Advice

Travel to New Zealand for short term business

Free Trade Agreement export guide

Overview

Business travel is an important contributor to enabling more trade and investment. The UK-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will bring greater certainty and access for British professionals looking to deliver services in person in New Zealand. The FTA applies to business professionals under the following categories:

  • business visitors
  • intra-corporate transferees
  • contractual service suppliers
  • independent professionals
  • installers and servicers

For contractual service suppliers, New Zealand has committed to allowing UK business persons across a number of key sectors to deliver contracts in New Zealand. This includes professionals such as accountants and financial service providers.

Intra-Corporate Transferees will now have certainty that they are able to work in New Zealand for up to three years and bring their partners and dependent children with them to New Zealand for that time. For work visas granted for longer than 6 months, a Partner of a Worker Work Visa may be available for spouses.

Company transferees will not be subject to economic needs tests or quantitative restrictions and New Zealand has committed to a target of processing visa applications for Intra-Corporate Transferees within 15 days of the application being submitted, where practicable. For full details, please see the Categories for Temporary Business Travel below.

What opportunities are there in New Zealand?

Are you planning to attend a trade show in New Zealand? You will qualify as a Business Visitor and will be able to stay in New Zealand for up to three months per calendar year, subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements.

Are you a UK based business, with a branch in New Zealand, looking to transfer a manager to New Zealand? That employee will benefit from Intra-Corporate Transferee provisions that will mean they can stay in New Zealand for up to three years subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements. They will also be able to take a partner and any dependants with them for the same period of time, subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements.

Are you an accountancy firm with a contract to provide accountancy services in New Zealand? Your employees will be able to stay in New Zealand for up to six months in any twelve-month period using a visa route for Contractual Service Suppliers, subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements.

Are you a self-employed engineer with a contract in New Zealand? You will be able to stay in New Zealand for up to 12 months subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements.

Categories of business person for temporary business travel

Prospective visa applicants should check with New Zealand Immigration for full visa details and eligibility criteria. Please note that final visa names are set by the destination country and may vary from the FTA business travel category titles.

The full definition of each category and the stay limits are detailed in Annex 13A to the FTA, please read the full definition to ensure you meet the criteria for the category. A summary of the main categories and length of stay permitted is below.

Business Visitors

Business visitors are people travelling to New Zealand for specific permitted activities such as meetings, training seminars, trade fairs or exhibitions, sales, and several others. A full list can be found in Annex 13A. Business visitors now have certainty they can stay in New Zealand for up to three months in any calendar year subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements. Full details can be found here.

Intra-Corporate Transferees

Intra-Corporate Transferees are business people employed by an enterprise of the UK established and operating in New Zealand, who are transferred to fill a position in their enterprise in New Zealand.

New Zealand provides for three types of Intra-Corporate Transferee under this agreement.

The first are executives of UK enterprises looking to temporarily work in a branch of their enterprise in New Zealand and who primarily direct the management of, and exercise decision making for,that enterprise in New Zealand. Executives must have been employed by their enterprise for at least twelve months prior to the proposed transfer to New Zealand.

The second are managers of UK enterprises looking to temporarily work in a branch of their enterprise in New Zealand and who are responsible for all, or a substantial part, of the operations of that enterprise in New Zealand. Managers must have been employed by their enterprise for at least twelve months prior to the proposed transfer to New Zealand.

The third are specialists, responsible for a particular aspect of an organisation’s operations,with advanced trade, technical or professional skills and experience who are looking to temporarily work in a branch of their enterprise in New Zealand.

Under the FTA, Intra-Corporate Transferees now have certainty that they can stay in New Zealand for up to three years, subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements.

For Intra-Corporate Transferees granted temporary entry, New Zealand will allow their accompanying partner or dependant the ability to enter and stay in New Zealand for the duration of the Intra-Corporate Transferee’s stay, subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements.

Full definitions of executives, managers, and specialists can be found in Annex 13A under the schedule of New Zealand.

Contractual Service Suppliers

Contractual Services Suppliers are business people that are employed by an enterprise of the UK and are contracted to supply services to a final customer in New Zealand who requires their presence on a temporary basis in order to supply the contractual services. These business people must have a tertiary level degree, as recognised as comparable to the domestic standard in New Zealand, and at least six years of experience in the relevant field to the contract.

Entry under the FTA is for a period of not more than six months in any 12-month period or the duration of the contract, whichever is less, and is subject to meeting both the relevant immigration requirements and economic needs tests.

Contractual Services Suppliers can only work in the service sectors and subsectors set out in Annex 13A.

Installers and Servicers

Installers or servicers are business people who are installing or servicing machinery or equipment, where such installation or servicing by the supplying enterprise is a condition of purchase. These business people now have certainty that they can stay in New Zealand for up to three months on any 12-month period,subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements.

Independent Professionals

Independent Professionals are self-employed business people with advanced technical or professional skills. They do not require a commercial presence in New Zealand but do require a valid contract to deliver a service. These business people must have a formal post-secondary degree or diploma, as recognised as comparable to the domestic standard in New Zealand, and at least six years of experience in the relevant field.

Entry into New Zealand for Independent Professionals is for a maximum of twelvemonths, subject to meeting the relevant immigration requirements and subject to economic needs tests.

Independent Professionals can only work in certain sectors and subsectors, as set out in detail in Annex 13A.

Additional information for temporary business travel in New Zealand

New Zealand has committed to ensuring visas for business persons are processed quickly, will cost no more than they need to, and that applicants can receive updates on the status of their applications. The agreement also obliges New Zealand to provide all requirements for the temporary entry of business persons to be available publicly to visa applicants.

For the full definition of each category, temporary entry limits, and to apply for a visa, please see here.

Additional information for selling services in New Zealand

Providing services in New Zealand will have other consequences including for tax,intellectual property and local labour regulations.

Please refer to the following for more advice:

New Zealand Customs Service

New Zealand Intellectual Property Office

Employment New Zealand

Inland Revenue

New Zealand image 1

Doing business in New Zealand

The UK and New Zealand share a common language and culture, as well as business and legal practices such as intellectual property (IP) protection and the rule of law. These similarities make New Zealand a relatively easy place for British companies to do business.

New Zealand is a highly educated, wealthy and tech-savvy market where around 42% of the population live in New Zealand’s 3 major cities of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch making it easy to prioritise where to test and launch your product or service.

New Zealand is also a logical onward step for UK companies to test the market when already doing business in Australia.

Legal disclaimer

The information provided on this webpage is for guidance only and should not be relied on as a substitute for your own research or independent advice. No investment and/or business decision should be made solely on the basis of information presented in this document. It is recommended that an independent due diligence investigation is conducted before entering into engagement with any individual, firm, company or other organisation mentioned. DBT accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage caused to any person as result of any error, omission, inaccurate or misleading statement in this document. The accuracy, completeness or up-to-dateness of the content of any website mentioned in this document is not guaranteed in any way, implied or explicit.

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