Can You Move To New Zealand Without a Job Offer? [2024]

Many people dream of living in New Zealand, but the country’s immigration policies often require one to have a job in order to relocate. Thus, moving to New Zealand without a job offer is challenging. New Zealand immigration has hundreds of visas available for foreigners, and you can qualify for some of them even without an employment contract.

While most visa types require employment in New Zealand, you can still move there without an official job offer. For instance, one can visit New Zealand as a tourist or apply for one of the available visas, e.g., Working holiday visa, Business visa, Investor or Partner visa.

Relocation to New Zealand isn’t easy, and some might think that it’s impossible without a job. There is a wide range of immigration pathways you can assess and find suitable to your personal situation. To get an appropriate New Zealand visa, you must meet certain conditions.

This country has a point immigration system; hence, you need to collect enough of them based on age, qualification, relevant work experience, and other criteria. But don’t worry; in this article, we explain in more detail the main possible ways to move to New Zealand without a job offer in 2024.

Also read the main reasons why you should not move to New Zealand.

Moving to New Zealand without a job in 2024: a guide

New Zealand immigration ensures that it gets the best immigrants into the country. That means they want to see qualified professionals with in-demand skills and work experience as a potential applicant.

New Zealand needs people who can occupy vacant jobs where demand exceeds the supply. Hence, most visas require one to have a job offer within the country that meets their qualifications prior to the request.

Therefore, unlike many other countries, you will need a job, e.g., an employment contract, when applying for most long-term visas in New Zealand. Nonetheless, there are some exceptions that we have collected in this article.

While you can still move to New Zealand without a job, one is clear. You will need to get employment sooner or later if you want to have a sustainable and secure life here. This might not apply to partners of high-income individuals or investors, but anyone else may consider this.

Before buying a plane ticket to New Zealand, you need to ensure you can qualify for one of its visas to stay here for an extended period. As you might know, many of them require a job, so we have selected immigration pathways where you don’t need an employment contract in New Zealand.

Besides, you should figure out how to manage living expenses (which are pretty high) without getting a job in this country. You will need to support yourself for at least several months before you start earning money.

If you come from Australia, you can easily move to New Zealand without a job. You only will need a passport. All other nationals require a visa to stay in the country long-term, and a job offer is a base for most visas.

The main ways to move to New Zealand without a job are:

1. Family reunification: Whether your partner, parent, or child is a New Zealander or residency holder, you can job them without needing a job offer.

2. Working and holiday: You can come to New Zealand within the Working holiday scheme.

3. Investment: If you want to invest in New Zealand, you can do it with an Investor visa.

4. Business: If you want to start a business in New Zealand, you can get an appropriate visa without a job.

5. Studies: You can also come to New Zealand without a job if you plan to participate in the study program. The country has a wide range of degrees and qualifications you can choose from.

1. Visitor visa

The easiest way to come to New Zealand without a job is as a visitor. Depending on your nationality, you might don’t need a visa to travel to New Zealand.

For instance, citizens of Visa Waiver countries can travel to New Zealand visa-free. These include the US, all EU/EEA states, and many others. However, your permitted stay can be limited, usually up to 3 to 6 months. For instance, UK citizens don’t need a visa to enter New Zealand for up to 6 months.

Nonetheless, getting a Visitor visa is a great way to move to the country without getting a job. It allows you to stay and enjoy the country for up to nine months.

  • Visit friends and family, explore New Zealand, or enjoy amateur sports or adventure activities.
  • Study for up to 3 months.
  • Include your partner and dependent children, aged 19 and under, in your visa application.

You can also study for a short time on this visa or attend a job interview. You will need enough money to support yourself during your stay.

2. Working holiday visa

A Working holiday visa is by far the best way to move to New Zealand without a job offer. All you need is to be of eligible age, which is between 18 to 30, and 18 to 35 in some countries.

