Mobility and Travel

The UK-New Zealand FTA makes it easier for UK professionals to travel to New Zealand to work.

Better business travel and temporary entry for British professionals

The UK-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA) provides 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

On 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, financial service providers and more. You can find the complete list of applicable sectors and subsectors in the agreement.

Intra-Corporate Transferees have certainty that they can work in New Zealand for up to three years. During their stay in New Zealand, their partners and dependent children will be allowed to accompany them for that time. Company transferees will not be subject to economic needs tests or quantitative restrictions and New Zealand has committed to processing visa applications for Intra-Corporate Transferees within 15 days of the application being submitted, where practical. For work visas granted for longer than 6 months a Partner of a Worker Work Visa may be available for spouses, further details can be found at Immigration New Zealand.

For Business Visitors, Intra-Corporate Transferees, and Installers and Servicers, firms in New Zealand will not have to prove to the New Zealand government that they cannot find a worker in the domestic market before they sponsor a visa for a UK professional.

Business professionals granted temporary entry under these rules will still be required to follow all other applicable licensing or other requirements, including signing up to any mandatory codes of conduct, to practise a profession or otherwise engage in business activities.

Categories of businessperson

The full definition of each category and the stay limits are detailed in the Schedule of Commitments to the FTA. Please read the full definition to ensure you meet the criteria for the category.

Summary of the main categories and length of stay permitted:

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 the Schedule of Commitments. 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 at Immigration New Zealand.

Intra-corporate transferees

Intra-Corporate Transferees are businesspeople employed by a UK business which has operations in New Zealand, who are being transferred to fill a position in New Zealand offices.

New Zealand takes commitments on three types of Intra-Corporate Transferee under this agreement.

The first is 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 is 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 is 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 the Schedule of Commitments.

Contractual service suppliers

Contractual Services Suppliers are businesspeople 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 businesspeople 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 the Schedule of Commitments.

Independent professionals

Independent Professionals are self-employed businesspeople 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 businesspeople 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 twelve months, 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 the Schedule of Commitments.

Installers and servicers

Installers or servicers are businesspeople who are installing or servicing machinery or equipment, where such installation or servicing by the supplying enterprise is a condition of purchase. These businesspeople 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.

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