How to Immigrate to New Zealand as a Lawyer
If you are looking to Immigrate to New Zealand you are in luck! Lawyers are wanted in New Zealand and are eligible for Skilled Migration and Permanent Residency. Your occupation of Lawyer is on the Long Term Skill Shortage List and the Regional Skill Shortage List. These are the visas you are eligible for as a Lawyer immigrating to New Zealand:
- Skilled Migrant Category visa: This visa is for Lawyers who want to live and work in New Zealand on a permanent basis. To be eligible, you must be a Lawyer and aged between 18 and 55 years old. You must meet the English language requirements and score a minimum of 160 points under the points-based system.
- Essential Skills work visa: This visa is for Lawyers who have a job offer from a New Zealand employer. The visa is issued for the duration of the employment contract as a Lawyer, up to a maximum of 5 years. The visa may be renewed if you continue to meet the requirements.
- Work to Residence visa: This visa is for Lawyers who have a job offer from a New Zealand employer and want to live and work in New Zealand permanently. The visa is initially issued for 30 months during which time you must work for the same employer. After 24 months you may be eligible to apply for residence under the Residence from Work visa category.
- Entrepreneur work visa: This visa is for Lawyer entrepreneurs who want to set up or buy a business in New Zealand.
If you are a Lawyer interested in immigrating to New Zealand these are the steps you need to take:
Assess Eligibility to immigrate to New Zealand as a Lawyer
- Age: Lawyers immigrating to New Zealand must be under 56 years of age.
- Qualifications: You will need to have a recognized qualification as a Lawyer or have extensive work experience as a Lawyer. New Zealand recognizes international qualifications you may have gained as a Lawyer in your home country.
- Work experience: You must have at least three years of work experience as a Lawyer.
- English language proficiency: You will need to demonstrate that you have a sufficient level of English language proficiency to work as a Lawyer in Australia.
- Health and character requirements: You will need to meet New Zealand’s health and character requirements.
Once you have met the requirements for a Skilled Migrant Visa to New Zealand as a Lawyer you can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the New Zealand Immigration website. If your EOI is selected you will be invited to apply for a resident visa as a Lawyer.
Step by step process for immigrating to New Zealand as a Lawyer
- Check your eligibility: Before you start the immigration process as a Lawyer you should check if you are eligible for a visa. This can be done by taking a Free Assessment
- Choose the right visa: There are different types of visas available for New Zealand as a Lawyer including the Skilled Migrant Visa and the Work Visa.
- Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI): If you are applying for a Skilled Migrant Visa as a Lawyer you will need to submit an EOI. Your EOI will be assessed and if you meet the criteria you will be invited to apply for a resident visa.
- Gather the required documentation: You will need to gather the required documents for your visa application, such as your passport, proof of Lawyer qualifications and evidence of work experience as a Lawyer.
- Apply for your visa: You can apply for your visa online or in person. The application process for a Lawyer can take several months so it’s important to plan accordingly.
- Wait for a decision: Once you have submitted your application to immigrate to New Zealand as a Lawyer you will need to wait for a decision from Immigration New Zealand. This can take several weeks or months.
- Arrive in New Zealand: If your visa is approved you will be able to travel to New Zealand and live and work as a Lawyer.
To Immigrate to New Zealand as a Lawyer you require a minimum of 160 points
The exact points score to immigrate to New Zealand as a Lawyer is calculated based on the points system used for Skilled Migrant Category visa applications. To be eligible for a Skilled Migrant Visa as a Lawyer an applicant must score a minimum of 160 points.
This is how to work out your Points as an applicant for New Zealand immigration as a Lawyer
- 20-29 years: 30 points
- 30-39 years: 25 points
- 40-44 years: 20 points
- 45-49 years: 10 points
The maximum points that can be earned for age is 30, which is awarded to applicants between 20-29 years of age. Points decrease as age increases, with the lowest points awarded to those between 45-49 years of age.
