What is a New Zealand Work Visa?

NZ Work Visas help you work and grow professionally in New Zealand. These visas are made for skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and temporary employees who want to add to the country’s busy economy.


A New Zealand Work Visa lets people from other countries work in New Zealand, adding to its economy and diversity.


To get one, you might need a job offer from a New Zealand employer, skills they need, or be in a working holiday scheme.


Some last a short time for specific events, while others let you work longer in New Zealand. Duration of stay can depend on the visa, like the Post Study Work Visa can last up to 3 years.


There are many types of Work Visas for different work situations, like short projects, specific jobs, or long-term careers.


Each visa has rules, like what kind of work you can do, how long you can stay, and health and character checks.

Visa Charges (NZ Immigration)

The price varies by the type of visa. For Fee Paying Student Visa, it starts at NZD 750.

Benefits of New Zealand Work Visa

  • Pathway to Residency: Certain Work Visas can lead to becoming a permanent resident in New Zealand based on your work history and contribution.
  • Family Inclusion: Some let family come along, so partners and kids can join you in New Zealand.
  • Contribution to New Zealand: Work Visa holders bring skills, experience, and culture, helping key areas and the community.

Note: Costs and stay lengths are decided by NZ Immigration and might change with government decisions.


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Types of Work Visas in New Zealand

Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)

  • Purpose: Made to bring talented workers from other countries to fill job gaps in New Zealand. It's for businesses approved by Immigration New Zealand.
  • Accreditation Requirement: usinesses must get approved, showing they meet high job standards and put Kiwi workers first.
  • Minimum Pay: People applying need to earn at least the average wage (currently NZD 29.66 per hour). This makes sure the jobs are of good quality and helps the economy grow.
  • Duration: These visas can last up to 3 years, and they can be extended in certain cases, depending on work needs and personal situations.

Religious Worker Visa

  • Sponsor Needed: You need a New Zealand religious group to support your visa application.
  • Purpose: Meant for people doing religious work, like leading prayers or teaching, within a religious group.
  • Duration: This visa can last up to 3 years, and you might renew it if the religious group agrees.
  • Eligibility: You must show you've had religious training or experience, and your role in New Zealand must match what the sponsoring religious group does.

Student and Trainee Work Visa

  • Purpose: If you're a student needing hands-on experience for your studies or a trainee in a specific professional training.
  • Eligibility: You need to show that your work is crucial for your course or training, and your school supports it.
  • Duration: Usually, it matches your study or training program's duration, but there's a maximum set by immigration rules.
  • Work Restrictions: You can only work on activities related to your studies or training to help you grow professionally.

Seasonal Work Visa

  • Who's it for: Mostly for jobs in farming like growing fruits and grapes when they need extra help.
  • Eligibility: Often connected to programs like the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme, where bosses must get special approval.
  • Duration: Just for the busy season, usually no more than 7 months out of a year.
  • Benefits: Helps out when there aren't enough workers, and there are rules to make sure workers are treated fairly.

Post-Study Work Visa

  • Purpose: Lets students who finished their studies in New Zealand get work experience related to what they learned.
  • Duration: Can last up to 3 years, based on how high their education level is and where they studied.
  • Job Freedom: Students can work for any employer and in almost any job, which helps them grow their careers and get to know the local job market.
  • Residency Chance: This visa can be a step toward getting permanent residency under the Skilled Migrant Category.

Family-Stream Work Visa

  • Eligibility: Partners or kids of people with a New Zealand work visa or residency, to keep families together.
  • Work Rights: Lets you work anywhere in New Zealand, usually without any work restrictions.
  • Duration: It depends, but usually, it matches the time of the family member who sponsors you.
  • Family Support: Helps families stick together by letting everyone live and work together in New Zealand.

Specific Purpose Work or Event Visa

  • Who's it for: People visiting New Zealand for a particular reason or event like business projects, sports games, or cultural shows.
  • Requirements: You must show how important your role is and have someone inviting or sponsoring you.
  • Duration: Usually, it matches how long the event or project lasts, which could be just a few days or even several years.
  • Flexibility: You can do lots of different things related to the special reason you're there for, giving you some flexibility.

Working Holiday Visa

  • Eligibility: Folks aged 18 to 30 or 35, from eligible countries, who want to explore and work in New Zealand.
  • Duration: Usually up to a year, and you might be able to stay longer if certain things happen.
  • Work Restrictions: You might not be able to work for just one boss, and the main goal should be to have fun, with work coming second.
  • Benefits: You get to see New Zealand and make some cash to cover your travel costs.

Who Requires a Work Visa in New Zealand?

Figuring out if you need a Work Visa in New Zealand might seem puzzling, but don’t worry, we’re here to help clear things up.

Foreigners Who Want to Work in New Zealand

Generally, if you’re from another country and want to work in New Zealand, you’ll need to apply for a Work Visa.

