Absolute skills shortage

Skilled occupations that New Zealand hasn't had enough people to do for a long time. These occupations are listed on the Long Term Skills Shortage List.  

Long Term Skills Shortage List

Academic year

A programme of study that has a course value of 120 or more credits, and lasts at least 8 months or 2 semesters.

Acceptable English language test results

We accept the following tests:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet Based Test (TOEFL iBT)
  • Occupational English Test (OET)
  • Cambridge English: First (FCE) and FCE for Schools
  • Pearson Test of English: Academic (PTE: Academic)

Acceptable identity document

  • Original passport
  • Certificate of identity
  • Refugee travel document
  • National ID card with photo

Acceptable investment

An ‘acceptable’ investment is one that:

  • is able to make a commercial return
  • is not for your own personal use (such as a boat or personal residence)
  • is invested in New Zealand in New Zealand currency
  • is invested in lawful enterprises or managed funds that comply with all relevant laws in force in New Zealand
  • has the potential to contribute to New Zealand's economy
  • is invested in either one or more of the following:
    • bonds issued by the New Zealand government or local authorities
    • bonds issued by New Zealand firms traded on the New Zealand Debt Securities Market (NZDX)
    • bonds issued by New Zealand organisations with a BBB- rating or better (or equivalent) from an internationally recognised credit rating agency, eg Standard and Poor's
    • equity in New Zealand firms (public or private including managed funds)
    • bonds issued by New Zealand registered banks
    • equities in New Zealand registered banks, as defined by the New Zealand Reserve Bank Act 1989
    • venture capital funds that are managed by a fund manager or broker and meet all the criteria for an acceptable investment
    • residential property development
    • bonds in finance companies.

Acceptable manning agent

A manning agent that:

  • is a public service, or a publicly licensed service
  • if it charges fees for placing crew, charges only the employer and not the crew
  • if it asks crew for costs, only asks crew to reimburse the reasonable costs of documents needed to be granted a visa, like medical exams, travel documents and a seafarer’s book (these aren’t fees)
  • won’t withhold any property from crew, especially if the property can prevent crew from leaving their employment, like identity documents, passports, or money
  • will only recruit crew who want to work on a fishing vessel in New Zealand, they can’t use force or threats
  • has never used the debt of a crew member to bond them into working for them against their will
  • has never been involved in human trafficking or any other kind of exploitation.

Acceptable qualification for post-study work visas

An acceptable qualification for a post-study work visa is New Zealand qualification listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework that is either:

  • a bachelor’s degree (level 7) or higher qualification that involved a single course in New Zealand of 30 weeks or more
  • a level 4 – 6 qualification that involved a single course in New Zealand of 60 weeks or more
  • two or more level 4 – 6 qualifications that each involved 30 weeks or more of study in New Zealand, where the level of the last qualification is higher than the first
  • a National Certificate (Level 4) or New Zealand Certificate (Level 4) relevant to an occupation on Part B or C of our ‘List of Skilled Occupations’ that involved a single course in New Zealand of 60 weeks or more.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) qualifications and level 4 qualifications that are not a National Certificate or a New Zealand Certificate aren’t considered acceptable qualifications.

Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)

A New Zealand government-owned organisation that provides fault-free insurance cover that may pay towards the cost of medical treatment for injuries resulting from accidents in New Zealand.

See the ACC website for more information

Accredited employer

An employer approved by Immigration New Zealand to employ workers under the Talent (Accredited Employers) Work Immigration Instructions. Only accredited employers can support a Talent (Accredited Employers ) Work Visa.

Accredited Employers List

Accredited labour hire company

A company that has Immigration New Zealand’s approval to employ people from overseas to supply labour to third-parties. Labour hire companies providing labour to the construction sector in Christchurch must be accredited for work visas to be approved.


The Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO)  is a system used by Immigration New Zealand to check:

  • the skill levels of jobs
  • the qualifications and/or experience needed to work in those jobs.

The ANZSCO is published on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.

Australian Bureau of Statistics


A legal process that is used to review a decision. Appeals are made to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, which is part of the Ministry of Justice. The result of an appeal can be for the decision to stay the same, for the decision to change or for a new decision to be made.

Immigration and Protection Tribunal website

Approval in principle of a visa

A visa application is approved in principle when we've recommended your application for approval, but need extra documents like a passport or receipt for tuition fees, to confirm you meet the visa requirements.

An application is not fully approved until we receive all the documents we ask for, and record in our computer system that we've granted the visa.

Approved arts or music festival

An arts or music festival hosted in New Zealand that has been formally approved by Immigration New Zealand (INZ). For INZ to ‘approve’ a festival its organiser must submit a formal proposal, showing that both:

  • the festival has been hosted in New Zealand for 3 or more years
  • 10 or more overseas performers and/or support crew will take part in the festival.

Approved education provider

A primary or secondary school, or tertiary education provider that has been approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority or New Zealand’s Ministry of Education to offer certain courses of study.

