New Zealand Work Visa

New Zealand a happy land of kiwis gained the reputation as a country with the Best Quality of Life in the World according to a research conducted by HSBC’s 2015 Expats and Explorer survey. The same survey ranked New Zealand the second best country in the world for work-life balance and New Zealand bagged the title of second best destination to live and work in the world. Another interesting research conducted by global HR consultants ranked Auckland as the third best Quality of living in the world. So, many global surveys have rightly pointed out New Zealand as the best global locations to work and maintain a healthy work and life balance. Safe & Secure society with very less crime rate, a country with friendly, polite and warm people, pure, natural and clean environmental conditions makes New Zealand number 1 destination for people willing to live a good life earning decent money to enjoy life to the fullest.

New Zealand offers a variety of work related visas to citizens of foreign countries:

Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa:

New Zealand government invites skilled and experienced professionals to New Zealand to help in building a strong and growing economy. Eligible and qualified, skilled professionals with expertise from different fields can apply for Permanent Residency under the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa. This visa allows applicants along with their family members to settle in New Zealand and enjoy benefits of holding PR status.

Benefits of Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa:

  • Live, work and Study in New Zealand
  • Stay in New Zealand indefinitely and enter or leave New Zealand any number of times for the first two initial years of stay
  • Avail the benefits of New Zealand healthcare system and social security benefit
  • If you meet the eligibility criteria you can apply for New Zealand Citizenship
  • Sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • Travel to and from New Zealand for first two years (After 5 years you would need a resident return visa or another visa to return to Australia)

Eligibility criteria for Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa:

Here is a quick list of things that would be required in order to apply for New Zealand immigration under Skilled Migrant visa:

  • You must be under 56 years of age
  • You must be in good health
  • You must be of good character
  • You must have good English language ability
  • You must have reached a minimum point score of 160 (currently New Zealand is only accepting applicants with a at least 160 points instead of threshold of 100 as before)

Working Holiday Visa:

The working holiday visa is a temporary visa for young people who want to holiday and work in New Zealand for up to a year. It is temporary visa that encourages cultural exchange and closer ties between New Zealand and eligible countries.

Working in Australia – six months with one employer: You can generally only work or study six months with one employer.

Eligibility Criteria for the Applicants:

Working Holiday Program Eligible Countries:

To apply for this visa you must hold valid passport from the country involved in the Working Holiday Program with Australia. Eligible countries are:

Argentina Austria Argentina
Belgium Brazil Belgium
China Bulgaria Canada
Chile Croatia Cyprus
Czech Republic Denmark Estonia
Finland France Germany
Greece Hong Kong Hungary
Italy Ireland Israel
Latvia                      Japan Republic of Korea
Lithuania Italy Netherlands
Malaysia Malta Poland
Mexico Peru Seychelles
Norway Qatar Slovenia
Philippines Taiwan (PR holders only) Vietnam
Thailand Slovakia United Kingdom (PR Holders also)
Singapore United Kingdom Vatican City
Spain Uruguay United Arab Emirates


Generally you can apply for Working Holiday Visa if you:

  • hold a valid passport from a country involved in the Working Holiday Program with New Zealand
  • have not previously entered New Zealand on a Working Holiday Visa
  • have turned 18 years of age but have not yet turned 30-35 (Age criteria is different for different country)
  • are a genuine visitor who wants to have a holiday in New Zealand
  • have enough money to support yourself on a working holiday visa (about NZ$ 4,200)
  • have enough money to buy a return or onward travel ticket at the end of your stay
  • will not be accompanied by dependent children at any time during your stay

Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa:

This visa allows talented professionals who have skills necessary to work for accredited employers in New Zealand. This is a temporary work visa which allows skilled professionals to work with accredited employer to work in New Zealand. But, if you are employed full time for more than 2 years with accredited employers, you can apply for Permanent Residency in New Zealand. This visa allows you stay in New Zealand for 30 months. You cannot include your partner or dependent children in your work visa application, you need to apply under family class visa for this.

