Work Visa
NZ Immigration Specialist

A work visa allows you to work in New Zealand for a limited amount of time. The objective of work visa instructions is to contribute to developing New Zealand’s human capability base. Some of the more common instructions are:

(i)    Essential Skills Work Visa

Allows people to work temporarily in New Zealand, in areas where people are needed to fill shortages where New Zealanders are not available. You may apply for  a work visa under Essential Skills Instructions if you have a job offer for which you are suitably qualified and experienced, and:

  • your job offer is in an occupation that is on the Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL) or the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL), and you meet the requirements for that occupation, or
  • your job offer is from an employer who has a current approval in principle from INZ for your recruitment, or
  • INZ is satisfied there are no suitable New Zealanders available, or no New Zealanders readily able to be trained to do the job.

(ii)    Work to Residence Visa

Allow people whose skills and talents we want to work in New Zealand, and provide them with a way to get residence in New Zealand.   There are four different options for you if you are applying under Work to Residence Instructions.

  • Talent (Accredited Employers) Work Instructions – for people with a job offer from an employer accredited by INZ.
  • Talent (Arts, Culture and Sports) Work Instructions – for people with exceptional talent in their field of art, culture or sport.
  • Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Instructions – for people working in an occupation on INZ’s Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL).
  • Long-Term Business Visa Instructions.

(iii)   Partnership Work Visa

Allow the partners of New Zealand citizens or residents, and the partners of people who hold work or student visas to work temporarily in New Zealand.

(iv)   Study to Work Visa

Allow overseas students who have completed a qualification in New Zealand to work in New Zealand after their studies and get practical experience suitable to their qualification. Study to work visas include:

  • Open Post Study Work Visa You may be eligible for this visa if you have successfully completed a qualification in New Zealand that would qualify for points under the Skilled Migrant Category. You may apply for a Graduate Job Search work visa for a maximum of 12 months. You must apply for the work visa no later than three months after the end date of your student visa for that qualification. You must also show that you have at least NZ$4,200 to support yourself while you are looking for work.
  • Employer Assisted   Post Study Work Visa You may be eligible for this visa if you have successfully completed a qualification in New Zealand that would qualify for points under the Skilled Migrant Category and you have a job offer which is relevant to that qualification. You may apply for a work visa for a maximum of two years to get practical experience suitable to your qualification. You may apply for a work visa for a maximum of three years if you are working towards getting membership or registration from a New Zealand professional association, which requires more than two years of relevant practical work experience. You must apply for the work visa no later than three months after the end date of your student visa for that course or qualification, or be the holder of a Graduate Job Search work visa.

(v)    Specific Purpose or Event Instructions

Allow people to come to New Zealand to work at a specific purpose or event for a particular period. You must have demonstrated skills, attributes or expertise in areas relevant to that specific purpose or event that are likely to benefit New Zealand. Your employment in New Zealand must not be likely to harm employment opportunities for New Zealanders.  

(vi)     Silver Fern Practical Experience Instructions  

Provide for the grant of work visas to young, highly-skilled people from overseas who hold a Silver Fern Job Search visa (or a first Silver Fern Practical Experience work visa) and have found skilled employment in New Zealand. You may apply for a work visa if you hold a Silver Fern Job Search visa or a Silver Fern Practical Experience work visa, and have an offer of skilled employment in New Zealand which is current for a period of at least 12 months. We may grant you a work visa for the duration of your offer of employment, up to a maximum of two years. Any subsequent Silver Fern Practical Experience work visa will be granted to a maximum of two years from the grant of the first Silver Fern Practical Experience work visa.