Points are awarded based on the level of your recognized qualification. As a Lawyer a PhD or Master’s degree can earn 70 points, while a Bachelor’s degree is worth 50 points. Other Lawyer qualifications can earn between 10 and 40 points.
- Recognized level 3-6 qualification (e.g. Lawyer qualification) – 40 points
- Recognized level 7 or 8 qualification (e.g. bachelor’s degree, bachelor’s degree with honours) – 50 points
- Recognized level 9 or 10 qualification (e.g. master’s degree, doctorate) – 70 points
- Two degrees (level 7 or higher) or a degree and a post-graduate qualification (level 9 or higher) – 70 points
Work experience as a Lawyer
Points are awarded based on the length and relevance of your work experience as a Lawyer. The maximum 50 points are awarded for at least 10 years of work experience in an occupation that is considered skilled in New Zealand, while 10 points are awarded for at least 2 years of work experience as a Lawyer.
- 2-5 years of overseas skilled work experience as a Lawyer – 10 points
- 6 or more years of overseas skilled work experience as a Lawyer – 15 points
You can only claim points for work experience that is relevant to your nominated occupation as Lawyer.
Language points for a Lawyer immigrating to New Zealand on Skilled Migration
- International English Language Testing System for a Lawyer (IELTS) – 6.5 or more in each band – 20 points
- Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based Test for a Lawyer (TOEFL iBT) – 79 or more in each section – 20 points
- Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) – 58 or more in each Communicative Skill – 20 points
- Cambridge English B2 First (FCE) – Overall score of 176 or more with no bands less than 169 – 20 points
- Occupational English Test (OET) – B pass in each skill – 20 points
To claim points for language scores you must achieve the minimum score in the language test specified above. Your language test results must be no more than two years old on the date of your application. If you are claiming points for language scores you cannot also claim points for having a partner who meets the minimum English language requirements.
New Zealand immigration points for having a job offer as a Lawyer
Points are awarded if you have a job offer as a Lawyer from a New Zealand employer on the following basis:
- Lawyer job offer that is in an area of absolute skill shortage – 15 points
- Lawyer job offer that is not in an area of absolute skill shortage – 10 points
- Points are also awarded for other factors, such as if you have studied or worked in New Zealand as a Lawyer before
Immigrate to New Zealand as a Lawyer and then Immigrate again to Australia
Immigrating to New Zealand as a Lawyer and then using that as a pathway to move to Australia as a permanent resident is a possible option, but there are some important considerations and requirements to keep in mind. New Zealand Lawyers can live and work in Australia indefinitely under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement. This means that if you become a permanent resident of New Zealand you will also be eligible to live and work in Australia as a Lawyer without needing to apply for a separate visa.
Because you are a Lawyer, you can apply for a Skilled Migrant Category visa. Once you become a permanent resident of New Zealand you can then move to Australia under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement.
Immigrating to New Zealand as a Lawyer and then using that as a pathway to move to Australia can be a possible option but it requires careful planning and consideration of the requirements and potential challenges involved. Take a Free New Zealand Visa Assessment for more details.
Lawyer Jobs in New Zealand for foreigners
There are several ways to find Lawyer jobs in New Zealand as a foreigner. Here are some suggestions:
- Job search websites: There are several job search websites that list Lawyer job opportunities in New Zealand, such as Seek, TradeMe Jobs and Indeed.
- Recruitment agencies: LawyerRecruitment agencies can help match you with job opportunities that suit your skills and experience. Some of the popular recruitment agencies in New Zealand for Lawyers include Hays and Adecco.
- Networking: Networking can be a great way to find Lawyerjob opportunities in New Zealand.
- Company websites: You can also check the websites of Lawyer companies you are interested in working for to see if they have any job openings. Many companies in New Zealand advertise job openings on their websites because the population in New Zealand is so small compared to other countries that rely more on recruitment agencies to fill Lawyer positions.