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Frequently Asked Questions

Heartland Immigration offers a range of different services. We are happy to tailor our services to meet your needs, whatever they may be.


Initial Assessment: We offer an introductory service to establish if we can help you realise your immigration objectives. Costs and a tailored service option would be discussed with you to allow you to make an informed decision.


Comprehensive service: Most commonly we assist individuals or employers with the visa process. We handle the entire visa process on your behalf and charge a set fee for this. We prepare the forms, collate the documentation and deal with Immigration New Zealand.


Advice: We also offer a service whereby we can provide advice to individuals or employers by the half hour basis. So if you are not sure what your options are, require some in depth advice or have a number of different queries, then we can assist with advice and will charge you based on the number of hours we spend working on your queries.


Reviewing visa applications: We also offer a service that involves checking and reviewing your visa application. We appreciate that some people do not wish to engage an adviser to represent them with Immigration New Zealand but still want an experienced eye to look over everything. We can review your application before you submit it to Immigration New Zealand and let you know if you have all of the documentation required. We can let you know if we think Immigration New Zealand will raise any concerns about your application. This is a great option if you think you have a good grasp of the immigration requirements but want an adviser to double check your application before you submit it.


Challenges in obtaining an approval from Immigration New Zealand: Your application may have been submitted or you have received a letter from challenging your eligibility

Every application is different and processing times vary depending on the type of visa and the Immigration New Zealand branch where your application is processed. In addition, if there are any issues identified with your application (such as convictions or health problems), this may delay your application.


As a general guide, temporary visas (such as a work visa) can take up to 8 weeks to process, though many can be processed faster. Residence applications can take much longer and you should allow at least 6 months for a resident visa application to be processed. Each of the Immigration New Zealand branches has a page on the Immigration New Zealand website which provides up to date processing times. For the Christchurch Branch, see

No. Immigration New Zealand does not provide immigration advice to individuals or businesses. Immigration New Zealand is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and its core function is to process visa applications. In New Zealand, only those persons who hold an Immigration Adviser Licence (or are exempt) may provide immigration advice. You can find out more about the licensing requirements and check if a person is licensed by visiting the Immigration Advisers Authority website

Yes. If you do not provide the documents required, Immigration New Zealand will return your application to you without processing it. There are strict ‘lodgement requirements’ for each application type and if you fail to provide one or more of the required documents, then Immigration New Zealand will return your application to you. This can cause unnecessary delays.


One of the ways in which a Licensed Immigration Adviser can assist you is to ensure that you have all of the documentation that is required by Immigration New Zealand. Immigration Advisers are familiar with the documents that are required for each application type and the type of additional supporting evidence that Immigration New Zealand likes to see.

No. One of our Licensed Immigration Advisers will meet with you and discuss your situation with you at an initial consultation. After this consultation, the adviser will set out the options available to you. The adviser will be able to highlight any potential issues or concerns that Immigration New Zealand may raise. If we do not think your application will be successful, we will tell you. Licensed Immigration Advisers are required by their Code of Conduct to advise a client in writing if an immigration matter is futile or has little chance of success, before taking on such a case.


Immigration New Zealand is the government body responsible for processing and deciding visa applications. They are independent and while a Licensed Immigration Adviser can represent you and present the best possible case for you, they cannot promise your application will be decided favourably.

Immigration matters are complex. Licensed Immigration Advisers are trained to assist migrants with immigration matters. Licensed Immigration Advisers deal with Immigration New Zealand daily and are familiar with what Immigration New Zealand requires in terms of documentation and additional supporting evidence. An adviser can present your application in the most favourable light possible and highlight the strengths of your application. Advisers can also address any concerns or weaknesses in your application and help you to gather the best supporting documents to address these.


Advisers can assist by advising you of the different visas you could apply for and the benefits of each visa type if you are unsure of which visa to apply for.


As advisers also deal with migrants in their day to day work, they are familiar with the needs and concerns of migrants. Advisers know the types of questions that migrants have about access to health care, getting bank loans, bringing family members out and so on.

No. Once Immigration New Zealand processes your application, they will not refund any immigration fees.


This is one of the reasons why many people choose to use a Licensed Immigration Adviser to assist them. The Immigration New Zealand application fees can be expensive and you do not want to pay all of that money, only to have your application declined.

If your work visa application is approved, Immigration New Zealand decides what length of visa to grant. Immigration Instructions state that a Work Visa (Essential Skills) will be granted for the period for which employment is offered, normally up to 3 years. There are certain circumstances when a one-off Work Visa (Essential Skills) may be granted for a maximum of 5 years.


However, if you have an offer of employment which is for an ANZSCO skill level 4 or 5 occupation, then a Work Visa (Essential Skills) can only be granted for a maximum of 1 year.

ANZSCO stands for the Australian New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations. It is used by Immigration New Zealand when assessing and processing work visas and Skilled Migrant resident applications. ANZSCO sets out the skill level of the occupation and the tasks or duties that a person in that occupation carries out. You can find a link to the ANZSCO website here:

If you are outside of New Zealand and are required to complete an Immigration New Zealand Medical Certificate, then this must be completed by a Panel Physician (previously referred to as a Panel Doctor). Panel Physicians are doctors that have been reviewed and approved by Immigration New Zealand to complete Immigration New Zealand Medical Certificates.

