New Zealand Work Visa

New Zealand Work Visa

New Zealand work visas for skilled workers provide a pathway or a step towards securing resident visa under talent category or skilled migrant category. Securing job offer from a NZ employer is a pre-requisite to apply for these skilled work visas. Temporary work visas are also available for partners and dependants of certain work visa and student visa holders


The following talent work visas provide a pathway to secure residence and can apply for resident visa after working for specified period. They do not need to meet points test nor submit expression of interest nor have to be invited to apply for residence visa

Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa

If you are a skilled worker, have a job offer from an accredited employer in New Zealand on an annual salary of at least $79,560 and meet the policy requirements, you could apply for Talent (Accredited Employer) work visa under Work to Residence visa policy. This visa is valid for 30 months and provides pathway to securing resident visa under Residence From Work visa policy after working for the accredited employer for 24 months.

Talent (Long Term Skills Shortage List) Work Visa

Skilled workers having job offer from a New Zealand employer in one of the occupations on the Long Term Skill Shortage List and meeting policy requirements, may qualify for this visa valid for 30 months after working with the specified employer for 24 months.

Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports) Work Visa

Those with exceptional talent in the field of arts, culture or sport, supported by a New Zealand organisation of repute in their field and sponsored by an eligible sponsor may qualify for this visa. This visa is also valid for 30 months and provides pathway to residence after 2 years of being actively engaged in the relevant field. The standard for granting this visa is exceptionally high and this visa is seldom granted.


Work visas for skilled workers under essential skills work policy and for international students under post study work policy provide a step towards securing resident visa under skilled migrant category.

Essential Skills Work Visa

Essential Skills Work visa is for skilled workers with job offer from New Zealand employer:

  1. having approval in principle to recruit overseas workers; or
  2. providing evidence that no suitable New Zealand workers are available; or
  3. in an occupation on any of New Zealand's Essential Skills in Demand List (Long Term Skill Shortage List , Regional Skill Shortage List, Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List.

Essential skills work visa duration ranges between 12 months for lower-skilled employment to 5 years for high-skilled employment. Maximum stay for lower-skilled employment is 36 months after which they are subjected to 12 months stand-down period. There is no maximum stay condition for those on mid-skilled and high-skilled employment and they can renew their visas and stay in New Zealand any number of times, as long as they have the job offer.

Essential Skills Work visa provides a step towards gaining residence under Skilled Migrant Category as skilled employment in New Zealand scores 50 to 80 points thus increasing your points score.

Post Study Work Visa

International students having completed an acceptable qualification in New Zealand qualify for post-study work visa for 1 year to 3 years depending upon the qualification level and where they studied. This is an open work visa, does not require job offer to be granted and visa holders can work for any employer in any position. For details visit


Partners and dependant child(ren) of:

  1. student visa holders studying in New Zealand for Level 7 or 8 qualification on the Long Term Skills Shortage List or any qualification at Level 9 or 10; or
  2. work visa holders having work visa in mid-skilled or high-skilled employment valid for more than 6 months.

may qualify for temporary work visa to join their partner in New Zealand. Partners must meet partnership requirements and supported by their NZ partner and will be issued work visa for the duration of their partner's visa. They can however apply for another work visa or visitor visa or resident visa if they qualify in their own rights. Child(ren) will be granted student visa or visitor visa (depending upon their age) for the same duration as work visa or student visa holder depending upon their age.


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