Immigration to New Zealand


New Zealand is a diverse and multicultural country, with immigrants making up about 25% of the population. New Zealand has a complex immigration system which we are skilled at navigating to ensure our clients are strongly placed to attain their immigration goals. For many that is NZ permanent residence and perhaps NZ citizenship.


Unless you are a citizen of a visa waiver country or otherwise exempt, you will need a New Zealand visa to travel to New Zealand. The type of visa you require depends on your main reason for being in New Zealand. To get a visa, you need to satisfy Immigration New Zealand that you meet their requirements for granting you that visa. Visa Applications can be very document heavy and knowing what documents and information to provide is not always evident from Immigration New Zealand’s website. We can help you.


Our skills as immigration lawyers equip us well to help you plan your NZ visa application, advise you as necessary, advocate on your behalf as necessary and assist you to submit a decision ready application.

Immigration Policy

New Zealand immigration policy changes regularly in accordance with the presiding Government’s immigration objectives. Stimulating the NZ economy following Covid-19 restrictions is currently a primary objective. Current immigration policy is focused on attracting visitors, workers, significant investors, and international students to our shores and retaining highly skilled individuals and their families.

Labour shortages in many industries including education, healthcare, construction/trades, dairy farming and ICT industries have caused recent changes to New Zealand’s residence pathways.

Suitably skilled migrants with job offers from accredited employers for well-paid positions on Immigration New Zealand’s “Green List” have defined pathways to residence. The Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa has been overhauled with changes, including a new 6-point qualifying system, being implemented from 9 October 2023. Short processing timeframes of 6 to 8 weeks have been promised to those whose skilled migrant applications are straightforward and contain all required documents and information. If New Zealand residence is your goal, now is an ideal time to contact us!

Family Reunification

Another primary immigration objective is Family Reunification. We offer assistance in the following categories of possible migration to New Zealand.

  • Partner visas
  • Parent and Grandparent visas
  • Dependent Child visas

We have the privilege of working closely with our immigration clients, getting to know them and their families both professionally and personally. Reuniting couples and families is hugely satisfying for us. Assisting families from the start of their immigration journey to the end can involve multiple visa applications over several years as stepping stones to permanent NZ residence. Reaching the residence milestone is often not the end of our relationship. As legal practitioners, we undertake a wide variety of legal work. Between us and the wider Ross Dowling team, we can attend to all your immigration and legal needs, including referring you to other agencies and professionals as appropriate.