investment: Minimum capital investment of NZD 100,000 (excluding working capital).

– Business Plan: Detailed business plan showing the viability of the business.

– Points System: Score points based on factors such as capital investment, business experience, and job creation.

– Health and Character: Must meet health and character requirements.

 

Key Steps

 

  1. Business Plan and Application: Submit a business plan and application for an Entrepreneur Work Visa.
  2. Establish Business: Establish or purchase the business in New Zealand.
  3. Operate Business: Successfully operate the business for at least two years.
  4. Apply for Residence: Apply for permanent residency under the Entrepreneur Residence Category.

 

Advantages

 

– Business Opportunities: Opportunity to establish a business in a thriving economy.

– Pathway to Residence: Clear pathway to permanent residency through successful business operation.

 

Misconceptions

 

– Immediate Success: Business success and permanent residency are not guaranteed; careful planning and execution are required.

 

  1. Post-Study Work Visa to Residence

 

Overview

 

For students from Africa who have completed their studies in New Zealand, the Post-Study Work Visa allows them to gain work experience. This experience can then be used to apply for permanent residency under the Skilled Migrant Category.

 

Eligibility Criteria

 

– New Zealand Qualification: Must have completed a qualification that meets New Zealand’s study requirements.

– Job Offer: A job offer relevant to your field of study (not mandatory but highly beneficial).

– Work Experience: Gain relevant work experience in New Zealand.

 

Key Steps
  1. Study in New Zealand: Complete a qualification that meets study requirements.
  2. Post-Study Work Visa Application: Apply for a Post-Study Work Visa.
  3. Gain Work Experience: Gain work experience in your field of study.
  4. Apply for SMC: Use the work experience to apply for permanent residency under the Skilled Migrant Category.

 

Advantages

 

– Education to Employment: Seamless transition from education to employment and then to permanent residency.

– Work Experience: Opportunity to gain valuable New Zealand work experience.

 

Misconceptions

 

– Automatic Residency: Completing a New Zealand qualification does not automatically lead to permanent residency; work experience and job offers are critical.

 

Conclusion

New Zealand offers several pathways for skilled professionals from Africa to achieve permanent residency. Whether through the Skilled Migrant Category, Work to Residence, Essential Skills Work Visa, Entrepreneur Work Visa, or Post-Study Work Visa, each pathway has specific requirements and advantages.

By understanding these pathways and meeting the necessary criteria, skilled professionals can successfully transition to permanent residency in New Zealand, opening doors to a prosperous and fulfilling life in this beautiful country.

June 20, 2024

For many visitors in New Zealand, the allure of its vibrant economy, stunning landscapes, and high quality of life can make the idea of staying longer very appealing. Converting your Visitor Visa to a Work Permit is a viable pathway to prolong your stay and work in New Zealand. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process, providing concrete and verifiable information, while addressing common questions and misconceptions.

 

Understanding Visitor Visas and Work Permits

 

What is a Visitor Visa?

 

A Visitor Visa allows you to stay in New Zealand for tourism, visiting family and friends, or short-term business activities. This visa typically allows for a stay of up to nine months in an 18-month period.

 

What is a Work Permit?

 

A Work Permit (or Work Visa) allows you to legally work in New Zealand for a specific employer and period. This visa can be a stepping stone to permanent residency, offering a pathway to settle in New Zealand long-term.

 

Step-by-Step Guide to Converting Your Visitor Visa to a Work Permit

 

Step 1: Understand Eligibility Criteria

 

Before you begin the process, ensure you meet the eligibility criteria for a Work Permit. The criteria can vary depending on the type of work visa you are applying for, but generally include:

 

– Job Offer: A valid job offer from a New Zealand employer.

– Qualifications: Relevant qualifications and work experience.

– Health and Character: Meeting health and character requirements.

– Legal Status: Being legally in New Zealand on a Visitor Visa.

 

Step 2: Secure a Job Offer

 

Finding a job is a critical step in converting your Visitor Visa to a Work Permit. Employers in New Zealand must demonstrate that they have made genuine attempts to recruit a New Zealander before offering a job to a foreign national.

 

Finding Job Opportunities

 

– Online Job Portals: Websites like Seek, Trade Me Jobs, and Indeed list numerous job opportunities.

– Recruitment Agencies: Specialized agencies can assist in matching your skills with potential employers.

