A Quick Guide To New Zealand Visa Types

Over the last few years, New Zealand has become home for many Irish people. Some go to New Zealand to study, while others travel to set up a business or find a job. But no matter what purpose you have for going to New Zealand, it’s very important that you apply for the right type of visa before you head out. Here are some of the common visa types usually obtained by Irish citizens.

Temporary Visas

Working holiday visa. A working holiday visa allows people aged 18 to 30 years old to stay in New Zealand for 12 months. However, visa holders are required to have a return ticket or enough funds to buy one when entering the country. They should also have at least $4,200 in their bank account.

Essential skills. This is for workers with a job offer and training or experience needed by an employer. The employer must prove that they cannot find a similarly qualified candidate in New Zealand to fill the position. People with essential skills visa can stay in NZ for three or five years.

Silver fern. This visa type allows highly skilled people aged 20 to 40 to stay and find employment in NZ for nine months. It can be extended for up to two years and is limited to 300 places per year.

Permanent Visas

Work to Residence. If you have skills included in NZ’s long-term shortage list, this visa type will allow you to work for 30 months in the country. After two years, you can apply for permanent residency. To become a permanent resident, you must be under 53 years old, healthy, of good character, and have an offer of employment. You should also possess the necessary experience and qualification a job requires and have full or provisional registration if your occupation requires it in New Zealand.

Skilled migrant. This visa allows workers whose skills are in demand but don’t have a job offer prior to arrival to stay permanently in New Zealand. To qualify for this visa, you must be under 55, healthy, of good character, and speak English. You must also submit an expression of interest. If you have enough points for age, experience, employability and qualifications, you will be invited to apply.


If you want to stay in New Zealand for good and enjoy the civil liberties granted to local citizens, you can apply for a citizenship. To do this, you should have permanent residence and be considered of “good character” with no convictions or fines.