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Expat Exchange - Guide to Obtaining Residency in New Zealand
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Auckland, New Zealand


Guide to Obtaining Residency in New Zealand

By Betsy Burlingame

SJB Global
SJB Global

Summary: Establishing residency in New Zealand can be challenging. Here are some helpful tips for expats, retirees, and nomads.

Obtaining a residency visa in New Zealand is not always easy, but our Guide to Residency in New Zealand gives newcomers an overview of the steps involved and advice from others who have already navigated the process.

  • Gather the necessary documents to apply for residency status in New Zealand. This includes a valid passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), and proof of employment or financial stability.
  • Complete the New Zealand Residency Application form. This form can be found on the New Zealand Immigration website.
  • Submit the application form and all necessary documents to the New Zealand Immigration Service. This can be done online or in person.
  • Wait for the New Zealand Immigration Service to process the application. This can take up to several months.
  • Once the application is approved, the applicant will receive a Residency Visa. This visa will allow the applicant to live and work in New Zealand.
  • Apply for a Tax Number.
    • Visit the New Zealand Inland Revenue Department website.
    • Complete the online application form.
    • Submit the application form and any necessary documents.
    • Wait for the Inland Revenue Department to process the application. This can take up to several weeks.
    • Once the application is approved, the applicant will receive a Tax Number.
  • Register with the New Zealand Department of Labour. This can be done online or in person.
  • Apply for a New Zealand driver's license. This can be done at any New Zealand Department of Motor Vehicles office.
  • Register with a local doctor or medical clinic. This can be done online or in person.

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What tips do expats have about residency and visas in New Zealand?

"If you plan to stay in New Zealand for a while, you will need to apply for a valid visa. Depending on the length of your stay, you may need to apply for a Visitor Visa, a Work Visa, or a Resident Visa. You will also need to provide proof of identity, such as a passport, and other documents such as proof of financial means and a valid return ticket," said one expat living in New Zealand.

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"In order to visit New Zealand, visitors must apply for a visa. The visa application process requires applicants to provide personal information, such as passport details, travel plans, and proof of financial support. Depending on the type of visa, applicants may also need to provide additional documents, such as a medical certificate or a police clearance certificate. In order to become a resident of New Zealand, applicants must apply for a residence visa. The residence visa application process requires applicants to provide personal information, such as passport details, travel plans, and proof of financial support. Depending on the type of residence visa, applicants may also need to provide additional documents, such as a medical certificate or a police clearance certificate. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate that they have the skills and qualifications to contribute to the New Zealand economy," commented one member living in New Zealand.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global
SJB Global

Auckland, New Zealand

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William Russell

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