Canada boasts a blend of breathtaking natural landscapes and an exceptional quality of life, rendering it a highly appealing destination for individuals seeking a new beginning or transformative experience.

New Zealand citizens can move to Canada from NZ through various immigration programs, including work permits, permanent residency, and study permits. To move, one must assess their eligibility, gather necessary documents, understand the application process, and submit a successful application.

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the options for moving to Canada from New Zealand to help you make an informed decision and start your new life.

Canadian Immigration Consultant

At Wild Mountain Immigration, we understand the aspirations of New  Zealand citizens to make Canada their home. With our unique background as a Canadian immigration consulting firm founded by English immigrants who are now proud Canadians, we bring a personal touch to our services.

Our dedicated team of experienced immigration experts will guide you through the complex process, tailoring your application to your specific needs and submitting it with confidence.

Move to Canada from New Zealand

Move to Canada from New Zealand

Canada is a welcoming nation for immigrants, recognizing their valuable contributions to the economy by filling skill shortages and creating job opportunities. With nearly 100 immigration programs available, the process of moving to Canada can be streamlined for those who meet the requirements. Temporary or permanent residency can be applied for through several popular routes, including options for those coming from NZ.

Below are some of the most popular routes to help you understand how to move to Canada from New Zealand.

Table of contents

Welcome to Wild Mountain Immigration’s guide on moving to Canada from New Zealand.

In this video, we’ll go through the various pathways you can take to make Canada your new home, whether it’s for work, study, or permanent residency.

Let’s take a look at the different options for working in Canada.

If you are a NZ citizen, and between the ages of 18-35, you can move to Canada under the International Experience Canada Program.

Under this program, New Zealand citizens citizens get a chance to work or travel in Canada for a maximum of 23 months.

IEC currently offers the Working Holiday category to NZ citizens. You may only participate in this program once.

A Labour Market Impact Assessment is a document an employer must obtain, proving that hiring you will positively or neutrally affect the Canadian labour market.

It’s a process that underscores the need for your skills in roles that can’t be filled by the local workforce.

Once approved, this LMIA becomes a key component in your work permit application, opening the door to your work permit in Canada.

It’s important to note that this is a closed work permit, meaning you can only work for the employer named on your permit.

The Intra-Company Transfer program allows high-skilled foreign nationals from multinational companies to transfer to Canada without an LMIA.

Eligibility requires working in executive, managerial, or specialized roles, with at least one year of employment within the last three for the same company or its affiliate.

The Canadian and foreign entities must be related through a parent company, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate relationship.

Now that we have looked at working in Canada let’s explore the avenues to permanent residency.

The Express Entry Program streamlines the process for skilled workers to become permanent residents of Canada, using a points-based system (CRS) to assess candidates on factors like age, work experience, and language skills.

It includes three main streams: the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) for those with Canadian work experience; the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) for skilled workers with foreign experience; and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) for tradespeople with experience in critical sectors.

Each pathway is designed to address specific needs within Canada’s labour market.

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) empowers Canadian provinces and territories to nominate individuals for permanent residency based on their ability to contribute to the local economy.

Tailored to meet regional labour market needs, each province sets its specific criteria, targeting skilled workers, entrepreneurs, or students.

This program is a pathway for those with the skills, experience, and sometimes job offers, to settle in a particular province and significantly contribute to its community and workforce.

The Atlantic Immigration Program is designed to attract skilled workers and international graduates to the Atlantic provinces of Canada, such as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edwarid Island.

It focuses on filling job shortages in these regions by enabling local employers to nominate candidates for permanent residency if they possess the skills and experience needed in the local labor market.

This program encourages applicants willing to contribute to the economic growth of Atlantic Canada and establish themselves in these communities.

The Spousal Sponsorship Program allows Canadian citizens or permanent residents to sponsor their spouse, common-law, or conjugal partner for permanent residency in Canada.

This program emphasizes family reunification, requiring sponsors to prove their relationship is genuine and they can financially support their partner upon their arrival in Canada.

Studying in Canada offers international students a chance to pursue quality education at Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs).

These institutions not only provide a wide range of programs but also open doors to various opportunities, potentially leading to permanent residency.

