In 2023, New Zealand’s immigration landscape witnessed a remarkable shift, marking a significant resurgence in its appeal as a destination for global talent. With a total of 171,800 arrivals and 99,500 departures, the country saw an annual net gain of 72,300 people. (source-

This robust interest in New Zealand starkly contrasts the net loss of 32,000 non-NZ citizens in the two years leading up to April 2022. Central to this influx is the Work to Residence (WTR) visa, playing a pivotal role in attracting skilled professionals from around the globe. Prominent source countries include India, China, the Philippines, the UK, Fiji, and South Africa, each contributing significantly to New Zealand’s multicultural workforce. This diversity not only enriches the nation’s cultural fabric but also strengthens its economic foundation.

NZ-Immigrattion-StatSource :

Background of New Zealand’s Immigration Policy

New Zealand’s immigration policy has evolved significantly over the years, with a strategic shift towards attracting skilled labor to meet the demands of its growing economy. Historically, the focus was on balancing the need for workforce expansion with maintaining the unique cultural identity of the nation. 

In recent decades, the government has recognized the indispensable value of skilled migrants in key sectors such as healthcare, IT, and engineering. This shift is evident in the policies and visa categories introduced, specifically designed to attract talent that aligns with the country’s long-term economic goals and cultural enrichment. The introduction of the WTR visa is a testament to this strategic approach, aiming to harness the potential of global expertise while ensuring mutual benefit for both the migrants and the nation.

Relevance of the WTR Visa for Migrant Workers

  • The WTR visa represents a significant opportunity for over a million skilled professionals worldwide.
  • It serves as a direct pathway to permanent residency in New Zealand, offering stability and prospects for a long-term future.
  • Especially relevant for individuals in high-demand sectors, the visa allows them to utilize their expertise in New Zealand’s dynamic job market.
  • The WTR visa goes beyond work authorization; it’s an invitation to become a vital part of New Zealand’s society and economy.
  • Migrant success stories highlight the visa’s impact, showing professional and personal growth, and improved family life.

Visa Overview and Requirements

The Work to Residence (WTR) visa is a unique category within New Zealand’s immigration framework, designed for individuals whose skills are critically needed or who are employed by an accredited employer.

Key Requirements :

  • Eligibility: Applicants must be in high-demand occupations listed in the Tier 2 Green List and have a job offer from an accredited employer.
  • Age Limit: Candidates should be 55 years or younger.
  • Employment Criteria: Applicants must be engaged in full-time employment, either permanent or on a fixed-term basis for at least 12 months.
  • Work Experience: A minimum of 24 months of work experience in a Green List Tier 2 in-demand role is required.

Application Process:

  • Documentation: Proof of identity, good character, and health status.
  • Language Proficiency: Demonstrated English language skills for the applicant and family members.
  • Application Fee: Starting from NZD $4290, varying based on individual circumstances.

What You Need to Apply for a Work to Residence Visa

Eligibility Check:

  • Determine if you are eligible for the visa.
  • List of supporting documents and information required.

Evidence Requirements:

  • Identity: Proof of identity for all applicants.
  • Character: Good character requirement for all applicants.
  • Health: Health standards to be met by all applicants.
  • Age Limit: Applicants must be 55 years or younger.
  • Family Relationship: Proof of a genuine relationship with included family members.

Language Proficiency:

  • Applicant must speak and understand English.
  • Family members aged 16 and over must speak English or enroll in English classes in New Zealand.

Employment Status:

  • Current Visa: Hold a valid work visa or Critical Purpose Visitor Visa.
  • Previous Work: At least 24 months of work in New Zealand in a Tier 2 job on the Green List.
  • Current Work: A job offer or current employment with an accredited employer.

Life-Changing Impacts of the WTR Visa

The WTR visa offers transformative opportunities for skilled migrants:

  • Career Advancement: Access to a dynamic and growing job market.
  • Family Benefits: Inclusion of partners and dependent children, enhancing family stability and access to education.
  • Social Integration: Opportunities for cultural assimilation and community involvement.
  • Long-Term Security: Pathway to permanent residency, offering long-term security and access to national healthcare and social services.

Why People Choose the WTR Visa

The WTR visa is increasingly popular for several compelling reasons:

  • Career Opportunities: New Zealand’s thriving industries offer significant growth potential.
  • Quality of Life: Ranked high for its living standards, safety, and natural beauty.
  • Cultural Diversity: An inclusive society welcoming immigrants from various backgrounds.
  • Educational Excellence: Access to high-quality education for children.

ICL Immigration’s Role

At ICL Immigration, we specialize in guiding skilled professionals through the Work to Residence (WTR) visa process. Our services include:

  • Personalized Consultation: Tailoring advice to each applicant’s unique profile.
  • Application Process: Managing the application process to ensure compliance and accuracy.
  • Success Rates: Proud of 97% success rate, reflecting our expertise and thorough approach.
  • Client Testimonials: 200+ google reviews & 1000+  Trusted Customers 


The Work to Residence visa is a pivotal element in New Zealand’s immigration strategy, offering skilled professionals worldwide a direct path to permanent residency. This visa not only facilitates professional growth and stability but also enriches personal and family life, contributing to New Zealand’s diverse and dynamic society. ICL Immigration plays a crucial role in this journey, providing expert guidance and support to ensure a smooth and successful visa application process, as evidenced by our high success rates and client satisfaction.


For the latest statistics and more detailed information, always refer to the official Immigration New Zealand website.


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