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How to immigrate to New Zealand from South Africa

By November 15, 2018January 30th, 2023Emigrate

How to immigrate to New Zealand from South Africa

November 15, 2018


There are many reasons South African expats consider New Zealand as a long-term destination. One of its big attractions is that it is currently regarded as the 2nd most peaceful country in the world, after Iceland, as ranked by the 2018 Global Peace Index. Add this to beautiful wide open spaces, first-world cities, a strong economy, an excellent healthcare and education system and it’s easy to see why many people are clamouring for New Zealand work visas. In this blog post, we’ll explore New Zealand visa requirements and the current New Zealand skills shortage list.

New Zealand visa requirements

In order to emigrate to New Zealand and work there, you will need to qualify for a New Zealand work visa and if your skills are listed on the New Zealand skills shortage lists posted by Immigration New Zealand, you stand an even better chance of getting a visa and finding work in New Zealand. Don’t worry if your occupation isn’t on the skills shortage list – there are plenty of opportunities for skilled migrants in New Zealand and if you qualify for a work visa, you are sure to find work in the country.

New Zealand Work Visas

  • Essential Skills work visa: These visas allow you to live and work in New Zealand for a specific period of time. An Essential Skills work visa can be a step towards establishing residency and settling in the country permanently. A pre-requisite of this visa is that you have a job offer in an occupation on one of the skilled shortage lists and that your qualifications and experience match the requirements on the list. The duration and conditions of the visa you are given depend on the terms of your job offer, your salary and labour market conditions. Your employer doesn’t need to prove that they have attempted to recruit a New Zealand citizen prior to offering you the job, because these lists are regularly reviewed by Immigration New Zealand and they are aware that the lists reflect a genuine skills shortage in New Zealand.
  • Work to residence visa: If you have a permanent or long-term job offer in an occupation that appears on the Long Term Skill Shortage List, you can apply for a Work to Residence Visa, in which case you need to meet age, health and character requirements.
  • Working holiday visa: These visas are designed for young people aged between 18 and 30, depending on your country of origin and they allow you to travel and work in New Zealand for up to 12 months – or 23 months if you are from the UK or Canada.

Long-Term Skill Shortage List

The Long Term Skill Shortage List details occupations where there is a long-term and on-going shortage of specific highly skilled workers in New Zealand. If you receive a job offer in an occupation on the list, you may be granted a Work to Residence visa, which means you may be eligible to apply for residence in as little as two years as long as your job has a base salary of at least NZ$ 45 000.

Immediate Skill Shortage List

The skills and occupations on this list reflect an immediate need in New Zealand and indicate that there are no New Zealand citizens or residents available to take up a position with these skills. This results in faster visa processing. If you are offered a job that falls on this list you will be granted temporary residence but won’t necessarily be able to apply for permanent residence.

If you are a South African planning to emigrate to New Zealand from South Africa and would like to know more about how you can maximise your finances through financial emigration, accessing your South African retirement annuity and our tailor-made tax solutions for South Africans around the world, contact FinGlobal today.

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