Employee Prospectus – Workers Visa

Apply for Worker’s visa online:

It’s faster & easier The fastest and easiest way to apply for a work visa is online.

Once you have your documents prepared, it should take less than 15 minutes to complete the online application form.

Your employer can help you complete the form, but they can’t provide you with immigration advice.

Visas based on employment:

  • Essential Skills
  • Work to Residence: Accredited Employer
  • Work to Residence: Arts Culture and Sports
  • Work to Residence: Long Term Skill Shortage List
  • Specific Purpose or Event
  • Primary Sector Trainees
  • Free Trade Agreement special work

Work exchange schemes:

Work exchange schemes provide opportunities for its participants to gain experience from different cultural, educational and vocational perspectives through reciprocal agreements. Participants under an approved work exchange scheme may be granted a work visa for the length of their exchange to be able to undertake employment in New Zealand.

Approved work schemes:
Aotearoa Cultural Volunteer Exchange (ACVE) Bell Gully
International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Expertise (IAESTE) ICE Professional Limited
International Exchange Programme (IEP) International Languages and Pathways (ILEP)
Lattitude Global Volunteering Rathkeale College
Rural Exchange New Zealand (RENZ) Science & Innovation – China Scientist Work Exchange
Staples Rodway Swiss/New Zealand Trainees
Tutors Worldwide Work

How long you can stay on a Specific Purpose or Event Work Visa?

The time you can stay in New Zealand will depend on the specific purpose or event you need to complete.

The time you can stay in New Zealand to complete your specific purpose or event is detailed in the following table.

Specific purpose or event How long you can stay?
Senior or specialist business people on short-term secondments term secondments 12 months
Business people being transferred from one part of a multinational company to another in New Zealand 3 years
Business visitors who need to stay in New Zealand for more than 3 months for business reasons 12 months
Investors who have applied for residence and want to investigate investment opportunities 12 months
Sports referees and people in New Zealand to judge a show, display or exhibition For the length of your engagement – not usually more than 6 months
Dance and music examiners For the time needed to conduct the exams–not usually more than 6 months
Installers and services of specialised machinery or equipment 3 months
Sports players and professional coaches If you’ll be coaching at a national or regional level, you can stay up to 3 years, otherwise 12 months.
Philippines nurses seeking occupational registration Up to 3 months
Other For the time it takes to carry your specific purpose or event – not usually more than 6 months

How long you can stay on an Essential Skills Work Visa?

The time you can spend in New Zealand on an Essential Skills Work Visa will depend on your circumstances.

  • You can stay in New Zealand for up to 5 years on an Essential Skills Work Visa, depending on your circumstances. Check the table for the circumstances that apply to you.
  • The times listed in the table are the maximum you can stay on each Essential Skills Work Visa. If your employment contract is for less than the time indicated below, your visa will be granted for the length of your employment contract.
  • If you want to extend your stay in New Zealand, you can apply for another Essential Skills Work Visa. There’s no limit to the number of Essential Skills Work Visas you can apply for, or the total time you can spend in New Zealand on Essential Skills Work Visas.
Each time you apply for a new Essential Skills Work Visa you’ll need to show us you meet all the requirements for us to grant you a visa – this will include your employer re-testing the New Zealand labour market before offering you a job.Your circumstances Maximum time you can stay
  • You’ve been offered work in an occupation classified as ANZSCO skill level 1
  • The work will pay an annual salary of NZ $55,000 or more
  • You haven’t been granted a 5-year Essential Skills Work Visa before.
5 years
  • You’ve been offered work in an occupation classified as ANZSCO skill level 1
  • You’ve been granted a 5-year Essential Skills Work Visa before.
3 years
  • You’ve been offered work in an occupation classified as ANZSCO skill level 1
  • The work will pay an annual salary less than NZ $55,000
3 years
  • You’ve been offered work in an occupation classified as ANZSCO skill level 2 or 3
3 years
  • You’ve been offered work in an occupation classified as ANZSCO skill level 4 or 5
  • Your job offer is for work in Canterbury
  • Your job offer is either from an employer who is not a labour hire company or is an accredited labour hire company.
3 years
  • You’ve been offered work in an occupation classified as ANZSCO skill level 4 or 5
  • Your employer is an accredited labour hire company.
3 years
  • You’ve been offered work in an occupation classified as ANZSCO skill level 4 or 5
  • Your employer is not an accredited labour hire company.
  • Your job offer is for work outside of Canterbury.
1 year