Other Cases

  • If your partner is already working and living in New Zealand, you might qualify for a Work Visa too, allowing you to work there.
  • Also, if you’re a business owner or someone who works for themselves and want to do regular work in New Zealand, you’ll need the right permit. To work legally in New Zealand, you must either get a job offer from a New Zealand employer or obtain a Work Visa or permit.

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What is the Work Visa Application process?

Getting a New Zealand Work Visa is quite simple, but it’s crucial to do each step right for a smooth process. ICL is here to help you through it all!


1. Gather Your Documents

Start by gathering all the documents needed for your Work Visa. This usually includes your job qualifications, a job offer from a New Zealand employer, and any other papers to back up your application. Our expert team will help you gather everything and fill out the forms.


2. Send Your Application

Once you’ve gathered all the needed documents and filled out the forms, it’s time to send your application for review. We’ll assist you in meeting all criteria and submitting it to Immigration New Zealand (INZ) to boost your chances of success.


3. Wait for Your Response

After sending your application, you’ll have to wait for INZ to make a decision. This process might take a few weeks or even months. Our team will keep you informed and advise you on what to do if more documents are needed.


4. Receive Your Work Visa

INZ will either approve your Work Visa or deny entry to New Zealand. If it’s approved, we’ll guide you through the next steps and ensure you have all the details to start your new job in New Zealand.


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Choose ICL for Your Work Visa

Getting a Work Visa can feel tricky, especially if it’s your first time. Getting it right from the get-go is super important, and having a pro by your side can really boost your chances of success.

At ICL, we get that getting a Work Visa for New Zealand can stress you out. What happens with your visa can shape your life and your family’s future. We believe that having an expert to guide you can be the difference between starting a new exciting chapter and feeling all tense and worried.

  • Proven Expertise

    Our experts, who are immigrants themselves, have more than 20 years of experience helping clients get Work Visas.

  • Transparent Pricing

    We're all about fair pricing, which is why we give you a clear quote right at the beginning. You can trust us—no sneaky fees or surprise bills. 

  • Complete Assistance

    We take care of everything from the start to the very end, so you can have your peace of mind. Pick ICL for a smooth and hassle-free Work Visa application journey. 

  • Aim for Success with ICL

    Benefit from our top-notch 97% success rate and let us help you reach your immigration dreams and turn your dream of working and living in New Zealand into reality!

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What Types of Work Visas Are Available in New Zealand?

New Zealand offers five main types of work visas:

  • Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV): For those with a job offer from an accredited employer.

  • Post-Study Work Visa: For recent graduates of a New Zealand institution.

  • Partnership Work Visa: For partners of New Zealand citizens or residents.

  • Work to Residence Visa: For individuals with specific skills or job offers that can lead to residency.

  • Care Workforce Work to Residence (WTR) Visa: Specifically for care workers in New Zealand.

Who Is Eligible for Each Type of Work Visa?
  • AEWV: Requires a job offer from an accredited employer and meeting the role's relevant skill level.

  • Post-Study Work Visa: Open to those who have completed an eligible qualification in New Zealand. Available to those who have completed at least a Level 7 qualification with a course duration of 30 weeks or more.

  • Partnership Work Visa: Available to partners of New Zealand residents or citizens, subject to proof of a genuine relationship.

  • Work to Residence Visa: Depends on specific skills or qualifications and a relevant job offer.

  • Care Workforce WTR Visa: For care workers with a relevant job offer and qualifications.

How Do I Apply for These Work Visas?

Applications are generally made online via the Immigration New Zealand website, with each visa having its unique application process and requirements.

What Documents Are Commonly Required Across These Visas?

Common documents include a valid passport, job offer letter (for AEWV, Work to Residence, and Care Workforce WTR Visa), proof of relationship (for Partnership Work Visa), and evidence of qualifications (for Post-Study Work Visa). Health and character checks are standard.

What Are the Processing Times for These Visas?

Processing times vary by visa type and the volume of applications received. Typically, the duration ranges from 20 days to 6 months, depending on the type of visa.

Can Family Members Accompany Work Visa Holders to New Zealand?

This varies by visa type. For AEWV and Work to Residence visas, partners and dependents can usually be included. For the Partnership Work Visa, the primary applicant is the partner of a New Zealander. Other visas have specific conditions.

What Conditions Apply to These Work Visas?

Conditions vary but generally include restrictions on the employer (for AEWV), the necessity to maintain the relationship status (for Partnership Visa), and adherence to the terms of your specific employment or study.

How Long Are These Work Visas Valid?

The validity of work visas in New Zealand varies depending on the type:

  • Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV): Valid for up to 3 years.

  • Post-Study Work Visa: Ranges from 1 to 3 years, depending on the level of qualification obtained.

  • Partnership Work Visa: Can be issued for up to 2 years and offers a pathway to residency.

  • Work to Residence Visa: Generally valid for up to 30 months.

  • Care Workforce Work to Residence (WTR) Visa: Valid for up to 3 years.

Is Study Allowed on These Work Visas?

Generally, holders of work visas are permitted to study for up to 3 months within any 12-month period. However, the specifics may vary depending on the type of work visa.