Yet, your country of origin must be included in the list of states participating in the Working holiday program in New Zealand. Generally, the duration of a Working holiday visa is 12 months, but if you are from UK or Canada, you can stay up to 23 months.

You will need to provide a General Medical Certificate. Also, you must have a return ticket or sufficient funds to buy one at the time when you enter New Zealand. Therefore, you must show a minimum of NZ$4,200 in your bank account.

The main conditions of a Working holiday visa are:

  • have enough money to pay for a return ticket
  • to come to New Zealand mainly for a holiday, work shouldn’t be the priority

With a Working holiday visa, you can work short-term jobs in New Zealand, but you can’t accept a permanent job offer. Therefore, it’s not allowed to accept a permanent job offer.

Apart from working, you can also study on a Working holiday visa. The total duration of studies should be a maximum of 6 months.

While most developed countries participate in the Working Holiday visa scheme. Not everyone can use this incredible opportunity. Only citizens of the following countries can qualify for a New Zealand Working holiday visa:

  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Croatia
  • Czech
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • USA
  • Uruguay
  • Vietnam

Here are the requirements for a Working holiday visa:

  • 18-30 years of age (up to 35 for some countries)
  • Passport of the qualified country
  • Enough funds in a bank account
  • Be in good health and of good character – a standard requirement for all visas
  • Pay the visa application fee of NZ$208
  • Not accompanied by dependent children
  • Have a return ticket or funds to buy one  
  • Have not previously entered New Zealand on a Working Holiday Visa 
  • A health insurance coverage for the duration of your stay in New Zealand. Travel insurance is sufficient.

Changes in Working holiday visa in 2022

Working holiday visa was closed during the pandemic and started to reopen in autumn 2022. The majority of reopening days fall on September – December 2022.

Besides, some changes were made to the Working holiday visa in order to increase the number of participants and hence, foreign workers in the country. For instance, if someone already had applied for a Working holiday visa but wasn’t able to travel to New Zealand, they can reapply and get a new visa.

Furthermore, New Zealand increased the number of possible participants for most countries. That way, the caps for the capped Working holiday schemes will double for 2024.

Read more about Working holiday visa on the official website of New Zealand immigration. There you can also see the list of countries, citizens of which qualify for a Working holiday visa.

Looking for a job? Check out the best recruitment agencies in New Zealand.

3. Skilled Migrant visa

Generally, you don’t need a job offer to get a Skilled Migrant visa; however, you need to collect a minimum number of points to apply. Candidates with a job offer in New Zealand are able to gain the highest score, hence, qualify for this visa.

The minimum number of points you must collect is 180 (from November 2022). This threshold was recently changed from 160 points.

Some factors that give you points include your skills (education), work experience, age, English skills, etc. Particular professions have higher chances to qualify, such as:

  • Craftsmen and trade workers
  • Doctors, nurses and caregivers
  • IT specialists
  • Engineers
  • Social workers and teachers

To get this visa, you must submit an expression of interest to New Zealand immigration. If you collect the required number of points, you will receive an invitation to apply.

When applying for a job in New Zealand, you need to include a cover letter. Check out our guide on how to write a perfect one!

4. Student visa

You can also move to New Zealand without a job offer if you plan to study there. New Zealand’s student visa applies to various educational programs, including university degrees and participation in language courses.

Besides, you can choose from a wide range of qualification types. Each of them has its criteria for a student visa.

For instance, with a full degree program, you will get a more extended visa for up to three years. At the same time, certificates and diplomas that last 12 or 18 months might only provide you with a visa for that period.

One thing to consider is that New Zealand education is pretty expensive. Expect to pay 15,000 NZD for one semester of studies and onwards.

Yet, you can earn money while studying in New Zealand. International students are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week and full-time during semester breaks/holidays.

Keep in mind that you can’t include your partner or dependent children in a student visa; however, they are edible to apply for separate visas based on your student visa.

Also read: How to move to New Zealand without a degree.