Approved promoter

A music promoter on Immigration New Zealand’s Approved Music Promoter List.

INZ Approved Promoters List

Approved student exchange scheme

A scheme that has been approved by Immigration New Zealand and New Zealand’s Ministry of Education to allow overseas students to attend a school, or education or training institute in New Zealand.

For an exchange scheme to be approved, it must show it has made appropriate arrangements for the accommodation, maintenance and wellbeing of participating students and any dependents they’re allowed to bring with them.


Basic New Zealand qualification

A basic qualification is a recognised qualification one that is at level four to eight of the New Zealand Qualification Framework.

New Zealand Qualifications Framework


Biometric information is physical information that distinguishes one person from another and can be used to establish a record of and confirm an individual’s identity. The most common forms of biometric information are photographs and fingerprints. Other forms of biometric information include iris scans and voice recognition.

Business reasons

Visitors coming to New Zealand for less than 3 months may be granted a Business Visitor Visa for any of the following reasons:

  • to carry out an official trade mission recognised by the New Zealand government
  • to sell goods and services in New Zealand
  • to buy New Zealand goods and services
  • to negotiate or discuss the set-up, expansion or wind-up of a business in New Zealand
  • to carry out any business with the authorised representatives of an overseas company, body or person.

To carry out any other work activities, or stay longer than 3 months, you'll need to apply for a work visa.


Certificate of identity

A certificate of identity is any document, other than a passport, issued by the government of any country that allows a person to travel. Certificates of identity confirm a person’s identity, but not their nationality and should only be used for travel when a passport is not available.

Certified copy

A photocopy stamped or signed by a person as a true copy of the original. The certifier must be authorised to do so by law in your home country or in New Zealand – for example a lawyer, Notary Public, Justice of the Peace, or court official.

Character waiver

A decision to waive good character requirements for a person who doesn't meet them, so we can grant them a visa.

We don't consider character waivers for people who have character issues described in section 15 or 16 of the Immigration Act 2009.

When we make a decision about whether we'll grant a character waiver, we take into account things like:

  • how long ago the event that created the character issue occurred
  • the circumstances surrounding the offence or incident
  • the person's circumstances, including their ties to New Zealand and reasons for applying for a visa
  • the nature of any information falsely provided or withheld during a visa application (if this applies), and whether the person deliberately intended to mislead or withhold information from us.

Chartered accountant

An accountant who is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, which is a professional body for accountants. Chartered accountants work under a code of ethics.

Christmas and New Year holiday period

The vacation period between the end of the academic year, normally in November, and the start of the next academic year normally at the end of February or start of March.


You are usually automatically a citizen of the country in which you were born, but you may also hold citizenship for another country, if your parents or ancestors originally came from another country.  Your citizenship will be listed in your passport.

Civil union

A civil union has the same property and civil rights as a marriage. It may be between couples of the same sex or couples of different sexes.

Close family

You or your partner's adult brother or sister, adult child or parent.

Close relatives

A relative a person is prohibited from marrying under the Marriage Act 1995, or entering into a civil union with under the Civil Union Act 2004.

Marriage Act 1995
Civil Union Act 2004

Comparable labour market

A group of countries that INZ considers have a similar labour market, which is made up of Australia, Austria, Belgium-Luxembourg, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Republic of South Korea, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Compulsory education

Education from the ages of 6 years to 16 years of age is compulsory in New Zealand.

Convention refugee

A person who's been given refugee status by the New Zealand Government.

Country you have the right to enter

Your home country, or another country you both:

  • have a valid visa for, or are allowed to travel visa waiver to
  • meet the entry permission requirements for.

Customary adoption

In some countries and cultures parents may adopt children without going through a formal legal adoption process.  If this applies to your family situation we will require evidence of this adoption.


Deemed to hold a visa

Visa (or entry permission) may be ‘deemed’ for certain specific classes of people where it is not possible or appropriate to apply for, or grant a visa. There is no physical or electronic record of a deemed visa.

Deemed visas are most commonly used for cruise ship passengers and travellers to the Ross Dependency in Antarctica, and members of visiting armed forces.

De facto relationship

A de facto relationship is between two people who usually live together as a couple, like a marriage or civil union. They are not married or in a civil union with each other.

Deportation order

A legal document that notifies a person that they will be deported from New Zealand and explains:

  • the reason the person is being deported
  • any time period for which the person may not return to New Zealand
  • any costs associated with the deportation.


A person is deported from New Zealand if the person leaves New Zealand (whether or not at the expense of the Government of New Zealand):

  • on or after the date on which a deportation order may be served on the person under section 175 of the Immigration Act 2009; or
  • after a deportation order has been served on the person; or
  • while he or she is subject to a prohibition on entry to New Zealand under sections 179 or 180 of the Immigration Act 2009; or
  • the person is served with a deportation order when he or she is outside New Zealand; or
  • the person was deported from New Zealand under the Immigration Act 1987.

