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Updated February 2024

New Zealand’s breathtaking landscapes, diverse culture, and thriving job market make it an enticing destination for individuals looking to work abroad. Whether you’re a skilled professional seeking new opportunities or an adventurer looking to fund your travels, securing a work visa is the key to unlocking the Land of the Long White Cloud’s employment potential.

Read on as Wego delves into the details regarding New Zealand work visas, its types, requirements, fees, and more

New Zealand work visa types

New Zealand offers a variety of work visa options, and your selection should be based on the ones that match your employment requirements. You can visit the New Zealand Immigration official website, to get a complete list of New Zealand work visas.

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Given below is a list of some of the New Zealand work visas you can choose from:

Accredited Employer Work Visa

The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) is a temporary visa suitable for applicants who possess a job offer from an accredited employer and have the necessary skills and qualifications for the job.

Once approved, the work visa allows holders to work in New Zealand under an accredited employer for a minimum of 30 hours per week. Furthermore, applicants will also have the flexibility to engage in up to 3 months of study within a 12-month period, or as required by their employment.

Moreover, holders may also have the option to sponsor a work visa for their partners and visitors or a student visa for their dependent children. However, to support a visitor or student visa for a dependent child, applicants should have an annual income of at least NZD 43,323.

Please note that the Accredited Employer Work Visa now includes a maximum continuous stay and a longer visa duration, offering enhanced flexibility for applicants.

Validity

The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) allows holders to work in New Zealand under an accredited employer for a minimum of 30 hours per week. However, the validity of the work visa can extend up to 3 years if your wage meets or exceeds the New Zealand median wage, which is currently NZD $29.66 per hour, with annual updates.

Please note that this visa binds you to the employer who extended the visa offer for the duration of your visa. Hence, in case your circumstances change, you may need to seek a variation in the visa conditions or apply for a new visa.

Requirements

Given below are some of the documents required to apply for an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV):

  • passport with a validity of at least 3 months after leaving New Zealand.
  • proof of identity:
    • one acceptable photo, and
    • a scan of the personal details page of your passport or certificate of identity.
  • proof of good character:
    • in case you have a criminal conviction or are a security risk to New Zealand, a visa may not be granted
    • you must provide police certificates if your total time in New Zealand will be 24 months or longer across all visits. This includes any time you have spent in New Zealand in the past on other visas, even if you have been out of the country since then. Please note that applicants 16 years old or younger are not required to provide police certificates.
  • proof of full-time work offer from an accredited employer
  • proof of good health:
    • after submitting your application, the authorities will check any medical information you have previously submitted and contact you if we need new medical information.
  • you will be required to show that you meet the skills, qualifications, work experience and other requirements of the job you have been offered. Proof of qualifications can include:
    • original or certified copies of your qualifications
    • evidence the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) recognizes your qualification.
  • in case you need New Zealand registration to work in your occupation in New Zealand, provide either:
    • a certified copy of your full or provisional New Zealand registration
    • confirmation from the appropriate registration body that you’re eligible for New Zealand registration

Please note that applicants may have to meet some additional requirements to apply for an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). Hence, make sure to visit the New Zealand Immigration official website for more details.

Processing time

Although the processing time for an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) depends on the country you are applying from, it takes approximately 50 weeks for the visa to get processed.

You can find out the accurate visa processing time from your country through the New Zealand Immigration official website.

Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa

A Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa is designed for individuals who are currently employed in New Zealand or have received a job offer from an accredited employer.

To be eligible for this visa, applicants need to accumulate at least 6 points based on their skills and work experience in New Zealand. The application process starts with the submission of an Expression of Interest (EOI), and if the EOI is accepted, applicants will be invited to proceed with the application.

Please note that your employment must be under the auspices of an accredited employer and adhere to either full-time and permanent, for a fixed term of at least 12 months or a contract for services of at least 6 months.

Validity

The Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa allows holders to live, work and study in New Zealand for an indefinite period.

Requirements

Given below are some of the documents required to apply for a Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa:

  • proof of identity:
    • one acceptable photo, and
    • a scan of the personal details page of your passport or certificate of identity.
  • you must be aged 55 or younger at the time you apply
  • proof of full-time work offer from an accredited employer
  • applicants and their partners, if included in the application, are required to present an acceptable standard of health. This involves undergoing and completing a chest X-ray and medical examination.
  • dependent children aged 24 or younger included in the application must get a full general medical examination, but if they are:
    • aged 10 or younger, they must get a medical examination but do not need a chest X-ray unless your panel physician or we ask for one
    • 11 to 14 years old, they must get a medical examination and a chest X-ray, but only need a blood test if we or your panel physician ask for one.
  • proof of the good character of the applicants and everyone included in the application:
    • if you, or anyone else included in your application, are aged 17 or older, a police certificate must be provided:
      • all the countries you are a citizen of, and
      • any other country you have stayed in for 12 months or more over the last 10 years, even if it was not all in the same stay.
  • you must have a skilled job or job offer with an accredited employer in New Zealand to apply. To be considered a skilled job, the job or job offer must be:
    • at least 30 hours a week.
    • either in an ANZSCO Level 1 to 3 occupation and paid at or above the median wage, or in an ANZSCO Level 4 to 5 occupation and paid at or above 1.5 times the median wage.
    • on a permanent contract, a fixed-term contract for at least 12 months or a contract for services for at least 6 months.
  • your qualification must be recognized to qualify for points
  • your partner and children 16 and over must speak English or pay for classes to learn English in New Zealand

Please note that applicants may have to meet some additional requirements to apply for a Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa. Hence, make sure to visit the New Zealand Immigration official website for more details.