As we wrap up the different options for moving to Canada, remember that this is just the beginning.

Whether you’re seeking to work, study, or find a new place to call home, Wild Mountain Immigration is here to guide you every step of the way.

Reach out to us today for personalized advice and start your move to Canada.

Work in Canada from New Zealand

International Experience Canada (IEC)

As a New Zealand citizen under 35 years of age, you can participate in the International Experience Canada Program (IEC) for up to 23 months of work or travel in Canada under the Working Holiday program.

New Zealand citizens are entitled to a single participation in the IEC program.

Labour Market Impact Assessment

To apply for a closed work permit, a foreign national must have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer and the employer must have obtained a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The LMIA evaluates the impact the foreign worker will have on the Canadian labour market and must be obtained through a designated third party. The employer must submit an LMIA application along with the required fee to ESDC.

Upon approval, the employer will receive a confirmation letter to use in applying for a work permit for the foreign worker.

Intra Company Transferee

Canada’s Intra-Company Transfer program is part of the International Mobility Program, which allows high-skilled foreign nationals from multinational companies to work in Canada without needing a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Eligibility criteria for employees include working in executive, senior managerial, or specialized knowledge capacities, and having been employed for at least one year in the past three years. The Canadian and foreign enterprises must have a qualifying relationship such as a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate, and be actively engaged in business. Eligible individuals can apply for an LMIA-exempt work permit under certain conditions.

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Canadian permanent residency from New Zealand

There are a number of Canadian immigration programs that are available to residents of NZ.

Some of the most popular ones are described below:

Express Entry Program

The Canadian government’s Express Entry streamlines the process of accepting permanent residency applications from skilled workers. There are three separate streams, each catering to a particular group of individuals.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is for skilled workers who have a minimum of one year of work experience in a designated occupation, as well as the necessary level of education and language proficiency.

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) targets skilled tradespeople who have at least two years of experience in a particular trade and language proficiency.

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) stream is intended for skilled workers who have obtained at least 12 months of skilled work experience in Canada and fulfill the language proficiency requirements.

Applicants create an online profile that is ranked based on factors such as education, work experience, and language proficiency. If selected from the Express Entry pool, the applicant is invited to apply for permanent residency in Canada.

Use our Express Entry CRS Score Calculator to determine your score.


Express Entry Ebook

This comprehensive guide will tell you everything you need to know.

Provincial Nominee Program

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) provides a pathway to Canadian permanent residency for individuals who wish to settle in a specific province. Each province and territory operates its own streams targeting specific groups of people that can contribute to that region.

To be eligible for nomination through the PNP, applicants must meet the criteria set by the respective province.

Take a look at the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program or the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program.

Family Sponsorship Program

You may apply for permanent residency in Canada through the Family Sponsorship Program if you have a relative living in or outside of the country. Your relative must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and at least 18 years old, to sponsor you. If they are a Canadian citizen living abroad, they must demonstrate their intention to reside in Canada when you become a permanent resident. Permanent residents residing outside of Canada are unable to sponsor.

This program allows for the sponsorship of spouses, partners, children, and parents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents, under certain conditions.

Atlantic Immigration Program

The Atlantic Immigration Program provides a pathway for skilled foreign workers and graduates of recognized post-secondary institutions in Atlantic Canada to apply for permanent residency in Canada. The program is focused on filling in-demand jobs in the Atlantic provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

To be eligible, candidates must demonstrate language proficiency, education, and work experience relevant to the job they seek. By participating in this program, individuals can contribute to the economic growth of the Atlantic region and build a new life in Canada.

Quebec Selected Skilled Workers Program

The Quebec Skilled Worker Program is a unique immigration pathway designed for skilled individuals willing to live and work in Quebec, Canada. The program operates under a special agreement between the province and the federal government, which allows Quebec to set its own selection criteria for granting permanent residency.

To apply for this program, you must first submit an application to the provincial government to be considered for a Quebec Selection Certificate. If you meet the eligibility criteria, the certificate will be issued. Once you have the certificate, you can proceed to the next step, which is to apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residency.