Domestic students

Students at schools and tertiary education institutes who have their fees partly or totally paid by the New Zealand Government. In certain circumstances defined by New Zealand’s Ministry of Education, international students can be treated as domestic students.

Definition of a domestic student in New Zealand

Domestic violence

Any violence included in the meaning of domestic violence in section 3 of the Domestic Violence Act 1995.

Domestic Violence Act 1995


A company is domiciled in the country where it is permanently located and legally registered.  Multi-national companies are domiciled in the country where the head office or parent company is registered.  For example, if company A has branches in New Zealand, Australia and Fiji, but the head office is in the United Kingdom it is considered to be domiciled in the United Kingdom.

Double tax agreement

People who are tax residents in New Zealand and another country can be taxed on the same income by both countries. Double tax agreements have been negotiated between New Zealand and many other countries to decide which country has the first or sole right to tax specific types of income.

Drug trafficking

This means having any involvement in the trading of illegal drugs.


Eastern Europe

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Czech Republic

Edmund Hillary Fellowship

The Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF) gives visionary entrepreneurs, investors and startup teams a platform to incubate global impact ventures from Aotearoa New Zealand.

EHF is about creating and supporting a diverse community of entrepreneurs who push the boundaries of creativity and innovation, with fresh new ideas and different approaches to business.

Edmund Hillary Fellowship website

Eligible Pacific countries

A group of Pacific countries that Recognised Seasonal Employers are allowed to recruit seasonal workers from. The nations are the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. 

Eligible sponsor (RFSC)

To be considered an eligible sponsor under the Refugee Family Support Category, sponsors must:

  • be a New Zealand citizen or resident
  • have been granted New Zealand residence because they were a refugee or protected person, or an Afghan interpreter or the partner or dependent child of an Afghan interpreter
  • be a family member and want to sponsor you and your partner and dependent children for residence
  • not have any other family member who is eligible to apply for New Zealand residence under any other category
  • not have sponsored anyone else who has since been granted a resident visa under the Refugee Family Support Category
  • live in New Zealand
  • be 18 or over
  • meet our requirements for acceptable sponsors
  • be able to fulfil their obligations as your sponsor, like making sure the sponsored people have somewhere to live for their first 2 years in New Zealand
  • meet the criteria for registering as a tier one sponsor or a tier two sponsor.


Immigration New Zealand’s online health processing system, which is used by panel physicians to send us chest x-ray and medical certificates.

Emergency situation

A situation that requires someone to receive immediate medical treatment in New Zealand because:

  • their life depends on an immediate transfer to New Zealand, as judged by local health authorities
  • they have an accident or sudden illness while travelling on a ship or aircraft.

Employment outside Auckland

A place of work that is outside Auckland attracts bonus points as we want to ensure all of New Zealand can benefit from the skills of people moving here.  To qualify for points you will need to prove that your employment is outside the area covered by the Auckland Council.

English speaking background

If you are not providing an IELTS certificate, you may be able to meet English language requirements by showing you have an English speaking background.

Evidence of an English-speaking background

English translations

A translation of a document written in a language other than English, into English.

All documents provided with residence applications must be translated into English.

All medical and police certificates provided with temporary entry visa applications must be translated into English.

English translations must be carried out by one of the following:

  • the Translation Service of the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA)
  • an Embassy or High Commission
  • a private or official translation business.

Translations must be certified and may not be prepared by the person applying for the visa, a member of their family, or an immigration adviser helping with the application.

Department of Internal Affairs website

Entertainment industry worker

Someone who works as either:

  • an entertainer
  • a performing artist, eg musician, actor, extra, presenter, contestant 
  • a producer
  • a director
  • part of a film or video production crew
  • part of a film or video post-production crew, or
  • support personnel for any of the above.

Entry permission

Entry permission allows a visa holder to enter New Zealand.

Holding a visa doesn’t guarantee entry permission unless the person holds a:

  • New Zealand Permanent Resident Visa
  • a Resident Visa granted in New Zealand
  • a Resident Visa granted overseas, if the person has already travelled to New Zealand on that visa.

A person travelling to New Zealand visa waiver must apply for both a visa and entry permission when they arrive in New Zealand.

Expression of Interest (EOI) Pool

The Expression of Interest Pool is the collection of Expressions of Interest of people who have scored at least 100 points against selected factors. Submissions are pooled over time. Every two weeks we select people from the Pool and invite them to apply for residence, if the claims they have made in their Expression of Interest are credible.

Unselected EOIs stay in the pool for six months.

Essential Skills in Demand Lists

A group of lists detailing the occupations that New Zealand doesn't have enough people to work in. They include the:

  • Long Term Skills Shortage List
  • Immediate Skills Shortage List
  • Canterbury Skills Shortage List.

People who are qualified to work in an occupation on one of these lists, can apply for a work visa without their employer first having to check if any New Zealanders are ready and willing to do the work. 

