Work Visa

New Zealand’s immigration policy contains a number of temporary work visa options. If you fit within any of the following situation, then you may be eligible to apply for a work visa to New Zealand;

  • I have a job offer from a New Zealand employer.
  • I’ve just graduated from a course of study in New Zealand.
  • I’m in a relationship with a New Zealander.
  • I work in a skilled occupation that is in long term or immediate shortage in New Zealand.
  • I want to work in New Zealand for a specific purpose or event.
  • I’m young, highly qualified and living overseas.
  • I’m a traveller from a country that has an approved working holiday scheme with New Zealand

This may be the most frequently-used work visa category, but a word of caution:

a job offer in New Zealand does not guarantee you a work visa, particularly in today’s restrictive labour market and with shifting Immigration policies. Your offer of employment and your relevant qualifications or work experience may not be enough to meet the latest Immigration requirements.

Like the Skilled Migrant Residence Category, it is essential for you and your potential employer to understand the strict policy requirements in place under this category. Has your employer made genuine attempts to find suitable local candidates for the position? If you think you are in a skill shortage occupation, do you satisfy Immigration requirements for that occupation?

If you’re the partner (spouse or de facto partner) of a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, a partnership work visa can enable you to work for any employer (or be self-employed) in New Zealand while your relationship continues to develop.

Partnership work visas typically act as a “bridge” to permanent residence by enabling you to live, work and study in New Zealand until you and your partner meet the 12 month “living together” requirement for Partnership Residence.

While there’s no minimum “living together” period under this category, it’s important to understand the various criteria that Immigration New Zealand apply for determining whether your relationship is genuine and stable. With a number of requirements to satisfy, being the partner or spouse of a New Zealand citizen, permanent resident or work permit holder does not automatically guarantee you a work visa. Your application requires attention to detail and careful compliance with Immigration policy requirements.

If you’re an international student in New Zealand and have completed your studies, immigration policy allows you to enter the New Zealand work-force through –

  • A 12 month, open Graduate Job Search Work Visa upon completion of your course of study, or –
  • A 24 month Work Visa with Offer of Employment.

These special work categories enable international students to find skilled employment relevant to their completed course and thereby increase their chances of securing permanent residence through the Skilled Migrant Category.

When looking for a job or deciding whether to accept a job offer, it’s important to pay particular attention to details such as your job title, description and salary, as these may affect your eligibility for residence in the future.

If you’re young, highly qualified and living overseas, this work category could be for you. The Silver Fern Work Category is designed to attract qualified young people to travel to New Zealand to find employment, and provide a pathway for them to gain permanent residence.

The Silver Fern Work policy allows young people who have recognised qualifications (Bachelors degree or Level 4 Trade Certificate) to secure a 9-month Job Search Work Visa for New Zealand and find skilled employment here.

If you find the right job, you could then secure a further 2 year Practical

Experience Work Visa and apply for Permanent Residence.

A quota has been set limiting the places available per year to a maximum of 300 visas. The intakes usually begin in April each year.

This category provides certain applicants the option of working in New Zealand for 24 months in order to gain permanent residence under either –

Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Category – for migrants with an offer of full time employment from an accredited employer with a minimum base salary of $55,000 per annum.

Talent (Arts, Culture & Sports) Category – for those with an exceptional talent in a declared field of art, culture or sport and who are sponsored by a reputable New Zealand organisation.

Talent (Long Term Skill Shortage) Category – for those migrants with job offers for occupations that are in long-term shortage in New Zealand.

If you’re a young traveller from one of the countries below and considering a six month to two year working holiday in New Zealand, contact us to find out if you qualify for a Working Holiday Visa.

Argentina / Belgium / Brazil / Canada / Chile / China / Czech Republic / Denmark / Estonia/ Finland / France/ Germany / Hong Kong / Ireland / Italy / Japan / Korea / Latvia / Malaysia / Malta / Mexico / Netherlands / Norway / Peru / Poland / Singapore / Slovenia / Spain / Sweden Taiwan / Thailand / UK / USA / Uruguay