What Should I Do If My Employment Circumstances Change?

Notify Immigration New Zealand immediately. You may need to apply for a new visa or a variation of conditions, depending on your situation and visa type.

Can I Transition to Permanent Residency from These Work Visas?

Certain visas like the AEWV and Work to Residence offer pathways to residency, subject to meeting specific criteria and conditions.

How Does ICL Immigration Assist with Work Visa Applications?

ICL Immigration provides tailored services for each visa type, including eligibility checks, application guidance, document processing, and support throughout the application process, ensuring compliance with New Zealand's immigration policies.

What Is the Post-Study Work Visa List, and How Does It Relate to Eligibility?

The post-study work visa list refers to qualifications that are recognized by Immigration New Zealand for a Post-Study Work Visa. These qualifications are typically from New Zealand institutions and vary in level, with certain thresholds required for eligibility.

What Qualifications Are Considered Acceptable for a Work Visa Application?

Acceptable qualifications for a work visa depend on the specific visa type. For instance, the Post-Study Work Visa requires a New Zealand qualification of at least a Level 7 Bachelor's degree or higher, or a Level 4-6 diploma with certain stipulations.

What Is the 'Green List,' and How Does It Impact Work Visa Applications?

The 'Green List' is a compilation of occupations in high demand in New Zealand. Individuals with skills and qualifications in these areas may find it easier to secure work visas, as these roles are prioritized for addressing skill shortages.

What Are the Steps to Apply for a Post-Study Work Visa?

To apply for a Post-Study Work Visa, graduates must have completed an acceptable qualification in New Zealand. The application process involves submitting evidence of the qualification, a job offer (if applicable), and meeting health and character requirements.

Who Is Eligible for a Post-Study Work Visa?

Eligibility for a Post-Study Work Visa generally requires completing an acceptable qualification in New Zealand. This includes courses at a degree level or higher, or specific diplomas that meet the duration and level requirements.

What Degree Level Is Required for Various Work Visas in New Zealand?

The degree level required varies by visa type. For example, the Post-Study Work Visa requires a minimum of a Level 7 qualification, while other work visas may require different or specific qualifications based on the job role.

Which Qualifications Are Eligible for a Work Visa in New Zealand?

Eligible qualifications for work visas in New Zealand depend on the visa category. Generally, these include tertiary qualifications from recognized institutions, relevant trade certifications, or evidence of substantial work experience in certain fields.

What Advisory Services Does ICL Immigration Offer for Work Visa NZ Applicants?

ICL Immigration offers comprehensive advisory services for Work Visa NZ applicants, including eligibility assessment, document preparation, application submission guidance, and advice on compliance with New Zealand's work visa requirements.

How Can Migrant Workers in New Zealand Extend Their Stay Legally?

Migrant workers can extend their stay in New Zealand by applying for a visa extension or a different type of visa before their current visa expires. This process involves meeting specific criteria, providing necessary documentation, and potentially obtaining a new job offer or sponsorship.

What Are the Requirements for a Religious Worker to Obtain a Work Visa in New Zealand?

Religious workers can obtain a work visa in New Zealand by securing sponsorship from a registered religious organization. They must provide proof of their religious role, qualifications, and the organization's endorsement. Additional requirements include health and character checks.

What Opportunities Are Available for Working Holiday Visa Holders in New Zealand?

Working Holiday Visa holders in New Zealand can engage in short-term employment, study for up to six months, and travel throughout the country. This visa is ideal for young adults seeking a cultural exchange experience while having the opportunity to work part-time.

What Support Services Does ICL Immigration Provide for International Students Seeking Work Visas Post-Study?

ICL Immigration provides end-to-end support for international students seeking work visas after their studies. This includes guidance on eligibility, document preparation, application process for Post-Study Work Visas, and advice on transitioning from student to work visa status.

How Can Work Visa Holders Bring Their Families to Stay in New Zealand?

Work visa holders can bring their families to New Zealand by applying for dependent visas. This process involves proving the relationship, meeting health and character requirements, and ensuring financial capability to support dependents during their stay.

What Are the Unique Challenges and Solutions for Migrant Workers in New Zealand?

Migrant workers may face challenges such as cultural adaptation, securing employment, and understanding legal rights. ICL Immigration provides solutions like cultural orientation sessions, employment assistance, and legal advisory services to help migrant workers navigate these challenges.

What Is the Process for Obtaining a Work Visa for Religious Missionaries or Clergy?

Religious missionaries or clergy can obtain a work visa by securing a sponsorship from a New Zealand-based religious organization. The process includes providing evidence of religious duties, the organization's support, and meeting the standard health and character requirements.

How Can ICL Immigration Assist with the Working Holiday Visa Application?

ICL Immigration assists with the Working Holiday Visa application by providing eligibility assessment, guidance on required documents, application submission support, and advice on making the most of the working holiday experience in New Zealand.

Disclaimer: The information provided is subject to change based on New Zealand government policies. For the most current information, please refer to Immigration New Zealand or contact ICL Immigration for updated guidance.

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