New Zealand offers a range of work visas. All are temporary, though some can lead to residence.
Essential Skills work visas
These visas are meant for temporary stays. The duration of the visa depends on the term of your job offer and labour market conditions.
Is your job on a skill shortage list?
The Essential Skills in Demand Lists are Immigration New Zealand’s occupational skill shortage lists.
If you have a job offer in an occupation on one of the lists and your qualifications and experience match, you can apply for an Essential Skills work visa.
Your employer won’t need to provide evidence of attempting to recruit New Zealanders because Immigration New Zealand (INZ) reviews the lists regularly and has concluded that employers are unable to find enough people with these skills, qualifications, and experience in New Zealand.
What if the job is not on a skill shortage list?
Employers who have advertised the job in New Zealand and made genuine but unsuccessful efforts to find a suitable New Zealand citizen or resident for the position can look to recruit migrant workers. In this situation, you can apply for an essential skills work visa, and your employer will need to provide supporting information demonstrate their efforts to recruit New Zealanders first.
Will an essential skills work visa help if I want to apply for a resident visa?
Essential skills work visas are intended to fill temporary skill gaps, so they do not lead directly to a residence application.
However, if you have an Essential Skills work visa based on a skilled job, you may qualify for residence visa under the Skilled Migrant Category.
Read more about Essential Skills work visas.
Work to Residence visas
There are two main types of Work to Residence visa which enable you to work in New Zealand and then, after working in the job for at least 24 months, apply for a resident visa.
Work to Residence: Long Term Skill Shortage
If you have a permanent or long-term job offer in an occupation on the Long Term Skill Shortage List and your qualifications and experience match, you could apply for a Work to Residence Visa. You’ll need to meet the age, health and character requirements.
Read more about the Long Term Skill Shortage List Category.
Work to Residence: Accredited Employer
If you have a long-term or permanent job offer from an Immigration New Zealand accredited employer you could apply for a work to residence visa. You’ll need to meet the age, health and character requirements, and your job offer will need to meet certain requirements.
Read more about Accredited Employers.
Visas for your children
Dependent children of temporary work visa holders are entitled to attend New Zealand primary and secondary schools as domestic students. However, they need a student visa. To avoid delays it is strongly recommended that you apply for this visa from your home country. Without a student visa, they can only attend school for two weeks as a domestic student or for three months as a fee-paying international student.
Other visa options
There are a number of New Zealand visas not mentioned on this page. You can view information on this site about visas to work, visas to study and visas to invest in New Zealand. Alternatively, visit Immigration New Zealand for a definitive list of all visas.