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How to Immigrate to New Zealand from the UK

February 12, 2024
Iain MacLeod

When considering a move to New Zealand from the UK, potential migrants are attracted by the prospect of a high quality of life and the natural beauty that the country offers. The process involves understanding the different visa options and eligibility criteria set by New Zealand’s immigration policies. Britons enjoy the benefit of visiting New Zealand for up to six months without a visa, but those looking to stay longer or permanently will need to secure the appropriate resident visa.

Navigating the immigration process requires an understanding of the types of visas available, such as work, student, or partner visas, each with its specific requirements and pathway to residency. New Zealand provides comprehensive guides and government resources that potential immigrants can use to inform their decision-making process.

However these can be complicated to understand. To find out if you’re eligible click the banner below and fill out the Free Preliminary Evaluation – we’ll then contact you and help you understand your options.

Migrate to New Zealand

IMMagine Immigration offers a range of immigration services, including assistance with Student Visas, Partner Visas, Work Visas, and Citizenship Applications. Fill out a FREE Preliminary Evaluation to assess your eligibility to immigrate.

NZ Visa Types available to UK citizens

New Zealand offers various visas, each tailored to different needs and circumstances.

Student Visas: These visas are for individuals who wish to study in New Zealand. Applicants must have an offer of place from a New Zealand education provider and meet various requirements, including proof of sufficient funds to live on while studying and a return ticket home or enough money to buy one.

Parent Visas: Parent visas are designed for parents of New Zealand citizens or residents to join their children in New Zealand. There are specific categories within this visa type that take into account the sponsorship by the New Zealand child, the applicant’s health and character, and their financial situation.

Work Visas: Work visas are for individuals who have a job offer from a New Zealand employer, are looking to gain work experience, or have specific skills that are needed in New Zealand. There are various categories including Essential Skills, Work to Residence, and specific visas for people from partner countries.

Partner Visas: These visas allow the partner or spouse of a New Zealand citizen or resident to live and work in New Zealand. Applicants must prove the authenticity of their relationship and meet health and character requirements. There are partnership visas for both married and de facto couples, including same-sex relationships.

moving to nz from the uk

Skill Shortage List

New Zealand’s immigration system gives preference to occupations on the Skill Shortage List. Positions listed here indicate a shortage of specific skilled workers within the country. An applicant’s job offer or work experience in these areas can significantly enhance their chances of obtaining a visa.

Point-Based System

The eligibility for certain visas, particularly the Skilled Migrant Category, is assessed through a Point-Based System. Points are accumulated based on one’s age, work experience, employment, and educational qualifications. Earning at, or above, the median wage (NZD $27 per hour as per the search snippet) can also affect point totals.

Health and Character Requirements

Applicants must satisfy health and character requirements, ensuring that they are medically fit and of good standing. This typically involves a comprehensive medical examination and a police certificate to prove one has no serious criminal convictions. These criteria safeguard the community and ensure that migrants contribute positively to society.

Application Process

When applying for a New Zealand visa from the UK, applicants will go through several key stages. These include preparing the necessary documentation, submitting an application online, attending an interview and providing biometrics, and awaiting the decision on the visa.


Applicants must compile all relevant documentation before initiating the application. This typically includes:

  • Passport: Valid for at least three months beyond the planned departure date from New Zealand.
  • Evidence of Good Health: May require a medical examination.
  • Evidence of Good Character: Police certificates as proof of no criminal record.
  • Proof of Financial Sufficiency: Bank statements or sponsor’s financial undertaking.
  • Supporting Information: Depending on the visa type, this could include job offers, qualifications, or partner’s details.

Online Application

The application process is primarily conducted online through the official Immigration New Zealand website. Applicants need to:

  1. Create an account on the Immigration New Zealand website.
  2. Fill out the appropriate visa application form accurately.
  3. Upload the required documents in the correct format.
  4. Pay the applicable visa application fee.

Interview and Biometrics

After submitting the application, applicants may need to:

  • Attend an Interview: Some visa categories require a personal interview to further assess the applicant.
  • Provide Biometrics: Fingerprints and a photograph, which are typically taken at a visa application centre.

Visa Decision Waiting Period

Following the interview and biometrics:

  • Applicants will receive notification of the processing time, which can vary based on visa type and individual circumstances.
  • The status of the application can be checked online via the account created earlier.
  • Applicants must wait for a visa decision before making any travel arrangements, as processing times are not guaranteed.


Iain MacLeod

Iain has been working as an Immigration Adviser since 1988 and has been running his own practice since 1990. In 1998 he merged his practice with Myer Lipschitz leading to the creation of Protea Pacific Limited which was rebranded in 2008 to IMMagine New Zealand Limited...

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moving to nz from the uk

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Start your migration journey

Fill in our quick and easy Free Preliminary Evaluation to see if you are eligible to immigrate to Australia or New Zealand.

Preliminary Evaluation