View the Skill Shortage Lists tool

Exceptional talent in a field of art, culture or sport

We’ll consider you have exceptional talent in your field of art, culture or sport if all of the following apply:

  • you have an international reputation and record of excellence in your field
  • you’re still prominent in your field
  • you can help New Zealanders to take part in, and improve the quality of their achievements in your field of art, culture or sport.

Executive or senior manager

A person who is:

  • a senior employee of an organisation that’s employed them for 12 months or more
  • responsible for all or most of the organisation’s New Zealand operations
  • accountable to the organisation’s higher level executives, board of directors or stockholders.

Express purpose

A reason for travelling to New Zealand on a Limited Visa, which may include any one of the following:

  • to study a short course as a full-fee paying student
  • for a special event, like a wedding, funeral, anniversary, reunion conference, seminar, graduation, sports tournament or match, or religious ceremony
  • for medical treatment
  • for a family emergency, like if someone in your family has an illness or accident
  • to work for a Recognised Seasonal Employer.

You may be able to come to New Zealand on a Limited Visa for a reason not on this list, if we think your reason justifies us granting you a visa.

Expression of interest

An expression of interest (EOI) is a form you complete to show us you're interested in moving to New Zealand to live, which is the first step towards residence for some visas, like the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC), and Parent Resident Visas.

You can send EOIs for SMC online, and paper forms for other visas that require EOIs.

In your EOI you'll need to explain how you'll meet the criteria for the visa you wish to apply for. You don't need to include any evidence with your EOI. 

If your EOI meets our criteria, it'll be entered into a selection pool. If we draw your EOI drawn from the pool, we'll invite you to apply for New Zealand residence and ask you to provide evidence to support the claims you made in your EOI.

Expunged criminal records

Expungement of a criminal record is a legal process that can clear criminal convictions from a person's record.


False or misleading information

This is anything that you tell us that is in any way untrue.  If you provide false or misleading information, we may decline the Expression of Interest or application in which you provided this information.

Five Country Conference

A co-operative immigration forum made up of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Foreign crew

Any overseas crew working on a fishing vessel in New Zealand including workers who do work other than fishing, like processing the catch.

Foreign fee paying student

An international student who must pay the full cost of their study, without the financial support of the New Zealand Government. Not a domestic student.

Full birth certificate

A birth certificate that includes your full name, your date and place of birth and your parents’ full names.

We only accept full birth certificates as proof of your identity. 

If you can't get your birth certificate, you'll need to provide official evidence of this from the authority responsible for registering births in your birth country, eg a ‘non-availability’ or ‘birth not registered’ certificate.

Full-time employment

A job where you work at least 30 hours each week.

Full-time job

A permanent role for at least 30 hours each week.

Full-time study

Study that involves either: 

  • attending a course at a private training establishment for at least 20 hours a week
  • enrolling for at least 3 papers, or equivalent, each semester at a University or Polytechnic, or a level 7 or higher qualification at a private training establishment.

Full-time work

A job where you work at least 30 hours a week.

Funds already held in New Zealand

When you nominate funds for an Investor 1 Resident Visa, Investor 2 Resident Visa, Parent Retirement Resident Visa, or Temporary Retirement Visitor Visa, you can include funds you’ve already invested in New Zealand, as long as:

If you already have funds invested in New Zealand, your investment period will start from the date we approve your application for your visa in principle, and not the date you invested the funds.

Funds that have been gifted to you

Funds that have been gifted to you unconditionally and legally, and have been been earned or acquired legally by the person gifting them.

Future growth area

Industries identified as having the potential to grow New Zealand’s economy. Current future growth areas are:

  • biotechnology
  • information communications technology
  • creative industries - advertising, software and computing services, publishing, TV and radio, film and video, architecture, design, designer fashion, music and performing arts, visual arts.


Genuine and stable partnership

A partnership is genuine if it has been entered into on a long term and exclusive basis.

A partnership is stable if it is likely to endure.

Going concern

A business that is operating and making a profit.

Good health

To come to New Zealand you must have an acceptable standard of health, or be granted a medical waiver. We'll consider you have an acceptable standard of health if you're:

  • unlikely to be a danger to the health of the people already in New Zealand
  • unlikely to cost New Zealand’s health or special education services a lot of money
  • able to work or study if this the reason for your visa.


High-end music act

A music act promoted in New Zealand by a music promoter on Immigration New Zealand’s Approved Music Promoters List.

INZ approved music promotors list

High quality education provider

A university or other education provider that’s:

  • been assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) as a ‘category 1’ Education Organisation
  • a signatory to Ministry of Education's ‘Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students’.

Information about the category of education organisations is available on NZQA’s website.

Find Education Organisations | NZQA website
Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students

Horticulture industry

Fruit, vegetable and flower-growing businesses.


Identified cultural tradition

A tradition in a culture where it’s normal for people other than those getting married, to select the couple to be married, and make the marriage arrangements.


