These are some of the most common questions we get when people call or come in for a first consultation. Our answers may save you some time – and money. Select the relevant question below to access our answer.
I was awarded a Level 7 qualification by a New Zealand institution and now hold a Post-Study Work Visa. Can I get another Work Visa?
You can usually only hold one Post-Study Work Visa. At the end of your Post-Study Work Visa, you will need to apply for a Work Visa under one of the other available Work Visa categories. In most cases, your only option will be an Accredited Employer Work Visa under the scheme opened by the Government in July 2022.
See our Work Visas page for more information.
You can be granted a second Post-Study Work Visa in some limited situations which include:
- You have undertaken and completed a second higher qualification that is either a New Bachelor degree or postgraduate qualification, and have studied that qualification full-time in New Zealand for at least 30 weeks; or
- You are working towards occupational registration.
I have a work visa for a specific job which is stated on my visa, but my employer can no longer pay me and has stopped giving me a job.
If you hold an Essential Skills Work Visa, you may be able to apply for a variation of conditions if you can get a new job which is the same type and in the same location as your current job. If your type of job and/or location is changing, you will need to apply for a new Work Visa.
If you hold a Talent (accredited employer) Work Visa, you can vary the conditions of your Work Visa to work for another accredited employer, provided the new job meets the $79,560 base salary and all other requirements for the grant of a Talent (accredited employer) Work Visa.
If you don’t successfully apply to vary the conditions on your Visa or apply for a new Visa, you will be in breach of the conditions on your Visa which if left too long could result in the issue of a deportation liability notice.
I have a work visa which I got through my partner but now we have broken up. Is there anything I need to do?
If your relationship ends while you are on a Partner Visa, you no longer meet the conditions of your Visa. You will need to get a new Visa which suits your circumstances as soon as possible.
If you remain in breach of your Partner Visa conditions for too long, this may result in you being issued with a deportation liability notice. To avoid this, it is important to act quite quickly. We have skills and experience to guide you to a new Visa, for example a Work Visa based on your current job.
I want my children to attend a New Zealand school and I wish to be with them in New Zealand.
Your child may be eligible to apply for a Student Visa as an international student. As the parent, you can apply for a Visitor Visa in order to care for your children while they study. This is called a Guardian Visa. However, it is unlikely that the other parent of your child can come over as well, because only one person can get a Guardian Visa for each family. This is the case no matter how many children come over on Student Visas.
When you apply, you must show that you have NZ$1000 per month to cover living expenses, for the entire time your child is enrolled to study on the Student Visa. This reduces to $400 per month if accommodation is paid for in advance.
It may be possible for you to work part time from 9.30am – 2.30pm (Monday to Friday inclusive) but you must first apply for a variation of conditions of your Visitor visa to allow this.
I have been told that I will be deported, but I want to stay in New Zealand.
In this situation, we highly recommend that you come in to discuss your options with our highly experienced solicitors.
If you have a Residence visa Immigration New Zealand will probably write to you to let you know that you may be liable for deportation. You will then have a chance to explain your current circumstances and why you believe your deportation liability should either be cancelled outright, or suspended. Suspension could be for a period of up to 5 years. The suspension period can be thought of as a probationary period, whereby you will be given a second chance to stay in New Zealand.
If after this process Immigration New Zealand determine that you are still liable for deportation they will issue you with a Deportation Liability Notice (DLN) which triggers your right to appeal against deportation with the Immigration and Protection Tribunal. You must put in this appeal within 28 days of receiving the DLN. To succeed in this appeal, you will need to show that there are exceptional circumstances of a humanitarian nature that would make it unjust or unduly harsh for you to be deported, and that it would not be against the public interest to allow you to stay in New Zealand.
If you have a temporary visa (Work, Student or Visitor) Immigration will probably just send you a DLN straight away. You have 14 days to prove to Immigration New Zealand that there are “good reasons” not to deported you. What those good reasons are, depends on your particular situation. If Immigration decides that you are still liable for deportation then you can still put in an appeal (see above).
If you don’t have a visa you have 42 days after your last visa expired to submit the humanitarian appeal against deportation.
Winning a humanitarian appeal before the Immigration & Protection Tribunal is very difficult. You should ask for professional help to find out if it is even worth appealing, and to help you fight your case. If someone tells you that you should write to the Minister of Immigration instead, this is bad advice if you have not already tried to win your appeal.
My partner lives overseas and I want them to come live with me in New Zealand. Can I support their visa application?
It depends on what evidence you can show that you have been living together in a genuine and stable relationship. You may be able to successfully support them for a visa, but the time you have spent actually living together, and what efforts you have made to be together during your separation, are critical factors. The time living together also affects the duration of any visa that your partner gets. Partner temporary visas (Work, Visitor or Student) are available for a total of up to 24 months.
In order to apply for a Residence Visa, you and your partner have to prove that you have been living together for at least 12 months before they apply.
If you have never met your partner in person, other than online, generally there are not great prospects of obtaining a visa unless you are able and willing to spend sufficient time to develop a relationship outside New Zealand.
My application has been declined. Should I go to the Minister of Immigration?
In general, the answer is No. The chances of successfully obtaining intervention from the Minister are remote. There are only a few rare cases where it is worth considering going to the Minister for a “special direction”.
Asking the Minister to help you should be the last resort. In reality, it can only be pursued if there is no other process available. Getting a special direction relies on identifying something truly special about your case, and not simply because your application or appeal has been declined.
Instead, you should seek expert advice on whether to try this avenue, or whether you have other, better options. For example:
- If your temporary visa application is declined, you can ask Immigration to give the case to another visa officer for a reconsideration. You have 14 days after the decision is sent to you in order to do this.
- If your Residence application is declined, you have a right to appeal to the Immigration & Protection Tribunal.
- If your case was declined some time ago, then consider a “section 61” request for visa.
Whatever your situation, you must take action as soon as you know that your application has been declined. The time to follow these and other options can run out very fast.
I would like to open a small business in New Zealand such as a petrol station or fast-food restaurant.
The relevant category for people wanting to come to New Zealand and get residence through operating a business is the Entrepreneur Work Visa category (EWV). This is the most difficult and complex category for immigration to New Zealand with a decline rate of between 90% to 95%. Unless the business has the potential to provide substantial benefits to New Zealand, such as the employment of New Zealand staff, introduction of new skills or products, or the export of New Zealand products or skills, it is unlikely to be successful.
New Zealand is well served by retail businesses and the types of business you are thinking of are unlikely to be acceptable under EWV category.
If you have enough savings or assets, you might be able to try an Investor category Residence application instead. See our Business and Investment page which contains links to our Guides about this type of visa.