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Business Immigration from New Zealand

Apply for permanent residency in Canada from NZ through the Business Immigration Program if you have experience in managing or owning a business. Popular categories include:

Start-Up Visa Investor Program

Apply for permanent residency in Canada through the Start-Up Visa Investor Program if you’re an entrepreneur seeking to establish a new business. Prerequisites include a novel business idea that can create jobs and compete globally, a letter of support from a designated organization, meeting language requirements and sufficient funds to support yourself and your family.

Self-Employment Visa

Apply for the Self-Employment Visa if you’re an expert in athletics or cultural activities and willing to contribute significantly in these fields in Canada. Requirements include 2+ years of relevant experience, sufficient funds for settlement, and passing medical and security checks.

Study in Canada from New Zealand

As a New Zealand citizen, if you want to study in Canada, you’ll need to apply for a study permit. You must be enrolled at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada and meet all eligibility requirements. The study permit is usually valid for up to 90 days after the completion of your program, providing time for students to either extend their stay or return home.

Move to Canada from New Zealand frequently asked questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about moving to Canada from New Zealand:

For New Zealand citizens seeking to move to Canada, the government prioritizes skilled workers through its economic immigration programs, but there are other options available. Visitors can stay in Canada for up to 6 months without a visa, and those with Canadian citizen family members may be eligible for a Super Visa allowing extended stays of up to 5 years.

If you’re interested in permanent residency, you may receive an invitation to apply through the Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program. Alternatively, moving to Canada before retirement, working and establishing residency, or starting or buying a business in Canada, are options for a permanent solution.

Your child may be able to accompany you when moving to Canada, based on factors such as age, relationship, and others. If immigrating as a permanent resident, dependents can also immigrate. If over 18, the child may immigrate independently. For specific eligibility and requirements, it’s advisable to consult a Canadian immigration consultant or lawyer.

Depending on your situation, it may be necessary to apply for a Canadian work visa, student visa or permanent residency.

The process of moving from New Zealand to Canada requires completing an immigration application. This may include medical exams, police clearance, and language proficiency tests. The specifics of the process depend on the chosen immigration program and personal circumstances.

The processing time can vary depending on the type of visa and the individual circumstances, but it can take several months or longer.

The amount of money you’ll need depends on many factors, such as the cost of living in the location you’re moving to, the cost of housing, and your personal expenses.

The cost of living can vary depending on the location, but in general, cities in Canada tend to be more expensive than cities in New Zealand.

It is advisable to have health insurance coverage when moving to Canada from New Zealand, as the public health insurance system in Canada does not cover all medical expenses. It is important to research and compare the different health insurance options available to you, as the type and amount of coverage will depend on factors such as your age, medical history, and immigration status.

You may be eligible for coverage under the public health insurance plan of the province or territory in which you plan to reside; however, all provinces vary.

Canada has a publicly funded healthcare system that provides universal coverage to all citizens and permanent residents. If you reside in Canada, you are eligible for some healthcare benefits.

Coverage and services can vary by province or territory.

Some of the best cities to live in Canada for Japanese immigrants include Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Edmonton, and Calgary. Factors such as cost of living, job opportunities, cultural attractions, and quality of life will vary and should be considered when choosing a city to live in.


A move to Canada from New Zealand can be a complex process with many factors, including eligibility requirements and processing times. It’s important to research your options and consult with an immigration consultant or lawyer before making any decisions about immigration. With careful planning and preparation, you can make sure that you are ready for the journey ahead of you when it comes to relocating yourself and your family members in pursuit of a new life in Canada.

At Wild Mountain Immigration, our goal is to simplify and streamline the complex process of moving from NZ to Canada. Our experienced immigration consultants are dedicated to guiding you every step of the way and ensuring a smooth and stress-free transition.

Don’t let the daunting task of immigration hold you back from realizing your dreams. Let Wild Mountain Immigration be your trusted partner on this exciting journey. Schedule a consultation with us today to learn more about how we can help you make Canada your new home.

Photo courtesy of Travel Alberta and Paul Zizka.

Nicola Wightman

Nicola Wightman is a regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) under the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC). Her professional immigration consultant number is R706497.

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