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), which tests how well you read, write, speak and listen in English.

Immigration control area

An airport, port or other place designated by Immigration New Zealand to process people arriving in, or leaving New Zealand.


Applicants are considered to have influence over a business if they exercise significant influence over the management and administration of the business. This includes, but is not limited to, when acting as a director or senior manager.

Inland Revenue

The New Zealand Government agency that collects tax.

Inland Revenue

International Qualifications Assessment

A report from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority that:

  • verifies your qualifications
  • assesses the level of your qualifications compared to qualifications on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework
  • names the New Zealand qualifications that are similar to your international qualifications.


An acronym for Immigration New Zealand.

Issuing authority

The government agency of the country or region that issued your document (e.g. passport or birth certificate).


Kartu Keluarga

The official Indonesian family registration document.


Label-less or eVisa

A visa issued electronically and without a physical label in your passport.

You can use your eVisa to travel to, enter and remain in New Zealand for the period allowed by your visa.

Labour hire company

A company that:

  • enters into contracts with third-parties to supply labour
  • employs people to provide that labour.

Labour market test

 A test to establish whether:

  • an employer has made a genuine attempt to attract and recruit suitable New Zealanders for a job
  • there are any suitable New Zealanders to do a job, or who can be trained to do a job.

When we carry out a labour market test, we’ll look at things like:

  • the employer's reasons for not employing a New Zealander to do a job
  • evidence of the employer's recruitment attempts, like newspaper and internet advertising
  • advice from Work and Income
  • advice from industry groups, like unions.

Legally earned or acquired funds

Funds or assets (or a combination of both) that you either earned or acquired in a way that:

  • was legal in the country you earned or acquired them
  • would also have been legal if you’d earned or acquired them in the same way in New Zealand.

Licensed immigration advisers

Licensed immigration advisers (LIAs) are licensed by the Immigration Adviser’s Authority (IAA) to provide specialist immigration knowledge.

Licensed immigration advisers must:

  • be honest, professional and respectful
  • provide you with ongoing, timely updates
  • charge fees that are fair and reasonable
  • meet competency standards and follow a Code of Conduct set by the IAA.

Code of Conduct
Competency Standards

The IAA keeps a register of LIAs. If an adviser doesn’t appear on the register, then they are unlicensed.

Licensed Immigration Adviser Register


An occupation classified as skill level 4 or 5 on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).


Managed funds

Funds that are invested in either:

  • a managed fund investment product offered by a financial institution
  • equities that are managed by a fund manager or broker.

For us to accept managed funds as an investment, managed funds must be invested only in New Zealand companies. Managed funds  with international exposure are acceptable only for the part of the investment that is invested in New Zealand companies.

Medical certificate

This is a document you get from a medical practitioner after you have completed a medical examination. The certificate tells us the results of that examination which we then use to determine whether you have an acceptable standard of health.

Medical waiver

A decision to waive health requirements for a person who doesn’t meet them, so that we can grant a visa.

We don’t consider medical waivers for people who:

  • require dialysis, or will require dialysis within the next five years
  • have severe haemophilia
  • have a physical, intellectual, cognitive or sensory incapacity that requires full time care, including care in the community
  • have any form of tuberculosis (TB) and have not completed full treatment as outlined in the New Zealand Guidelines for TB Treatment
  • have a history, diagnostic findings or treatment for Multidrug-Resistant TB or Extensively Drug-Resistant TB, unless they have been cleared by a New Zealand Respiratory or Infectious Diseases specialist as outlined in the New Zealand Guidelines for TB.

We also don’t consider medical waivers for people who were eligible to be included in an earlier application for a residence visa as a partner or dependent child; and

  • were not declared in that earlier application; or
  • were not included in that earlier application; or
  • were withdrawn from that earlier application.

When we make a decision about whether we’ll grant a medical waiver, we take into account things like:

  • the objectives of our health requirements and the objectives of the category under which the visa application has been made
  • the degree to which significant costs or demands will be imposed on New Zealand's health or education services
  • whether the person has immediate family lawfully and permanently resident in New Zealand, and the circumstances and duration of that residence
  • whether the person’s potential contribution to New Zealand will be significant
  • the length of the person’s intended stay in New Zealand.

Migrant levy

A levy we used to charge to help fund settlement programmes for new migrants. The migrant levy has been replaced by the immigration levy.

Minimum threshold

The minimum threshold is the lowest number of points you need to score for your Expression of Interest to enter the Expression of Interest Pool. This threshold is set at 100 points.  You also need to have scored points for either recognised qualifications or work experience to meet the threshold.

Expressions of Interest in the Pool are ranked from highest to lowest and the greater your score the greater your chance of being invited to apply for residence.

Minimum wage

The least amount someone working in New Zealand can be paid by law. Minimum wage rates are reviewed every year and are available on the Employment New Zealand website.