Essential Skills Work Visa:

Essential Skills work visa is another temporary work visa option for applicants who have the necessary educational and professional qualifications and want to work in a full time job in New Zealand. There is a pre-requisite for your employer to ensure that you were offered this job only after performing the analysis that no other citizen or Permanent Resident of New Zealand was eligible for this job. If you are a visa holder under this category, you can invite your partner and dependent children for living with you.

Specific Purpose Work Visa:

This visa allows business people on secondments, sports players, professional coaches, specialist installers or services, and Philippines nurses seeking occupational registration to come to New Zealand for a specific purpose or participate in an event. It is a pre-requisite for you to have the required qualification or skills in order to participate in the specific event or purpose. This visa allows people to work for the specific employer for the time it takes for the specific purpose or event is completed.

People in Entertainment industry cannot apply under this visa, they need to apply for “Entertainers work visa”.

Long Term Skill Shortage Work Visa:

Long Term Skill Shortage List Resident Visa: This visa allows people to migrate to New Zealand and get a permanent residency visa. If you want to apply for this visa you will need to meet the eligibility criteria related to specified work experience, qualifications and occupational registration to work. The pre-requisite to apply for this visa is your occupation must fall under the Skill shortage List, and you must have a valid offer for work in that occupation. If you have continued to work in that occupation in New Zealand for 2 years

Recognized Seasonal Employer Limited Visa:

This visa is a temporary work visa for people who want to gain experience of working in horticulture and viticulture industries. The pre-requisite to apply for this visa is a valid job offer from a Recognized Seasonal Employer before you can apply. This visa allows a short stay of about 7-11 months period for citizens of most countries. This visa is very beneficial to people who want to learn about planting, maintaining and harvesting crops. While you hold this visa you cannot apply for any other kind of visa. This visa is only for individuals family members like partner, spouse, and dependent children cannot apply for on this visa.

Post Study Work visa – Employer Assisted:

If you have studied in New Zealand and are looking for temporary work visa after the completion of your studies you can apply for this visa. This visa allows eligible recent graduates after successful course completion to work full time with an employer who is located in the same area where you had done your studies. This visa is granted only if you have a valid offer letter from an employer who is located in the same area as your educational institute from which you studied.

Later on you can apply for Skilled Migrant Category visa and get Permanent Residency of New Zealand. This visa is generally granted for a period or 2 years, but if you are working towards occupational registration, then you may be granted this visa for 3 years.

Silver Fern Job Search Work Visa:

If you are young and highly skilled professional looking to live and work in New Zealand for long term, you can apply for this visa. This visa allows people who have the right skills who intend to look for skilled employment. This visa allows provides applicants to stay for long term in New Zealand if they are successful in finding the long term employment.

Domestic Staff of a Diplomat Work Visa:

This visa allows the official staffs who perform domestic responsibilities for Diplomatic officers, to apply for work visa for their employer in New Zealand while the officer is posted New Zealand.  In order to apply for this visa, your age has to be above 18 years. Your application must be supported by your employer and New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s. Once you get this visa, you can work in domestic role like a cook, nanny, driver or gardener. You will be granted visa for the same duration till your employer is posted in New Zealand. 

Partner of a Student Work Visa:

If you have a spouse or partner who is pursuing a level 7 or higher course which is on Long Term Skill Shortage List , or a Postgraduate qualification course; you can apply for living and working in New Zealand. The greatest benefit of this visa is it allows you to work and enjoy holidaying in New Zealand. The duration of this visa is the same as the time period for which your partner is going to stay in New Zealand. You don’t need to have an offer from a New Zealand employer if you are applying for this visa. You cannot include any dependent children in your visa application, you need to file a different visa for inviting your children in New Zealand.

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Currently I am settled in New Zealand and I am really very happy with Visas Abroad Services, these guys really do their job with honesty and dedication. Good team and I would recommend Visas Abroad to everyone.

Priti Grover
Sales & Marketing, Alien Ltd.