NZ and China enter into a Free Trade Agreement

Dear Readers, the NZ-China Free Trade Agreement has come into force effective today. As promised in our “maiden newsletter”, of keeping our readers updated on the latest developments on the NZ-China Free Trade Agreement, we have summarized below the highlights of the NZ-China Free Trade Agreement for our readers.

Similar to US and Canada, New Zealand has long been a ” country of immigrants ” and is considered to be the melting pot of cultures, similar to US and Canada. Its liberal immigration policies are intended to attract talent and enable a primarily agricultural and export oriented economy to compete in today’s global marketplace. The country’s Free Trade Agreement with China stands testament to its relatively open immigration policies and its desire to attract skilled Chinese professionals experiencing difficulties in obtaining US Green Cards.

The China-New Zealand FTA is a treaty between New Zealand and China that liberalizes and facilitates trade, improves business environment and promotes cooperation in a broad range of economic areas.

One significant aspect of the NZ-China FTA aims to make it easier for New Zealand and Chinese nationals to enter each other’s country for a temporary stay related to the supply of services. To this effect, both countries have made a commitment to either decide the application or advise when a decision will be made within 10 working days of receipt of visa applications. Additionally, the FTA makes it easier for business people from New Zealand and China to visit each other’s country for a short time to do business. It confirms existing policies that enable specialized business people from China to work in New Zealand temporarily as intra-corporate transferees. It also provides special arrangements for capped numbers of people from China to work temporarily in New Zealand if they have particular skills and a job offer, under the following categories:

China Special Work Policy

The China Special Work Policy is for Chinese nationals who are qualified as chefs, traditional chinese medicine practitioners, Mandarin teachers’ aides, Wushu martial arts coaches and Tour guides

China Skilled Workers Policy

Under this policy, a maximum of 1000 skilled Chinese workers at any one time may be granted temporary employment for up to three years, in specified occupations where New Zealand has a skills shortage. Entry will be limited to no more than 100 workers in each occupation at any one time.

Working Holiday Scheme

The FTA also makes 1000 places available annually under this scheme to young citizens of China for a 12-month stay in New Zealand. The scheme runs from 1 October each year and 500 quota places will be available from 1 October 2008.

NZ also has Working Holiday Schemes with Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland , Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, USA, and Uruguay.

The information provided herein is for informational purposes only. If you would like to obtain more information on NZ, please call our Global Immigration Desk at (201) 670-0008 x 107 or