You may need to obtain a police certificate. There are different requirements for temporary visas and residence visas. If you are required to obtain a police certificate, then you will need to obtain a police certificate from your country (or countries) of citizenship as well as any countries you have lived in for significant periods of time. Please contact one of our advisers to confirm if you are required to provide a police certificate and which police certificates you need.

The process for obtaining a police certificate differs for each country. It is very important that you check the Immigration New Zealand website and obtain the correct police certificate or your application may not be accepted. Some applicants have to obtain finger prints in order to obtain a police certificate. Please check the Immigration New Zealand website for the latest information on obtaining police certificates.

No. If you require a police certificate from New Zealand, Immigration New Zealand will obtain this directly from the New Zealand Police.

It depends. The most common type of work visa is the Essential Skills Work Visa. You must have a job offer in order to obtain an Essential Skills Work Visa. We appreciate that many employers are reluctant to offer overseas workers a job if they do not have a work visa, but the reality is that in most cases, you cannot obtain a work visa unless you have a job offer. Heartland Immigration has a number of contacts in the recruitment industry and would be happy to help with your job search, at no cost.


However, there are some other types of work visas which do not require a job offer, such as Working Holiday Visas and Partnership Work Visas.

To gain residence as an investor, you need to have a minimum of $1.5 million investment funds available. There are many other criteria you also need to meet, such as English language requirements, age limitations and spending time in New Zealand.


If you have $10 million or more investment funds available, then there are fewer requirements.

If you have business experience and you want to be self-employed, then you may be able to apply for an Entrepreneur Work Visa. This visa enables you to buy or establish your own business in New Zealand and can provide a pathway to residence. Normally, you would need to make a minimum capital investment of $100,000. You need to be able to demonstrate that the business you establish or purchase is a high growth, innovative business with export potential.

Many people get confused about the difference between a resident visa and a permanent resident visa (PRV). You can apply for a PRV after you have held a resident visa for two years. You must demonstrate a commitment to New Zealand (normally through time spent in New Zealand) and also have met any conditions imposed on your resident visa. A PRV allows you to travel in and out of New Zealand as a resident at any time, as long as you have the PRV in your valid passport.

Yes, you will probably be able to bring your partner and dependent children with you. Everyone will need to meet health and character requirements and in some cases there are also English language requirements. If you have an Essential Skills Work Visa, then your partner may be eligible for an open Work Visa and your children may be eligible for open Student Visas.


If you wish to bring your partner to New Zealand, you will need to be able to demonstrate that you live with your partner and that your relationship is genuine, stable and ongoing.

There are a number of different Skills Shortage Lists that Immigration New Zealand refers to. These include the Long Term Skills Shortage List (LTSSL), Immediate Skills Shortage List (ISSL) and the Canterbury Skills Shortage List (CSSL). These lists are used to help determine and process work and resident visas. Your job offer does not have to be related to one of the occupations on these lists, though it may make getting a work visa easier. You can check the Skills Shortage Lists here:

The Canterbury Skills Shortage List (CSSL) is an Immigration New Zealand document that sets out occupations in shortage that are required for the rebuild in the Canterbury region. It is used to facilitate the grant of temporary work visas for workers in those occupations who will be based in Canterbury.

If you have a look at your work visa, you will see that it probably has conditions attached to it. So for example, it may say that you can work as a Painter for ABC Company in Christchurch. If any of these details change, you must change your conditions so that you can continue working lawfully in New Zealand. Depending on whether you have changed your job, employer or location, you will either need to apply for a Variation of Conditions or a new work visa.

You do not necessarily need an immigration lawyer or licensed adviser to assist you with immigration matters or with any immigration problems arising during your visa application process.


However by utilising our team you gain access to the knowledge of qualified lawyers who have also completed the Graduate Certificate in New Zealand Immigration Advice. All of our team are Licensed Immigration Advisers (LIA’s), listed on the Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) website.

All Licensed Immigration Advisers have a licence number and the right to use the IAA trademark on all documentation. All advisers are listed on the IAA website.


All of the Heartland team hold such a licence, thereby ensuring you get quality service and the right advice.

You can open a bank account in New Zealand. Each bank has its own requirements. You can transfer money from overseas into your New Zealand bank account. You will normally need to provide your passport and proof of address in order to open an account.


The main banks in New Zealand are: ANZ, Westpac, ASB, Kiwibank and HSBC. You can check their requirements for opening an account online by visiting their website.

You can apply online for an IRD number. You will require an IRD number to work in New Zealand.

Citizenship applications are processed by the Department of Internal Affairs. This is a different government agency to Immigration New Zealand. For most migrants, you need to be a resident of New Zealand for 5 years before you can apply for citizenship. Please refer to the Department of Internal Affairs website for more detailed information.