New Zealand work visas: Explore your options

/ / Working in New Zealand

new zealand work visas

Did you know New Zealand has five visas that allow migrants to work in the country?

Each of these visas has specific requirements, and some offer residence or a pathway to residence to successful applicants.

To determine for which visa you qualify, you must complete an immigration assessment with a licensed advisor. Before we tell you how to do that, let’s look at the different New Zealand work visas.

1. Skilled Migrant visa

The Skilled Migrant visa is a points-based visa that lets you live and work in New Zealand. It grants residence to successful applicants.

To submit an Expression of Interest, you must score 6 points. You can claim points from one of these three categories:

  • New Zealand occupational registration
  • Qualification (Bachelor’s degree or higher)
  • Income from a job or job offer (earning at least 1.5 times the median wage in New Zealand)

You can also claim 1 point for each year of skilled work in New Zealand, up to a maximum of 3 points.

You can combine these points with the points you scored in one of the three categories above.
Additionally, you must be 55 or younger to apply for a Skilled Migrant Visa, and you must have a skilled job or job offer with an accredited employer in New Zealand.

Learn more about the Skilled Migrant visa.

2. Accredited Employer Work Visa

The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) is for overseas workers with a full-time job offer from an accredited New Zealand employer. It offers pathways to residence to eligible visa holders.

To apply for the Accredited Employer Work Visa, you must earn at least the New Zealand median wage unless the job offered is exempt. You must also have the necessary skills, qualifications, and work experience to perform the job. Furthermore, you must have occupational registration if it’s required.

In addition to these requirements, suitable New Zealanders must not be available to do the offered job.

However, a waiver of this requirement does apply in some cases.

Learn more about the Accredited Employer Work Visa.

3. Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa

The Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa allows visa holders to live and work in New Zealand.

To apply for a Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa, you must have a New Zealand partner with whom you’re in a civil union or de facto relationship. Your partner must be a citizen or permanent resident, and you must prove that your relationship is stable and committed.

If your application is successful, you can apply for New Zealand residence based on your relationship status, but you must do it before your visa expires.

Learn more about the Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa.

4. Partner of a New Zealand Work Visa Holder

Do you want to join your partner who holds a work visa in New Zealand? Then the Partner of a New Zealand Work Visa Holder Visa is for you. This visa allows you to also live and work in New Zealand.

To be eligible to apply, your partnership must be a marriage, civil union, or de facto relationship.

Furthermore, you must demonstrate to Immigration New Zealand that your partnership is genuine. Immigration New Zealand will consider the following when evaluating your relationship:

  • How long you’ve been together, and how long you’ve been living together as a couple
  • Whether you support each other financially and how you share financial responsibilities
  • Property that you may own or share
  • If you have any children together
  • Whether other people recognise your relationship or not

Learn more about the Partner of a New Zealand Work Visa Holder Visa.

5. Specific Purpose Work visa

You’ll apply for a Specific Purpose Work visa when you need to go to New Zealand for a short-term work assignment or business trip that would attract any benefit – a salary, housing, food, or any other form of benefit or remuneration.

Examples of such assignments and trips include, but are not limited to, short-term assignments for your employer, working on a film set, installing, or servicing specialised equipment, judging a show or exhibition, or going to New Zealand to referee sports matches.

When submitting your visa application, you must prove that you:

  • Genuinely need the work visa for the time requested
  • Have enough funds to support yourself for the period of the work visa
  • Intend to leave New Zealand at the end of the work visa’s validity

Learn more about the Specific Purpose Work visa.

Now let’s speak about assessments

As we said right at the start, you can discover your best work visa option for New Zealand with an immigration assessment.

Such an assessment will consider all the necessary information about your profile to determine which New Zealand work visa you can apply for.

Online assessments are available, but it is best to get a licensed immigration advisor to assess your immigration eligibility. Online assessments often don’t ask the probing questions necessary to determine if you qualify to apply for a New Zealand work visa.

You can find licensed advisors on the New Zealand Immigration Adviser Authority (IAA) website.

You can rest assured that advisors who appear here are licensed and held accountable for the advice dispensed.

Intergate Emigration’s licensed advisors

Our advisors are registered and licensed to give immigration advice for New Zealand:

Natanya Mostert is our licensed advisor for New Zealand. You can book a consultation call with her on our website.

Let’s recap New Zealand work visas

New Zealand offers five work visas that allows you to work in the country. Some of these visas offer residence or a pathway to residence.

Each New Zealand work visa has unique requirements, and you’ll know if you meet any of these criteria by completing an immigration assessment.

To ensure you get the correct advice, only deal with licensed advisers. It could prevent you from spending your savings on a visa application for which you don’t actually qualify.

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