How to Immigrate from New Zealand to Canada

Here is a useful guide that will teach you how to immigrate from New Zealand to Canada as quickly as possible.   

Whether you want to visit, become a permanent resident, or study abroad in Canada, there are over 60 immigration options you could choose from. Each of these programs has its own unique requirements that need to be met in order to successfully immigrate to Canada. Now is the perfect time to start your application, seeing as Canada needs to meet its new immigration goal of over 900,000 new immigrants by 2020. 

Where to Start?

Do a little research about where you would like to live. Canada has 13 different provinces and territories that are all unique and special in their own way.

Provinces of Canada

Alberta is a great place if you work in crude oil service and distribution while British Columbia has a variety of markets that focus on tourism, logging and rich farming land, despite only 5% of the territory being used for agricultural purposes.

Find the right place for you based on your needs and make Canada your real home.

Programs to Get You To Canada Fast

If you want to know how to immigrate to Canada from New Zealand, one of the most popular programs that immigrants apply for is Express Entry (EE). The reason why it is so popular because it has one of the best processing times around. Your application could be completed in four to eight months! 

From 2017, EE has helped over 77,270 people become citizens of Canada. Thanks to the six new changes to the program, it has become easier to apply than ever before.

Basic Steps to Apply for EE

Here is a basic list of most of the things you will need to do for the EE application process.

  1. Pass Language Tests for English and French (IELTS, CELPIP, and TEF General tests only). 
  2. Apply for an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)
  3. Complete your biometrics
  4. Find your job NOC (National Occupation Classification) code
  5. Create an Express Entry Profile
  6. Register on the Canadian job bank (this is voluntary)
  7. Enter the Express Entry pool
  8. Get an ITA (Invitation to Apply)
  9. Apply for permanent residency within two months of your ITA
  10. Pay application fees and permanent residency fee
  11. Provide proof of funds, Police Clearance, and a Health Certificate
  12. Ask your current employer for job letters to prove your work experience for your program

Want to learn more about the application process? Just sign up and we will call you. Start your Canadian visa application here.

What Documents You Need

You will need certain documents and qualifications for most visa applications. Some of these are:

  • Your passport and/or ID;
  • Language Tests like IELTS, CELPIP, and TEF;
  • Education Credential Assessment (ECA) from WES; and
  • Your NOC (National Occupational Classification) code
  • Job offer (if you have one);
  • Police Clearance; and
  • Medical Examination report

Did You Know?

When you apply for any visa, biometrics, or doctor exam you will need a valid ID or passport on hand. Make sure that these documents do not expire during your application because they are linked to your application case. 

So, if your passport expires in two months, you should not apply for EE as the fastest processing time is three months.

If these documents expire, you will need to start the whole process again!

Language Exams for English and French

language test girl exam

All visa programs need you to prove that you have good language skills in French and English.

Remember that the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) will only accept certain language tests, so make sure you do not apply for exams that will not be accepted by the government

You must also select which of the two languages will be your first language as this will have an impact on your language scores.

What Language Tests Are Accepted by the IRCC?

English language tests are accepted by most visa programs are:

  • CELPIP General Test (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program); and
  • IELTS General Training (International English Language Testing System)

The French language test that is accepted:

  • TEF (Test d’évaluation de français)

These tests will be based on your skills in

  • Reading skills;
  • Listening;
  • Speaking; and
  • Writing

How Are Your Scores Translated?

When you complete your tests, they are translated by the CLB (Canadian Language Benchmarks) for English. French exams are translated by the NCLC (Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadien) for French. These will give you a final score that you can put on your visa application.

Educational Credential Assessment

An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is a document that shows that your education is the equivalent of Canadian standards. In most cases, you can apply for an ECA if you have plans to immigrate to Canada:

  • As a Federal Skilled Worker;
  • If you are a professional (doctor, architect, registered nurse, etc); or
  • If you want to score more for EE

Apply for ECA

You can apply for an ECA on the WES website. The cost for an ECA for immigration purposes will be NZ$218 and takes around seven business days to be completed.

