New Zealand Digital Nomad Visa – Does it exist?

New Zealand is one of the best countries in the world to live in. Despite its isolated position, this island country attracts hundreds of digital nomads each year, and rightly so. 

New Zealand offers high quality of life, safety, stability, and a high-quality healthcare system, not to mention its unique and primitive nature, ideal for outdoorsy people. 

And just how can digital nomads relocate to New Zealand and work remotely? You are about to find out.

Is there a New Zealand digital nomad visa?

New Zealand doesn’t have a specific digital nomad visa as of now. But digital nomads and remote workers of certain nationalities can apply for a Visitor Visa or a Working Holiday visa, which allows them to stay in the country for 12 months or up to 23 months if they are from the UK or Canada.

There is a catch, though. A Working Holiday visa applies only to travelers aged 18-30 or 18-35 of a select few nationalities. 

Digital nomads who belong to this age group can apply if they meet the following requirements: 

  • Provide a return travel ticket, or have sufficient funds to buy one
  • Can prove an income of a minimum of USD$2,523 (NZ$4,200) a year, or USD$210 (NZ$350) a month
  • The primary purpose of the visit is leisure, with work being a secondary intention

Keep in mind that regardless of the visa, if you stay in New Zealand for more than 183 days, you will become a tax resident.  

What other visas do digital nomads need to work in New Zealand?

There are other visas digital nomads can stay and work in New Zealand:

Visitor visa 

Digital nomads who want to stay and work in New Zealand and don’t have visa waiver arrangements with the island country can also opt for a Visitor visa

Citizens from countries that do not require visas to enter and stay in New Zealand for up to 90 days (US) should apply for a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) before departure.

A New Zealand visitor visa allows you to stay in the country for up to 9 months in an 18 months period. This visa is technically a tourist visa, so working for a New Zealand employer during the stay is forbidden. 

This visa allows you to:

  • Explore New Zealand
  • Visit friends and family
  • Study for up to 3 months in any 12 months period
  • Bring your partner and dependent children aged 19 and under

To apply for this visa, you need to meet certain requirements, including sufficient funds to support yourself or/and your family during the stay or have a sponsor. 

Work visa

The Work visa applies only to people coming to New Zealand to take up an offer of employment in New Zealand. 

Special Category Visitor visa

This visa is issued to people traveling for a special purpose. This can be either a work requirement or visiting a partner or a family member. 

Business Visitor visa 

Anyone who wishes to conduct business in New Zealand should apply for a Business Visitor Visa.