Can You Work in New Zealand Without a Visa?

It’s important to understand the rules and regulations surrounding work in New Zealand for foreign nationals. This article addresses the question: Can you work in New Zealand without a visa? We’ll explore the various scenarios and visa requirements to ensure you have a clear understanding of the guidelines.

Working Holiday Scheme: A Limited Work Option Without a Traditional Work Visa

  1. For young travelers looking to explore New Zealand and gain casual employment, the Working Holiday Scheme offers a unique opportunity. This program allows eligible individuals aged 18-30 (or 18-35 for select countries) to travel and work in New Zealand for up to 12 months (or 23 months for UK and Canadian citizens).

While not a traditional work visa, the Working Holiday Scheme allows participants to engage in temporary work without applying for a separate visa. However, this option is limited to citizens of countries that have a bilateral agreement with New Zealand, and there are caps on the number of participants each year.

Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents: An Exception to the Rule

2. Australian citizens and permanent residents are the only individuals who can work in New Zealand without a visa. They can live, work, and study in the country indefinitely under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement. Upon arrival in New Zealand, they are automatically granted a New Zealand Resident Visa, which allows them to work without applying for a separate work visa.

All Other Foreign Nationals: A Work Visa is Required

3. For individuals who do not fall into the categories mentioned above, a work visa is mandatory to legally work in New Zealand. However, certain visa types give you limited working rights, for example, you can work for 20 hours a week on a student visa. Similarly, a culturally arranged marriage visa gives you working rights. If you don’t have a work visa and are considering your eligibility to work, reach out to us at ICL Immigration and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Erik Murthy

Erik Murthy

Licensed Immigration Advisor at ICL Immigration

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