If you are a working professional like a doctor, nurse, or other qualified professional, you can apply for a Professional License of Certification. This will also take around seven days to be processed and is more expensive at NZ$308. 

If you are wondering what a general ECA looks like, here is an example:



Unlike many countries, New Zealand is one of the few places that do not need to apply for Biometrics when you want to visit Canada.

If you are from New Zealand, you will need an eTA or Electronic Travel Authorization. This will allow you to visit, work, and apply for medical treatment in Canada for no more than 90 days.

Here is a short video to introduce you to what an eTA is.

Please note that an eTA does not guarantee you entry to Canada. Canadian border officials have the final say on your entry.

Your eTA will allow you multiple entries into Canada for a period of up to five years, so long as you do not overstay your 90 day period. If you have children that are under 18, you must apply for their eTA. Luckily, they only cost NZ$8.10.

Find Your NOC

Next up, if you plan to come to Canada for work or to live permanently, you will need to find out what your NOC or National Occupational Classification code is.

NOCs have five main levels that your job can be divided into. These are 0, A, B, C, and D. Then depending on your job, you will receive a four-digit number with your code.

Here are some examples to see what jobs fit into which categories.

  • Level 0 - For management jobs, like Senior government managers, financial managers, engineering managers, and architecture and science managers
  • Level A - Is for jobs that are either management or professional jobs that require university degrees, for example, financial auditors and accountants, securities agents, investment dealers, brokers, and electrical and electronics engineers
  • Level B - Are for jobs like Administrative officers, property administrators, accounting technicians, and bookkeepers
  • Level C - Are for jobs that need either a high school degree or specific job training, for example, receptionists, storekeepers, and dental assistants
  • Level D - Are for jobs that need on the job training, like cleaning staff, fruit pickers, service station attendants, and clerks

All jobs are given a four-digit code, for example, if you are a cashier, your job code will be 6611 D. You can find out what your job code and level is here.

Police Clearance

Another way to immigrate from New Zealand to Canada is with the right police documentation, namely a police clearance certificate.

If you are a citizen of New Zealand, you will need to submit a criminal record check. This record covers everything from:

  • Parking tickets;
  • Charges that have not yet gone to court;
  • Charges when you were not guilty;
  • Military convictions;
  • Overseas convictions;
  • Youth charges; and
  • Driving infringements

You must submit this report to the New Zealand Ministry of Justice. What happens if you are not a citizen of New Zealand? Simple, you must still submit a criminal record check. You must also request a Criminal Conviction History. In both cases, you must bring a copy of your ID.

Medical Exam

Next in our how to immigrate from New Zealand to Canada guide we discuss the necessity of having a clean bill of health. You can show you are healthy by going for a medical exam from an approved doctor.

Please note that Canada will only accept medical exams from its panel of physicians and not just any doctor.

Need help finding an approved doctor in New Zealand? Here is a list of doctors and where to find them.

City Name Doctor's’ Name Contact Details
Auckland Marcus K. Stone (64-9) 520-1565
Auckland Marc Shaw +64 09 522-9476
Auckland Tony David Hawes +64 09 522-9476
Christchurch Michael Peter Ozimek 64-3-341 8780
Christchurch Timothy Wilson (64 3) 341 8780
Dunedin Paul Sabonadiere (64 3) 454-3001
Wellington David Lewis Hingston 64 4 2821180

What to Bring to Your Medical Exam

Here is a list of things you may need to bring for your medical exam

  • Your ID, passport, or driver’s license;
  • Medical reports about any medical condition you have (heart conditions etc);
  • Medication prescriptions and your dosage;
  • Medical x-rays or reports;
  • Glasses or contact lenses (if you have them);
  • Medical Report form IMM 1017E;
  • If you are under 17 you must bring your legal guardian; and
  • Four recent photographs if your doctor does not use eMedical

Before you leave your medical exam, please request a copy of your medical exam. Any document you send to Canada will not be sent back!

How Long Do My Medical Exam Results Last?

Your medical exam results will be valid for only 12 months. Do not apply to a visa program if your medical results will expire otherwise you will need to go back and do it again.

Start Your Canadian Visa Application Today!

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