English speaking background

If you were invited to apply for residence before 12 October 2016, and are not providing an English language test result, you may be able to meet English language requirements by showing you have an English speaking background.

Evidence of an English-speaking background can include:

  • certificates showing you were taught in English for all the years you were at primary school and for at least 3 years of secondary school
  • certificates showing you were taught in English for 5 years at secondary school
  • a tertiary qualification that was taught in English, which took 3 or more years to complete
  • if you’ve been working in New Zealand for 12 months or more, a copy of your employment agreement and/or references from your employer (Business visas only)
  • certificates showing you have a qualification listed in our ‘English Language Information’ leaflet.

Or, if you are applying under the Parent Category, Residence From Work categories, or Business categories you may be able to show us that you’re a competent user of English for other reasons, including:

  • English is the only language you speak
  • the country you live in now or any countries you’ve lived in before are English-speaking
  • how long you’ve lived in any English-speaking countries
  • your family speaks no language other than English
  • your family speaks English
  • you have to speak English for your work either now or in the past.


English Language Information (INZ1060) PDF 251KB