Employment New Zealand

Multiple entry travel conditions

Travel conditions that allow a visa holder to travel to and from New Zealand as many times as they like until their visa expires.

Visa holders with multiple entry travel conditions still need to apply for entry permission each time they return to New Zealand.


New Zealand Charter Party

A New Zealand company that enters into a formal fishing charter arrangement with a foreign partner to carry out fishing operations in New Zealand.

New Zealand qualifications

Under our Skilled Migrant Category, you can qualify for bonus points for a recognised qualification that you have studied for and gained through a New Zealand institution such as a university or polytechnic. You can also qualify for bonus points for two years of full-time study in New Zealand towards a recognised qualification.

See definition of basic New Zealand qualification.

New Zealand Qualifications Authority

The New Zealand government agency responsible for setting the standards for New Zealand qualifications and recognising overseas qualifications. It administers the New Zealand Qualifications Framework and assesses overseas qualifications against it.

For more information visit:

New Zealand Qualifications Authority

New Zealand Qualifications Framework

A framework that divides New Zealand qualifications into 10 different levels based on the knowledge and experience holders of those qualifications are expected to have. Overseas qualifications can be compared to the New Zealand Qualifications Framework by the New Zealand Qualification Authority.

New Zealand Qualification Authority

New Zealand visa

A record held by us that shows you're able to travel to, or stay in New Zealand. The kind of visa you have affects how long you can stay and what you can do. A visa may or may not be endorsed in your passport.

Non-principal applicants

Anyone included in a visa application who is not the principal applicant, ie the principal applicant’s partner, the principal applicant’s dependent children, the principal applicant’s partner’s dependent children.


Organisation of national repute

A New Zealand organisation that is nationally recognised for its record of excellence in either:

  • a field of art, culture or sport
  • fostering exceptional talent in a field of art, culture or sport.

Occupational registration

Registration with a New Zealand registration authority that allows you to work in a particular occupation in New Zealand. New Zealand law requires you to have New Zealand registration before you can work in some occupations in New Zealand.

Offer of skilled employment

A job offer from a New Zealand employer made to you.  The job offered must meet our definition of skilled employment.

Offers of employment

All offers of employment must be genuine and sustainable, and contain the following information:

  • name, address, telephone and/or fax number of the employer
  • name and address of the person to whom the job is offered
  • a full job description including:
    • the job title or designation
    • the address of the place of employment
    • the type of work, duties and responsibilities involved
    • details of pay and conditions of employment
    • any qualifications, experience or training required
    • the duration of the job
    • how long the job offer is open.

Official Workbook

A government issued work record that is a legal requirement for workers in some countries.

If you need to demonstrate work experience in a country that uses an official workbook, you should provide a copy if you are applying for a work, visitor or student visa, or the original or a certified copy if you are applying for a resident visa.

Ordinarily resident in New Zealand

Ordinarily resident in New Zealand is defined as having been lawfully present in New Zealand for more than 183 days in the last 12 months.


A registered company, incorporated society or charitable trust.


Panel physicians

A doctor or radiologist who has been approved by New Zealand Immigration to complete medical and chest x-ray certificates.  

Participating APEC countries

The countries and regions participating in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) business card travel scheme are:

  • Australia 
  • Brunei Darussalam 
  • Canada
  • Chile 
  • China 
  • Chinese Taipei
  • Hong Kong (China)
  • Indonesia 
  • Japan
  • Malaysia 
  • Mexico 
  • New Zealand
  • Papua New Guinea  
  • Peru 
  • Philippines
  • Republic of Korea 
  • Russia 
  • Singapore
  • Thailand 
  • United States of America 
  • Vietnam.


A person you are legally married to, or in a civil union or de facto relationship with, and who you live with in a genuine and stable partnership. Partners can be of the same or opposite sex.

Persons exempt from licensing

The following persons are exempt from the requirement to be licensed:

  1. persons who provide immigration advice in an informal or family context only, so long as the advice is not provided systematically or for a fee:
  2.  members of Parliament, and members of their staff who provide immigration advice within the scope of their employment agreement:
  3. foreign diplomats and consular staff accorded protection as such under the Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act 1968 or the Consular Privileges and Immunities Act 1971:
  4. employees of the public service who provide immigration advice within the scope of their employment agreement:
  5. lawyers:
  6. persons employed by or working as volunteers for community law centres (as defined in section 6 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006), where at least 1 lawyer—
    • is on the employing body of the community law centre; or
    • is employed by or working as a volunteer for the community law centre in a supervisory capacity:
  7. persons employed by or working as volunteers for citizens advice bureaux:
  8. persons who provide immigration advice offshore in relation to applications or potential applications for student visas only.


For Skilled Migrant you can qualify for points for your Expression of Interest based on how well you score on assessment against selected factors. The points system is designed to identify those people with the most to offer New Zealand so that invitations to apply for residence can be extended to them. The greater the number of points you score, the greater your chance of gaining an invitation to apply for residence. You need to score at least 100 points to have a chance of entering the Expressions of Interest Pool.

