My wife (a doctor) has the opportunity to work in NZ for several months from a negotiable point in July, and as such has applied for transfer of her medical registration to the NZ medical body, and is in the process of applying for a work visa.

On an non-related basis we were planning a holiday from the start of July to NZ, and as such we already have flights booked for the 27th of June. It just happened that the opportunity to work came up separately.

As the medical registration will take the next week to finalise (20 days to complete), and the work visa can't be applied for until that has been done, the work visa is unlikely to be issued prior to us departing for NZ on the 27th (it takes 25 days).

We are both UK citizens, and as such can travel to NZ on a visa waiver basis for a holiday visit.

We have enough funds to support a long term holiday, as we were intending on touring NZ and Australia at the same time.

We also seem to be eligible for an electronic visa from NZ, so there shouldn't be any issue with a passport being out of our possession for travel.

I will remain on my holiday visa for the duration, I have no intention to work and I have ample funds for this.

So my question is: if we present ourselves to NZ immigration on arrival with the truth (entering on a holiday visa, work visa pending, if work visa isn't issued then we are happy to carry on with our holiday, otherwise my wife will start work under the work visa) are we likely to encounter any difficulties?

Update: As it turns out, both the medical registration was completed and the visa was issued before our travel date, so we never got to test this scenario - my wife entered New Zealand under a working visa.

  • What happened to you and your wife? Did you mange to enter the country while her visa was pending? Dec 16, 2018 at 17:52

1 Answer 1


You will probably be fine with your plans. Immigration New Zealand allows visitors to change their visa status while inside the country. After your wife's registration paperwork is complete, she can apply for a work visa.

Apply to stay longer

If you're already in New Zealand and have a visa you can reapply for the same visa or apply for a different one.

As long as you arrive in the country with proof of return or onward travel, I wouldn't expect any difficulties.

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