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New Zealand Work Visas

Work Visas for New Zealand

The most common Work Visas for those wishing to migrate to New Zealand are the Essential Skills Work Visa and the Work to Residence Visas.

Essential Skills Work Visa

An Essential Skills Work Visa is one of the most popular work visas for people wishing to migrate to New Zealand. Although it doesn’t directly lead to residence, many people will enter New Zealand on this visa before applying for a Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa (or whilst they are waiting for their Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa to be approved).

In order to be eligible for an Essential Skills Work Visa you need to have a full time, acceptable offer of employment that pays at the market rate. You and your employer will also have to meet specific requirements before the visa will be granted. This includes proving that you are suitably qualified for the role through either a recognised qualification or a specified number of years of relevant work experience. And, unless your occupation is on one of the Essential Skills in Demand Lists, your employer will need to prove that they weren’t able to find a suitable New Zealand candidate for the role you have been offered.

An Essential Skills Work Visa will be granted between 6 months and 3 years, depending on whether you are paid above or below the median wage in New Zealand, and may be renewable.

In most instances, partners and dependent children of an Essential Skills Work Visa holder can apply for temporary visas, to enable them work or study or be a visitor in New Zealand, on the basis of the relationship they have with that work visa holder.

Work to Residence Visa

Work to Residence Visas are a good route to be able to work in New Zealand and also set yourself on the path for residence, if you have an acceptable job off with an Immigration New Zealand Accredited Employer or you have a job offer for an occupation that is on the Long Term Skill Shortage List.

To be granted a Work to Residence Visa (either a Talent Accredited Employer Work Visa or a Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa), you need to be aged 55 years or under and meet health and character requirements.

In addition, for a Talent (Accredited Employer) Visa, your job offer needs to be from an Immigration New Zealand Accredited Employer and pay at least $79,560 per annum.

For a Long Term Skill Shortage List Visa, your job offer needs to be in an occupation on the Long Term Skill Shortage List, and pay at least $45,000 per annum or the market rate, whichever is higher.

A Work to Residence visa can be granted for 30 months (if you have an acceptable job offer with an Immigration New Zealand Accredited Employer or you have a job offer for an occupation that is on

the Long Term Skill Shortage List). You will be able to apply for residence after completing 24 months on your Work to Residence visa, if you meet health, character and salary requirements.

Partners and dependent children of a Work to Residence Visa holder can apply for temporary visas, to enable them work or study or be a visitor in New Zealand, on the basis of the relationship they have with that work visa holder.

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