Pre-assessment result

A report from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority that assesses your qualification based on the information you supply.

Primary sector

A group of industries made up of the farming, mining, fishing, and fruit, vegetable and flower-growing industries.

Principal applicant

The person we assess against the criteria for a Resident Visa first.

Protected person

A person granted a Resident Visa in New Zealand because they were recognised as having protected person status in New Zealand.



A secure online ID that allows you to login to a wide range of New Zealand Government services using a single username and password.

Recognised business experience

For us to recognise your business experience:

  • your business experience must include planning, organisation, control, senior change-management, direction-setting, and mentoring
  • you must have acquired your business experience as an owner or senior manager of a lawful business enterprise that had 5 or more full-time employees, or an annual turn-over of NZ $1 million.

When we assess applications for Investor 2 Resident Visas, we only award points for recognised business experience.

Recognised qualification

A qualification that either is:

  • on the 'List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment'
  • on the 'List of Qualifications Recognised as an Exception'
  • assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority as occupying a level on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework that qualifies for points
  • assessed by a New Zealand registration authority at the same level as a qualification on the 'List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment' as part of an application for New Zealand occupational registration.

List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment
List of Qualifications Recognised as an Exception

Recognised Qualification - Two years

For the puposes of Skilled Migrant Category bonus points for New Zealand qualifications, Immigration New Zealand considers "two years" of study to be study undertaken for at least 16 months over four or more semesters.

Recognised Seasonal Employer

An employer who has Immigration New Zealand's approval under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme to recruit workers from overseas to work in our fruit and vegetable, and grape-growing industries when they need extra workers.

Recognised work experience

Work experience gained in a labour market comparable to New Zealand that is:

  • relevant to your current skilled employment or offer of skilled employment in New Zealand
  • relevant to your recognised qualification
  • skilled, because it enabled you to gain specialist, technical or management skills and experience relevant to an occupation included at Appendix 6 or Appendix 7 or our Operational Manual.

Work experience may also be recognised if it was gained in a labour market that is not comparable to New Zealand if that work experience meets the requirements of SM13.20.

Appendix 6
Appendix 7

Refugee - Refugee Family Support Category

A person granted New Zealand residence for one of the following reasons:

  • they were given refugee status by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees before they arrived in New Zealand
  • they were recognised as a refugee by the New Zealand Government after they arrived in New Zealand.

Refugee Family Support Category queues

We use two tiered queues to help us select people to invite to apply for residence under the Refugee Family Support Category.

To join a queue, family members have to be sponsored by a person who has been granted New Zealand residence because they were a refugee or protected person, and are an eligible sponsor.

Different criteria apply for sponsors to register for tier one and tier two queues. Tier one sponsor registrations are selected in the order they are received until the annual quota is met. If there are any places left after this, we fill the remaining places from the tier two queue.

Registration authority

An organisation authorised by New Zealand law to give occupational registration.

Religious work

Paid or unpaid work that’s in one or more of the following activities:

  • teaching religious scripture or philosophy
  • leading religious ceremonies, worship or prayer
  • ordaining new religious leaders, initiating new members into your religious community, carrying out religious ceremonies
  • providing spiritual guidance and care.


SSE approved employer

An employer that has INZ approval under the Supplementary Seasonal Employer Scheme (SSE) to recruit overseas workers to plant, maintain, harvest or pack crops when there are not enough New Zealanders available to do the work.

Schengen member state

A country that has agreed to allow the free movement of citizens within the Schengen Area.

Seasonal Labour Co-ordinator

A person employed by the horticulture and viticulture industries to find people to do seasonal work in New Zealand, including for approved Supplementary Seasonal Employers.

Seasonal work

Planting, maintaining, harvesting or packing crops.

Section 49 conditions

Sometimes visas are subject to extra conditions under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act 2009. We call these section 49 conditions. For example, if you’re granted residence under the Skilled Migrant Category a section 49 condition could be that you take up an offer of skilled employment within 3 months of arriving in New Zealand.

Skilled employment

Any employment that you need specialist, technical or management expertise and relevant qualifications and/or work experience to do, and is either:

  • on our ‘List of Skilled Occupations’ or ‘Occupations treated as exceptions’, or
  • in an occupation that because of your international reputation and record of excellence, would improve New Zealand’s accomplishments and participation in that field.

List of Skilled Occupations
Occupations treated as exceptions

Skills Match Report

A report from New Zealand’s Work and Income that details if any New Zealanders are available to work in a particular occupation.

Sole carer

A person who has the primary responsibility for the day-to-day care of a dependent relative or relatives in New Zealand, on an ongoing basis.

