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.

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