Work to Residence Visa

The Work to Residence Visa is suitable for applicants currently employed by or who have secured a job offer from an accredited employer in New Zealand and have an impressive 24-month work history in a Tier 2 Green List in-demand role.

With this visa, holders can gain the flexibility to live, work, and study in New Zealand, while also having the option to include their partner and dependent children aged 24 or younger in their application.

To qualify, you should be actively working for or have a job offer from an accredited employer, with full-time employment lasting at least 12 months, and 24 months of experience in a Green List Tier 2 in-demand role.

Please note that if your partner or children have already obtained, or applied for, visas for study, work, or visit based on their relationship with you, they must be included in your application.

Validity

The Work to Residence Visa allows holders to live, work and study in New Zealand for an indefinite period.

Requirements

Given below are some of the documents required to apply for a Work to Residence Visa:

  • proof of identity:
    • one acceptable photo, and
    • a scan of the personal details page of your passport or certificate of identity.
  • you must be aged 55 or younger at the time you apply
  • proof of full-time work offer from an accredited employer
  • applicants and their partners, if included in the application, are required to present an acceptable standard of health. This involves undergoing and completing a chest X-ray and medical examination.
  • proof of the good character of the applicants and everyone included in the application:
    • if you, or anyone else included in your application, are aged 17 or older, a police certificate must be provided:
      • all the countries you are a citizen of, and
      • any other country you have stayed in for 12 months or more over the last 10 years, even if it was not all in the same stay.
  • proof of relationship with partners included in the application:
    • marriage or birth certificates that prove your relationship to your partner and dependent children aged 24 or younger.
  • when you apply, you must hold a work visa or a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa that allows you to work
  • you must have worked in New Zealand for at least 24 months in a Tier 2 job on our Green List of in-demand roles.
  • you must have the offer of a job or already have a job with an accredited employer. The documents required include:
    • an employment agreement
    • a fixed-term contract
    • a letter offering you a job that describes your role, hours of work, length of employment and what you will be paid.
  • your partner and children 16 and over must speak English or pay for classes to learn English in New Zealand

Please note that applicants may have to meet some additional requirements to apply for a Work to Residence Visa. Hence, make sure to visit the New Zealand Immigration official website for more details.

How to apply for a New Zealand work visa online?

To apply for a New Zealand work visa online, follow the steps given below:

  • choose the type of New Zealand work visa you need to apply for
  • prepare your documents accordingly. Please note that some supporting documents might be required depending on your situation and the type of visa
    • you will be required to provide:
      • a photo of yourself that meets our requirements for visa photos
      • medical and police certificates in English
      • any other supporting documents in English, as well as the original or certified copies of those documents
  • create a RealMe account. If necessary, the authorities will guide you through the process of setting up your RealMe account when you apply. However, a RealMe account is not required for:
    • Working Holiday Visas
    • Expressions of Interest for Skilled Migrant Category Visas
  • submit your online application, upload supporting documents and photos, and pay the application fee.

Please note that you might be contacted by the officials in case any additional information is required.

For more details on the application process for a specific type of work visa from your country of residence, please refer to the New Zealand Immigration official website.

New Zealand work visa processing time

The processing time for your visa depends on various factors, including the type of visa, your location, and the volume of other applications received.

Please be aware that during the period between November and March, they experience a higher volume of applications, which may result in longer processing times for your visa application.

You can find out the processing time for your New Zealand work visa on the New Zealand Immigration official website

New Zealand work visa fees

The following are some of the costs for the New Zealand work visas:

Visa type Cost
Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa NZD $4,290
Work to Residence Visa NZD $4,290
Accredited Employer Work Visa NZD $750

 

For more information on other New Zealand work visa fees, consult the fee finder on the official website of New Zealand Immigration.

New Zealand work visa extension

Applicants can find the date their visa expires in their passport or the eVisa letter sent to them when the work visa is granted. However, applicants are required to leave New Zealand on or before their visa expiry date.

In case you are in New Zealand and need to stay past the date your visa expires, you cannot extend your visa — instead, you must apply for another visa or a temporary visa before your current one expires.

To apply for a temporary visa, you must:

  • be in New Zealand
  • hold a current visa that is not a limited, interim, or transit visa.

Please note that you must apply for another visa at least 1 month before your current visa’s expiry date.

 

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