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New Zealand Work Visas

To get a work visa in New Zealand, you generally must have specialist skills or work in an area of skills shortage. You also need to have a qualification that is comparable to a New Zealand qualification.

These visas let you work in New Zealand for a defined period of time. Note that if you receive a temporary visa, you can still apply for permanent visa at a later date.

You can study while on a temporary visa, but only for 3 months per year. If you want to study more than that, you’ll need to apply for a Student Visa.

You can apply for a Temporary Visa if you:

  • get an offer of employment from a N.Z. employer
  • wish to get work experience in N.Z.
  • have a partner in N.Z. and wish to come here and work
  • want to work in N.Z. after completing studying in this country

There are three broad categories of temporary work visa:

  • Essential Skills visa to fill a skill shortage
  • Work to Residence visa if you have a job offer from a N.Z. employer
  • Working Holiday visa if under aged 18 to 30


Essential Skills Work Visas

Essential Skills visas are aimed at filling short-term gaps in skills that may exist in New Zealand. They are not intended to result in permanent residence. However, if you have a skilled job, you can later apply for a Resident Visa under the Skilled Migrant Category.

There are 2 categories, and both require you to have a job offer.

Skills shortage work policy applies to employment in a range of occupations and industries in New Zealand where there is an acknowledged skill shortage.

These occupations are reviewed and updated by INZ on a regular basis and published on their website. There are three listings:

For jobs not on the skills shortage list .

Your prospective employer will need to demonstrate that they have advertised the position and after genuine efforts, have not been able to find a suitable N.Z. citizen or N.Z. resident to take up the position.


Work to Residence Visas

These visas give you the opportunity to work in N.Z. Then, after working for at least 2 years, you can apply for a Resident Visa if you meet certain criteria (see Residence from Work Category above).

There are 2 types of Work to Residence visa:

  1. Work to Residence: Long Term Skill Shortage
  • You’ll need an offer of permanent / long-term work in an occupation that’s on the Long Term Skill Shortage List.
  • You must also have an appropriate qualification and work experience.
  • You need to meet the health and character requirements and be 55 years old or younger.
  1. Work to Residence: Accredited Employer
  • You’ll need an offer of permanent / long-term work from an Immigration New Zealand Accredited Employer.
  • The job offer must meet specified criteria.
  • You need to meet the health and character requirements and be 55 years old or younger.


Working Holiday Visa

This visa is for people from 18 to 30 years of age. It allows young people to work in New Zealand for up to 12 months (or 23 months if from the UK), while they get to travel around the country.

We can provide you with more information and work with you through your application

For more information please feel free to contact us.

Immigration Management New Zealand. Phone: +64 (0) 2102299588

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