If you’re coming to study or work in New Zealand, you can open an account before you make the move.
As most international arrivals to New Zealand have been paused due to COVID-19, we're only processing applications from people who have a special exemption to enter New Zealand. If you don’t have a special exemption, you won’t be able to apply for an account until New Zealand’s borders have been fully reopened.
You need to hold an appropriate study or work visa for New Zealand. Australian citizens and permanent citizens don’t need visas.
You can set up your account before you get here. You have 180 days (six months) after opening your account to arrive in New Zealand and activate your account.
The only account you can open from overseas is a Free Up account. This is our most popular account. You won’t be able to withdraw funds from this account until you’ve arrived in New Zealand and activated your account. Once you’ve done that you’ll be able to open other types of accounts.
You can set up a joint account, but each account holder will need to fill in a separate migrant banking application form (PDF 208.3 KB). If you’re planning to make your account joint once you arrive in New Zealand, please bear in mind that the other joint account holder will need to provide proof of their New Zealand address, which could be difficult if they’ve only just arrived in the country.
If you’re not arriving at the same time, it might be a better idea to set up an individual account that can be activated first and a joint account that can be activated later, once you’re both in New Zealand.