If you are considering a move, or have just arrived in Aōtearoa, New Zealand, well done! You’ve made a fine choice; planners are in demand in our beautiful country and we already have many international planners who have chosen to make their home here.
NZPI cannot provide advice on obtaining work permits or residency in New Zealand, your first source of current and accurate information must be Immigration New Zealand, a service of the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment. We can however offer a general overview of the options available.
Depending on your country of origin, young professionals may have an opportunity to obtain a Working Holiday Visa. If you are between 18 and 30 years of age, from an eligible country, and meet other criteria, you can obtain a Working Holiday Visa. Citizens of countries throughout the Americas, Asia, and Europe are eligible.
Temporary work permits are also available for a variety of situations. Generally speaking, however, these require an offer of employment, and most employers are reluctant to employ individuals that do not already have authorisation to work. Some employers, including local councils that hire planners, are able to fast-track immigration approvals if they find a qualified candidate from abroad. If you are able to obtain a temporary work permit, however, you may later be able to apply for a residence visa.
If you want the broadest range of opportunities, a permanent residence visa may be your best option. The process can be difficult and lengthy, but with a permanent resident visa, you will be able to seek employment from most potential employers without restrictions. You can employ an immigration consultant to help you with the process, but a meticulous individual can complete immigration forms without assistance.
If you have obtained authorisation to work, your next step will most likely be to seek employment. Needless to say, Australian citizens have free access to New Zealand’s employment opportunities with no work authorisations or visas required.
We encourage international planners to join NZPI as an Associate, and offer a variety of member-only services, including a subscription to the Planning Quarterly magazine and e-mail updates that provide valuable insight to planning issues in New Zealand. International members also enjoy a 40% discount off the domestic membership rates in New Zealand.
This information is based on the best available information at the time of writing (Nov 2020). NZPI takes no responsibility for incorrect information, and we encourage planners interested in coming to New Zealand to conduct their own research on immigration and the requirements of planners working in New Zealand.