Am I eligible to work in New Zealand?
One thing is certain about immigration – you’re going to have lots of questions! Number one, arguably, will be “Am I eligible to work in New Zealand?” The follow up question will be “How do I find out?”
Finding yourself nodding in affirmation? Then you’ll be delighted to hear that you’ve come to the right place for the answers.
To be eligible to work in New Zealand, you must meet certain criteria
To understand New Zealand work visa requirements, first familiarize yourself with the visa types.
Let’s start by looking at the broad categories. New Zealand offers work visas to:
- People who have skills New Zealand need.
- Applicants with a job offer from a New Zealand job employer.
- Entrepreneurs who want to work in their own businesses.
- The partners of New Zealand citizens or permanent residents.
- The partners of New Zealand work visa holders.
You can thus see that to be eligible to work in New Zealand you’ll have to:
- Possess skills on one of New Zealand’s skills shortage lists; or/and
- Secure a job offer; or
- Have the means to start your own business or to buy into an existing business; or
- Be in a stable and committed relationship with a New Zealander; or
- Be the partner of a work visa applicant or recipient.
This is still a broad look at the New Zealand’s visa requirements! Let’s sink our teeth into the specifics:
Skilled Migrant Visa – Skills and a job offer
To be eligible to work in New Zealand as a skilled migrant, you must:
- Be 55 or younger.
- Have an occupation that is in demand.
- Score 160 points or more in your skills assessment.
- Have an offer of skilled employment or current skilled employment in New Zealand.
- Meet the English language requirements.
- Meet the New Zealand good character requirements.
- Be in good health.
Go here for an in-depth look at the Skilled Migrant visa.
Essential Skills Visa – Skills and a job offer
You’ll only be eligible for an Essential Skills Visa if you meet these basis criteria:
- You have a written full time job offer from a New Zealand employer.
- Your occupation is on the essential skills list.
- You must possess the skills, qualifications, and experience necessary to perform the role you’ve been offered. Additionally Immigration New Zealand must be satisfied that there is no suitable New Zealanders for the position.
- Your remuneration must be according to the ANZSCO level of your occupation.
Go here for an in-depth look at the Essential Skills visa.
Entrepreneur Work Visa – The financial means to start your own business or to buy into an existing business
If you want to work in your own business in New Zealand, you’ll have to be able to demonstrate the following:
- NZ$100,000 capital to establish the business. This does not include working capital. Some sectors can apply for a waiver of this NZ$100,000. Talk to our advisors for more details.
- A business plan that show that your business will add value to New Zealand and can succeed.
- Good business character. Immigration New Zealand will review any circumstances of business failure, fraud, and bankruptcy.
- A score of at least 120 in a points-based assessment.
- Good health.
- English language ability. You’ll have to meet the English language requirements as determined by Immigration New Zealand.
Go here for an in-depth look at the Entrepreneur Work visa.
New Zealand Spouse or Partner Visa – In a stable and committed relationship with a New Zealander
Spouses and partners of New Zealanders can apply for a work visa provided the relationship meets Immigration New Zealand’s criteria.
Firstly, the relationship must be one of these:
- Legal marriage; or
- Civil union; or
- De facto relationship; whether same-sex or opposite sex.
Immigration New Zealand will furthermore consider four factors when deciding whether the relationship meet the criteria of the spouse or partner visa:
- Credibility: Are both the partner and applicant credible in the evidence they present?
- Co-habitation: Barring any special circumstance preventing it, partners must live together.
- That the partnership is genuine: The reasons for entering into and remaining in the partnership are genuine.
- That the partnership is stable: The partnership is exclusive and of a long term nature.
In addition to being able to prove the above, the New Zealand partner must also be able to show:
- Proof of their residence status.
- That New Zealand is their primary place of residence.
- That they are eligible a supporting sponsor.
Go here for an in-depth look at the Partner and Spouse visa.
Partner of a New Zealand Work Visa Holder – Your partner is applying for or has a work visa
The definition of partner for this visa is the same as for above. Partners are two people, either same sex or opposite sex, who live together and are in a stable relationship in any of the following:
- Legal marriage; or
- Civil union; or
- De Facto relationship.
In addition, you and your supporting partner must also meet these criteria:
- Be 18 years of age or older. If you are 16 or 17 years old, you’ll need consent from your parents or guardians.
- You must have met each other before applying for a visa based on your relationship.
- You cannot be close relatives.
Considering the visa is dependent on your partner’s work visa, the following should also be true:
- Your partner is making an application for a work visa.
- Your partner has already secured a work visa.
Go here for an in-depth look at the visa for a Partner of a New Zealand Work Visa Holder.
To find out if you are eligible to work in New Zealand, do this…
Immigration isn’t always black and white or straightforward. That’s why judging your eligibility for a work visa is not as easy as ticking off the bullet points on our lists.
What you want to do is contact a licensed immigration advisor for an assessment. This is the surest way to know your eligibility for a New Zealand work visa.
Our immigration advisors can do such an assessment for you – and our initial one is free! It’s obligation free too. You’ll only proceed to the next steps if you want to.
Booking your initial assessment only takes a minute or two if done online. What do you have to lose? Book your assessment right now.