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New Zealand work visas: eligibility and application process

New Zealand work visas: eligibility and application guide

Stefano at Localyze

Stefano Mandola

Content Writer

Table of contents

  1. Do I need a visa for New Zealand?
  2. What is the application process?
  3. What are the fees and costs of obtaining a work visa in New Zealand?
  4. What are the eligibility requirements for obtaining a work visa in New Zealand?
  5. What work visas are available in New Zealand?

New Zealand is known as a land of beautiful scenery. It also has a thriving economy and a high standard of living, attracting skilled workers from around the world. The New Zealand government provides several work visas, each suitable for different purposes and varying lengths of stay.

If you dream of working in New Zealand or are planning to relocate talent, this is the guide for you. You'll learn how to find the appropriate New Zealand work visa for you or your employees, how to apply, and the required documents. Here is your eligibility and application guide for New Zealand immigration.

Do I need a visa for New Zealand?

Unless you're an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you will likely need a work visa to work legally in New Zealand. This includes both temporary and permanent work arrangements.

While some visas allow you to work for any employer, others are tied to a specific job offer from an accredited New Zealand employer. Like work permits in other nations, a New Zealand work visa ensures that you meet the job market's standards, protecting you and the country's employers.

What is the application process?

The application process for a New Zealand work visa typically involves the following steps:

  • Identifying the appropriate visa: This guide explores various options, but it's crucial to research and select the visa that best suits your situation and desired work experience.
  • Completing the online application form (INZ 1015): Immigration New Zealand offers a user-friendly online application portal. You must provide personal information, details about your intended work, and supporting documents.
  • Submitting fees: Visa application fees vary depending on the visa type and your circumstances. Ensure you have the necessary funds prepared.
  • Attending an interview (for some visas): In some cases, you may be required to participate in an interview with an immigration officer.

In addition, it is highly recommended to seek advice from a licensed immigration advisor to ensure you meet the specific requirements and submit a complete and accurate application.

What are the fees and costs of obtaining a work visa in New Zealand?

New Zealand work visa fees range from NZ$220 to NZ$820 (approximately USD$136 to USD$504), depending on the visa type and complexity.

Additional costs may apply for medical certificates, police certificates, and biometrics. The best way to determine your total costs is to visit the fees section of the New Zealand Immigration website.

What are the eligibility requirements for obtaining a work visa in New Zealand?

While the specific requirements vary for each type of visa, the general eligibility criteria for New Zealand work visas include:

  • Meeting health requirements and passing a background check.
  • Having the necessary skills and experience for your intended line of work.
  • Having sufficient financial resources to support yourself during your stay.
  • Meeting minimum age requirements, typically requiring you to be at least 18.

However, keep in mind that there may be more stringent requirements for specific visa types.

What work visas are available in New Zealand?

Below is an overview of the most popular types of visas offered by the New Zealand government, covering various categories and tailored to meet different immigration needs and purposes:

Accredited Employer Work Visa

The Accredited Employer Work Visa is perfect if you have a job offer from a pre-approved New Zealand employer. The employer sponsors your application, making the process faster.

New Zealand Diplomatic Visa

The New Zealand Diplomatic Visa caters to individuals employed by foreign governments or international organizations in New Zealand. It is designed to facilitate the entry and stay of diplomatic personnel, ensuring that they can effectively carry out their duties while complying with the laws and regulations of New Zealand.

Entertainers Work Visa

Professional performers and artists can work in New Zealand for a specific event or engagement with the Entertainers Work Visa. This type of visa is a valuable tool for fostering cultural exchange, enriching the local arts scene, and facilitating international collaboration within the entertainment industry in New Zealand.

Long-Term Skill Shortage List Visa

Tailored for applicants with skills in high demand by New Zealand, the Long-Term Skill Shortage List Visa offers a pathway to residency by tackling the shortages in the labor market.

Post-Study Work Visa

Graduates from New Zealand institutions can apply for a Post-Study Work Visa to gain work experience there. It is a great option for graduates, facilitating their integration into the New Zealand workforce and contributing to the country's ongoing efforts to attract and retain talent.

Recognized Seasonal Employer Limited Visa

The Recognized Seasonal Employer Limited Visa caters to workers employed by accredited seasonal employers in specific industries like agriculture, horticulture, and viticulture. Applicants can only work for the recognised seasonal employer listed in their visa, but it can be extended or changed so they can work for other employers.

Specific Purpose Work Visa

The Specific Purpose Work Visa caters to individuals with specific skills and qualifications needed for a short-term project or event.

Supplementary Seasonal Employment SSE Work Visa

The Supplementary Seasonal Employment SSE Work Visa meets the needs of employers requiring additional workers during peak seasonal periods.

Talent Accredited Employer Resident Visa

This visa is meant for highly skilled individuals with exceptional talent whose skills are crucial for New Zealand's economic development.

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

The New Zealand Working Holiday Visa allows young people (typically 18-35) to work and travel in New Zealand for a set period while experiencing the culture.

Working Holidaymaker Extension

The Working Holidaymaker Extension permits eligible Working Holiday Visa holders to extend their stay and continue working under certain conditions.

Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa

This comprehensive visa offers a pathway to permanent residency for individuals with skills and qualifications needed by New Zealand.

Regardless of the type of visa that aligns with your work situation, make sure you visit the New Zealand Immigration site for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

The bottom line

New Zealand captivates travelers from all around the globe, thanks to its lush vistas and robust economy. The government offers many different work visas, each with its own stringent requirements. Choosing the right visa that applies to your situation can be challenging enough, even before you begin the application process.

Want to discuss how to manage your employee relocation and hiring strategy? Get in touch with us. Localyze offers a one-stop shop for global workforce needs. Our experienced immigration counsel stays up-to-date with the most recent regulations, updates, and other nuances of visas and international mobility.

Note: The articles on our website discussing legal topics are researched with utmost care. However, we cannot assume any liability for the correctness, completeness, and topicality of the information provided. The information is of a general nature and does not contain legal advice in individual cases. For the solution of specific legal matters, please consult a lawyer.

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