Visas to work

You’re likely to need a job or job offer to apply for one of our resident or temporary work visas.

If you have specialist skills or work in an area of skills shortage, and have a qualification that is comparable to those that New Zealand employers are used to, you’ll find that there are great career opportunities for you here. For more information visit the Work in NZ section, which covers skill shortage areas, industry profiles, tips on job hunting and more.

Choosing the right visa

There may be a number of visas you are eligible to apply for – each with its own criteria and application process.

Temporary visas

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Temporary visas allow you to live and work in New Zealand for a set period of time. Working temporarily can be used as a step towards gaining residence and settling here permanently.

There are a range of work visas for people that work in a profession that is experiencing skill shortages or have a job offer from a New Zealand employer. Most work visas do not have an age limit.

The Working holiday visa is designed for young people, aged 18-30 or 35, depending on Citizenship. This option lets you travel and work in New Zealand for up to 12 months, or 23 months if you’re from the UK or Canada.

Work visas

Working holiday visa

Resident visas

Resident visas generally allow you to live and work in New Zealand indefinitely and access most publicly funded services. 

The Skilled Migrant Category uses a points system based on factors such as age, work experience, your qualifications, and an offer of skilled employment to determine eligibility. 

Another option is the Residence from Work visa. Once you’ve held a Work to Residence visa for at least 24 months, you may be able to eligible to apply.

You must be aged 55 or under to apply for these resident visas. 

Skilled Migrant visa

Residence from work visa

Other visas

There are a number of other New Zealand visas available for specific situations. Visit Immigration New Zealand's website for the full list.

Find a visa | Immigration New Zealand

Apply online

Apply online for your visa (01:21)

Whether you’re coming to New Zealand to visit, study, work or live, you’ll know there are a few things you need to get sorted.

The good news is that you can apply for your visa online, and it’s now easier than ever before. In fact, it’s faster and cheaper than a paper application, leaving you more time to plan the fun stuff.

No matter if you’re coming from Shanghai or Suva – you can apply for your visa online from anywhere, at any time. And if you’re already in New Zealand and want to stay longer, you can apply for that too.

To get started, visit the immigration website to find out if you need a visa, and the requirements you’ll need to meet.

To apply, you’ll need to upload your documents, a passport-style photo, and pay with a credit or debit card.

We can’t start processing your visa unless everything’s there, so double check you’ve included all the required documents before you press submit.

You can even start your application, save it, and finish it later.

Once you’ve submitted your application, we’ll let you know if you need to send us your passport, or if we can issue an e-visa. Simple!

So jump online, get started and we’ll see you soon. 

the key thing is to do your research and to have a good look around. Try and form some networks.

Most work, student and visitor visas can be applied for online. Applying online is often faster and less expensive than sending in a paper application form. When you apply online we can also issue your visa electronically so you won't have to send us your passport.

If you apply online, you'll need to have a credit card ready, and any supporting evidence, like a copy of your passport, will need to be available in an electronic file.

To apply online, visit the Immigration New Zealand website.

Interested in coming to New Zealand?

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Page last updated: 18/10/2018

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