Special category visitor visas

A visitor visa that allows people who aren’t tourists to visit New Zealand for a short time. You may be eligible for a visitor visa in a special category, if you have a specific reason for your visit. Examples include:

  • for business reasons
  • to take part in a New Zealand Trade and Enterprise or New Zealand Tourism Board Visiting Media Programme
  • to join a vessel or aircraft as crew
  • to take part in a sports events, either as a sports person, support staff, or media or broadcasting personnel
  • as a visiting academic
  • to take part in an approved arts or music festival
  • to take part in a high-end music act.

Special direction

A decision made by New Zealand’s Immigration Minister (or his or her delegate) to waive an immigration requirement for, or impose an immigration condition on a person, visa, or document. Special directions are only made in very special circumstances.

Specialist personnel

People who can carry out specific or specialist tasks at a senior level, who also have organisational knowledge in one of the following areas:

  • service
  • research equipment
  • techniques
  • management.


A guarantee from a person, organisation or government agency to look after you while you visit, study, work or settle in New Zealand. If you're coming temporarily, your sponsor will also guarantee the cost of your return home .

Statutory Declaration

A written statement of facts, signed by you declaring the facts you wrote are true. Declarations have to be signed in front of an authorised person, such as a Justice of the Peace, a barrister or solicitor, a Notary Public who also signs the statement to confirm it was signed by you.

Support staff at a sports event, tour or tournament

People whose job it is to support sports events and tours, such as:

  • team management, including coaches, administrative and logistics staff
  • medical personnel, including doctors and physiotherapists
  • match officials, including referees and umpires
  • tournament officials, including judicial and anti-doping officials.


Travel conditions

Conditions on a visa that allow travel to and from New Zealand, either once or for a certain amount of time.

Tertiary education institute

A New Zealand university, institute of technology, polytechnic or wānanga. 

For a list of tertiary education institutes vist:

Tertiary Education Commission   

Tier one sponsor (RFSC)

An eligible sponsor who has registered as a sponsor under the Refugee Family Support Category and either:

  • doesn’t have any immediate family living in New Zealand as New Zealand citizens or residents
  • the only family they have in New Zealand depend solely on them to meet their ongoing needs for day-to-day care.

Tier two sponsor (RFSC)

An eligible sponsor who has registered as a sponsor under the Refugee Family Support Category and both:

  • has been a New Zealand resident or citizen for 3 years or more when they register
  • has spent 184 or more days in New Zealand as a citizen or resident in each of the 3 years before they register.

Transit passenger

A passenger who arrives in New Zealand while on their way to another country and for the whole time they’re in New Zealand stays either:

  • on board the craft they came to New Zealand on
  • in an immigration control area, like an airport or port
  • in the custody of New Zealand Police.


An acronym for Transitioning to Recognised Seasonal Employer, a visa we used to grant to allow people to do seasonal work in the horticulture and viticulture industries. It’s been replaced by the Seasonal Supplementary Employment (SSE) Work Visa.

Turkish institutions that teach in English

INZ will accept tertiary qualifications from the following Turkish institutions as evidence you’re able to speak English:

  • Bilkent University, Ankara
  • Cankaya University, Ankara
  • Middle East Technical University (METU or ODTU), Ankara
  • Bahcesehir University, Istanbul
  • Bogazici University, Istanbul
  • Istanbul Sehir University
  • Istanbul Bilgi University
  • Istanbul Arel University
  • Koc University, Istanbul
  • Ozyegin University, Istanbul
  • Sabanci University, Istanbul
  • Yeditepe University, Istanbul
  • Izmir Ekonomi University
  • Izmir Institute of Technology (Izmir Yuksek Teknoloji Enstitusu or IYTE)
  • Yasar University, Izmir.

We'll also need evidence that the instruction for your qualification was in English.


Unencumbered funds

Funds that are free from mortgages, liens, charges, loans, bonds and creditor claims.

Unlicensed adviser

A person who is neither licensed under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007 to operate as an immigration adviser or exempt under section 11 from the requirement to be licensed.


Variation of conditions

A change to the conditions of a student, work or visitor visa. You may apply for a variation of conditions to allow you to:

  • travel to and from New Zealand more than once
  • change the course you’re studying, or the education provider you’re studying with, or to work during the holidays (student visas)
  • change your occupation, employer, place of employment, or study part-time (work visas)
  • do seasonal work, work-part time, or study (visitor visas).

Venture capital fund

A fund that invests capital in an early-stage or start-up (or seed) company in exchange for an equity stake in that company.

Visa waiver countries

A country whose citizens don’t have to apply for a visa before travelling to New Zealand, when:

  • they’re coming for a short visit of 3 months or less (or 6 months or less for British citizens)
  • the reason for their visit is not medical consultation or treatment.

Visa waiver countries

Viticulture industry

Grape-growing businesses.



An activity which you are paid to do, either in salary or wages, or another benefit like accommodation, food or transport.

Work doesn’t include:

  • business visits for less than 3 months
  • activities by visiting media, academics, sports people and their support staff, or approved festival performers and their crew
  • official business for a foreign government
  • volunteer work for the Department of Conservation (DOC).