– Networking: Leverage professional networks and industry contacts to find job openings.

 

Step 3: Choose the Right Work Visa

 

New Zealand offers several types of work visas, each tailored to different circumstances. The most common options include:

 

– Essential Skills Work Visa: For workers with skills that are in short supply in New Zealand.

– Work to Residence Visa: For those working in an occupation on the Long Term Skill Shortage List.

– Specific Purpose Work Visa: For people coming to New Zealand for a specific work-related purpose or event.

– Employer-Assisted Work Visa: For those with a job offer from an accredited employer.

 

Step 4: Prepare Your Application

 

Once you have a job offer, you can begin preparing your work visa application. The required documents typically include:

 

– Job Offer Letter: A formal offer of employment from your New Zealand employer.

– Qualifications and Experience: Certified copies of your academic and professional qualifications and proof of relevant work experience.

– Health and Character Documents: Medical certificates and police clearance certificates.

– Financial Evidence: Proof that you can support yourself until you start earning from your job.

– Visitor Visa Status: Evidence that you are legally in New Zealand on a Visitor Visa.

 

Step 5: Submit Your Application

 

You can submit your application either online or via a paper application.

 

Online Application Process

 

  1. Create an Account: Register on the Immigration New Zealand (INZ) website.
  2. Complete the Application Form: Fill out the form with accurate and detailed information.
  3. Upload Documents: Upload scanned copies of all required documents.
  4. Pay the Fee: Pay the application fee using a credit card or other accepted payment methods.

 

Paper Application Process

 

  1. Download Form: Download and print the relevant work visa application form from the INZ website.
  2. Complete the Form: Fill out the form accurately.
  3. Attach Documents: Attach certified copies of all required documents.
  4. Submit Application: Submit the completed form and documents to the nearest INZ office or visa application center.

 

Step 6: Await the Outcome

 

After submitting your application, you will need to wait for a decision from INZ. Processing times can vary depending on the type of work visa and the volume of applications.

 

Interim Visas

 

If your Visitor Visa expires while your Work Permit application is being processed, you may be granted an interim visa, allowing you to stay in New Zealand legally until a decision is made.

 

Step 7: Bring Your Dependents to New Zealand

 

Once you have secured a Work Permit, you can apply to bring your family members to New Zealand. They can apply for dependent visas, which allow them to live, study, and in some cases, work in New Zealand.

 

Applying for Dependent Visas

 

– Partner and Child Visas: Your spouse or partner and dependent children can apply for visas to join you in New Zealand.

– Documentation: Provide proof of your relationship and their identity documents.

– Application Process: Similar to the work visa application, dependent visa applications can be submitted online or on paper.

 

Common Questions and Misconceptions

 

Can I Convert My Visitor Visa to a Work Permit Without Leaving New Zealand?

 

Yes, you can apply for a Work Permit while you are in New Zealand on a Visitor Visa. However, you must have a valid job offer and meet all the necessary requirements.

 

Is It Easier to Get a Work Permit if My Job is on the Skill Shortage List?

 

Yes, if your occupation is on the Essential Skills in Demand List (ESID) or the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL), your application may be prioritized, and the process can be smoother.

 

What Happens if My Visitor Visa Expires During the Application Process?

 

If your Visitor Visa expires while your Work Permit application is being processed, you may be granted an interim visa, which allows you to stay in New Zealand legally until a decision is made.

 

Can I Apply for Permanent Residence After Getting a Work Permit?

 

Yes, holding a Work Permit can be a pathway to permanent residence. The Work to Residence Visa and other work visa categories can eventually lead to permanent residency, provided you meet the criteria.

 

Can I Work Immediately After Submitting My Work Permit Application?

 

No, you must wait until your Work Permit is approved before starting work. Working on a Visitor Visa is illegal and can jeopardize your application.

 

How Long Does It Take to Process a Work Permit Application?

 

Processing times vary depending on the type of work visa and the complexity of your case. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

 

Conclusion

 

Converting your Visitor Visa to a Work Permit in New Zealand is a structured process that requires careful planning and preparation. By following this detailed guide, you can navigate the application process effectively, increase your chances of success, and even bring your dependents to New Zealand. Remember to stay informed about the latest immigration policies and seek professional advice if needed to ensure a smooth transition to your new life and work in New Zealand.