How it works

  • You'll need to hold an appropriate working or study visa for New Zealand. Australian permanent residents and citizens don't require a working visa in New Zealand.
  • Our Free up account is the only account you'll be able to open from overseas. It's our most popular account with no monthly or electronic transaction fees. You won't be able to withdraw funds from this account until you've arrived in New Zealand and verified your account.
  • Once you've verified your account at a Kiwibank branch you'll be able to open other types of accounts or change the account type, if you'd prefer on of our other accounts.
  • You'll have 180 days (six months) after opening your account to arrive in New Zealand and activate your account.

Start the application process

You'll need to send the following documents to migrant.banking@kiwibank.co.nz:

  • A completed Migrant banking application form (PDF 208.3 KB).

  • A certified copy of your passport.

  • A certified copy of your proof of your residential address in your home country. The Migrant banking application form (PDF 208.3 KB) has a list of acceptable documents and certifiers.

  • A completed Overseas tax declaration (PDF 94.5 KB)

  • We'll also need one of the following, depending on whether you're studying or working:

    • If you’re working, the relevant visa entitling you to work in New Zealand.

    • If you’re studying, a Student visa AND proof of your enrolment in a New Zealand educational facility.

Next steps

If your application and supporting documentation are approved we'll send you a confirmation email. The email will contain:

  • Your Kiwibank account details
  • Information on how to send international payments to your new Kiwibank account before you arrive
  • Instructions on how to set up Kiwibank Internet Banking
  • Where to find your nearest Kiwibank so we can organise an appointment for you to activate your accounts once you arrive in New Zealand.

Got any questions or need more information? Email migrant.banking@kiwibank.co.nz

All the services you need

Kiwibank is located nationwide. We have convenient opening hours, including weekends in some locations, so you can do your banking, international payments and more – all at the same time.

We also offer a wide range of International services, which make it easy to send money back home, or keep cash in a foreign currency.

FAQ's

How long does it take to set up an account?

Once you’ve submitted your completed application form, with the correctly certified documents, to us we’ll reply within 1-2 business days with your new account details. To make sure everything isn’t left to the last minute we recommend getting in contact with us at least two weeks prior to your arrival in NZ so that we can make sure all your documents are in order.

Can I access any money that I deposit in to my Kiwibank Account before I arrive in NZ?

No, any money that’s deposited can only be accessed once you arrive and your accounts have been activated at your appointment.

What types of accounts can I set up?

You can open a Free up account before arriving in New Zealand. Our Free Up Account is our most popular account with no monthly or electronic transaction fees.

Although Free Up is the only type of account you can open from overseas, you'll be able to open other types of accounts to better suit your needs once you arrive in New Zealand.

Can I set up a joint account?

Yes but please ensure that each account holder fills in a separate Migrant banking application form. You're welcome to use a joint proof of address if the document is addressed to you both.

If you’re intending to make your account joint once you arrive in New Zealand please keep in mind that the other joint account holder will need to provide proof of their New Zealand address which could be difficult to provide when they’ve only just arrived in the country. For this reason we recommend that you both get fully set up before you arrive.

Also, if you’re not arriving at the same time you may want 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.

Can I get an overdraft, credit card, or home loan with Kiwibank if I’m not a NZ Citizen or Permanent Resident?

In most cases Kiwibank doesn’t lend to non-Permanent Residents but we assess applications on a case by case basis. Please let us know if you’re going to be in New Zealand long term and you’d like to discuss your lending options with us, and we’ll be happy to meet with you once you’re in New Zealand.

Can I set up a savings or investment account?

You’ll need to be in New Zealand before we can set you up with a savings or investment account. Once you arrive, get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to discuss your options with you.

How long before I plan to arrive in New Zealand can I get accounts set up?

We can set up your accounts up to six months prior to your arrival in New Zealand.

Download Kiwibank’s Disclosure Statement (PDF 913.8 KB) or pick up a copy at your local Kiwibank.