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5 Best Types of New Zealand Visas for African Immigrants

5 Best Types of New Zealand Visas for African Immigrants

If you’re looking to move to New Zealand, you may be wondering about the types of visas available for African immigrants. Luckily, New Zealand provides several great visa options for those hoping to begin their new life in the Land of the Long White Cloud. In this article, we’ll discuss the five best types of New Zealand visas available to immigrants from Africa and provide more information on how these work and why they are so beneficial.

1) New Zealand Working Holiday Visa


A Working Holiday Visa is one of the most commonly sought out New Zealand visas, but it comes with strict eligibility criteria. As a general rule, you’ll need to be between 18 and 30 years old, hold a valid passport from any country outside Australia or New Zealand and meet financial requirements. You must also have held $4,000 (NZD) in your bank account for at least three months before applying. If you meet all these requirements, you’ll be able to stay in New Zealand for up to 12 months during which time you can gain employment and holiday—but not work more than 60 days.

New Zealand holiday visa requirements

  • Age: You must be between 18 and 30 years old.
  • Citizenship: You must come from a qualifying country, such as the U.S.
  • Passport validity: Your passport must be valid for at least three months after you plan to leave New Zealand.
  • Proof of onward travel: You need a ticket showing you’ll be leaving New Zealand before your visa expires.
  • Medical insurance
  • Good health and good character: You must be in good health and not have a criminal record.
  • No dependents: The working holiday visa is only for you; you can’t bring kids with you.
  • Sufficient funds: You’ll need to show you have enough money to support yourself for a few months, usually about $2,750 USD.
  • No previous visa: You can’t have already been granted a New Zealand working holiday visa.
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2) New Zealand Essential Skills Visa

New Zealand’s Essential Skills Visa (subclass 489) is good news if you want to live in New Zealand and work as a skilled migrant. With an essential skills visa, you can work in New Zealand permanently, so long as your employer continues to sponsor your visa. While specific criteria apply depending on what type of job you’re doing, a number of occupations are eligible: engineers; architects; carpenters; electricians; mechanics; construction workers, and supervisors. You can also qualify for an essential skills visa if you have special qualifications that aren’t readily available in New Zealand – such as High Demand Skills. To apply for an essential skills visa under one of these categories, you need to have sponsorship from a licensed employer before applying for a work permit.

Eligibility Requirements

  • You have satisfactory levels of work experience and knowledge for the role
  • The employment you’re going to undertake is sustainable
  • You can carry out the tasks and responsibilities related to your work under the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO)

3) International Experience New Zealand (IENZ) Visa

The International Experience New Zealand Visa is designed to give young people from various countries around the world a chance to visit, work and study in New Zealand. This visa is valid for up to 2 years and allows you to work up to 20 hours per week while you’re here. You can extend your visa after 6 months if you’re between 18 and 30 years old, are studying full-time, or have successfully completed at least 3 months’ seasonal work. Once you’ve stayed with an IENZ Visa in New Zealand, it’s likely that your skills will be in high demand by employers here—making it much easier to apply for a skilled migrant visa down the track.

4) NZ Ancestry Visa

If you have ancestral ties to New Zealand and want to live there, you could be eligible for an NZ Ancestry Visa. To qualify, you must have either one set of grandparents or great-grandparents who were born in New Zealand before 1901. If so, apply through New Zealand’s official immigration website and follow all instructions closely. Kiwis take immigration seriously! The good news is that New Zealand is a lovely country with very low crime rates, and it offers many perks for citizens—including universal healthcare coverage. While living in New Zealand might not be an option right now, your ancestry could give you access to a better life down the road!

5) New Zealand Study Visa

The first type of New Zealand visa available to Africans looking to move to New Zealand is a Study Visa. There are two subcategories in which you may choose: Student Visa and English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS). This is a temporary student visa and will last either one year or three years. The first part of getting your study visa in New Zealand is finding an approved educational institution. Approved institutions have information on their websites about how Africans can apply to study there, including what documentation is required and where you need to send it. In addition, most educational institutions offer scholarships with varying awards from organizations or companies in Africa.

To apply for a visa, you must have the following documentation ready:

  • A valid passport which must be valid for at least three months after your period of stay in New Zealand
  • A letter of acceptance from a New Zealand education provider states the minimum course duration, total tuition fee, and whether the tuition fee is in domestic and foreign currency. The course must be approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority
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You may also need additional documentation such as:

  • Academic preparation documents such as transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates
  • Current application form – Student Visa Application form
  • Correct visa application fee
  • Tuition fee receipt showing payment to date
  • Evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover your living expenses throughout the periods of your stay. You will need to show you have NZ$15,000 for a full year of study or NZ$1,250 per month. This may include:
    • Bank statements
    • Financial undertaking by a sponsor to cover accommodation and living costs.
    • A scholarship program
    • Evidence that you are leaving New Zealand after the completion of your course. This can be in the form of flight tickets, however, it is optional.
    • A police certificate if you are aged 17 years or over and plan to study for more than 24 months. A police certificate is a document that is used as evidence of good character.
    • An X-ray certificate – you will need to have a chest x-ray if you are staying in New Zealand for more than six months, if you’re a citizen of a country with a relatively high incidence of tuberculosis, or if you’ve spent more than three months in the last five years in a country with a relatively high incidence of tuberculosis
    • Full medical examination

You can find out more about each of the different types of visas and how to apply on the New Zealand Government’s Immigration website.

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