New Zealand Work Visas

Gaining a Working Visa in New Zealand

Finding a job in New Zealand is often the pathway to permanent residence, with the New Zealand government placing more emphasis on residence applicants with skilled job offers, as a means of settling and contributing to New Zealand.  In 2011 - 2012 92% of all skilled migrant residence approvals had skilled job offers.

There are a number of temporary work visa categories, most of which require you to have a job offer before you can apply for the visa.  New Zealand employers who require a specific skillset are usually willing to consider foreign workers if they are not able to find the ideal candidate from within New Zealand.  We can work with your employer to make the process as simple as possible for them and for you. 


Common Visa Pathways

The most common category is the Essential Skills Work Visa, which is aimed at attracting people with skills that are needed in New Zealand.  Under this category, unless your occupation is on the Immediate Skills Shortage List, the Canterbury Skills Shortage List or the Long Term Skills Shortage List, New Zealand employers must show that they have made a genuine attempt to find New Zealanders for the position.  This means that employers must have advertised within New Zealand and for jobs that are in the lower skill categories, employers are also required to list the position with Work and Income New Zealand.

In order to qualify for an essential skills work visa, an applicant must have a job offer for a fulltime job (30 hours or more), payable by wages at the appropriate New Zealand market rate.  Employment contracts must meet the requirements under New Zealand labour law.  You will also need to show that you meet the skill level requirement by having either a relevant qualification or work experience.  If the occupation requires registration by an industry body by law (such as the medical and teaching industries), you will also need to show that you have the appropriate registration.

There are other work visa categories such as the study to work or silver fern categories, that may be appropriate for you.

Please contact us if you need help with your working visa application or would like specific information.


Renewing an existing Working Visa

A work visa under the Essential Skills Work Visa category allows you to work for a specific employer in a specific position and in a specific region.  If any of these factors were to change you would have to apply for either a variation of conditions to your existing work visa  OR a new work visa.  there is no limit to the number of work visas you apply for, as long as you meet the requirements that are in place at the time of your next application.


Working Visas in a Family

Work visas obtained under the Family: Partnership category allow you to work for any employer in any occupation.  Work visas under partnership category can be applied for by partners of essential skills work visa holders, or by partners of New Zealand residents or citizens.  You are considered by Immigration New Zealand to meet partnership requirements if you have lived together with your partner in a genuine and stable relationship for at least 12 months, irrespective of whether you are married.

Contact us to find out how we can help you work in New Zealand.


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