5. Pathway Student visa

A pathway student visa is a more extended student that allows you to study up to 3 courses, one after the other, while having just one student visa. You must have a pathway student visa offer of a place and the funds to pay for your tuition fees.

Here are some details on the pathway student visa:

  • Validity for up to 5 years
  • Students can work up to 20 hours per week and full-time during vacation.

6. Self-employment/Business visa

If you don’t want to get a job in New Zealand but would instead start something on your own, a business visa is a great option. Assuming you have enough funds to launch your business, foreigners have good chances of getting a business/entrepreneur visa and residency later on.

To apply for a visa, you must invest at least NZ$100,000 into your business and provide a detailed business plan.

Besides, to qualify for this visa, you must collect enough points, which at the time of writing is 120. Factors like capital, business/management experience, education, age, number of jobs you create, revenue forecast, etc.

This is a more expensive and lengthy way of relocating to New Zealand. Only the application costs NZ$3,365, and it takes up to 25 months to proceed.

7. Investor visa

There are two main investor visas allowing you to move to New Zealand with no job. One requires less capital than another.

You can qualify for an Investor visa category 1 and move to New Zealand without a job if you have NZ$10 million to invest. The form of investment can be a range of assets, including real estate, shares, bonds, etc.

This visa doesn’t have age restrictions or English tests. Applicants also don’t have to prove any business experience. The investments you make have to be for a period of at least three years.

At the same time, Investor visa category 2 has fewer capital requirements set at NZ$3 million. However, you will need to prove at least three years of work experience as an entrepreneur or manager and your English skills. Currently, this visa is closed, and it’s unclear when it will reopen.

An investor visa is a path to residency. That means an applicant obtains permanent residence in New Zealand when getting this visa. This is the main advantage of an investor visa.

Furthermore, after four years, you can take your investments back or reinvest them.

Learn how to become a New Zealand citizen.

8. Partner or Family visa

By getting a partner visa, you can move to New Zealand without a job. The most important condition is that your partner has enough resources to provide for your financially.

There are various partner visas in New Zealand, depending on the legal status of your partner. Generally, you must have a relationship with a New Zealand resident or citizen.

Generally, with a partner visa, you don’t have to have a job to move to New Zealand, and you are eligible to:

  • Live, work, and study in New Zealand.
  • Include dependent children aged 24 and under in your visa application.

Here are the requirements if your partner is a resident or a citizen of New Zealand:

  • Your partner must provide information on his status in New Zealand, e.g. passport or visa.
  • You and your partner must have been living together for 12 months or more.
  • Your partner must be able to sponsor you

If your partner is a New Zealand resident because of their citizenship or residence status in Australia, they may provide their Australian passport, permanent residence, or resident return visa.

Keep in mind that getting a partner visa can be a lengthy process, with 75% of Partnership Visas getting proceed within 13 months.

9. As a permanent resident of Australia

Another option to move to New Zealand without a job offer is to be a permanent resident of Australia. According to Permanent residents and citizens of Australian and New Zealand immigration laws, Australian citizens and PR holders can freely live and work in New Zealand.

There is also no time limitation on how long you can live in New Zealand.

Things to keep in mind

To move to New Zealand, you will need to get a long-term visa which is expensive. For instance, a Working holiday visa costs NZ$208, and a skilled migrant resident visa NZ$3,615. Visas for entrepreneurs and investors are even more pricey and can cost you up to NZ$4,745 for Investor type 2.

Getting a job without a visa

If you are thinking of getting a job before coming to New Zealand, you might face many challenges.

Many employers here aren’t open to hiring foreigners without a work visa, e.g., someone who is residing abroad and only planning on moving to New Zealand.

Consequently, it’s incredibly difficult to find employment before coming to New Zealand unless your skillset is in shortage. For that reason, you might consider the list of visas we mention in this article so you can move to New Zealand and start your job hunt when you are already here.

If you are thinking of getting a job in New Zealand, read our guide on salaries.

Similar Posts