If you are considering starting a new life in New Zealand and are wondering how easy it is to get a New Zealand work visa, this article is for you. As a foreign worker, you need a valid visa to work in New Zealand and making the right choice at the beginning is key to your success further down the road.
As licensed Immigration advisers, we understand working out which visa to apply for can seem confusing however we are there to help support your application and make it as simple as possible. Here is our guide on how to make it easier.
Where to Begin: Understanding Which Work Visa is Right for You.
New Zealand’s visas have gone through an overhaul of its visas over the past year and continue to be amended this year. With the changes, migrants can now expect greater transparency on who New Zealand is prioritizing. Some applicants are already experiencing faster work visa processing times due to reduced queue volumes.
By having a clear understanding of which visas apply to you and whether it can lead to residency should help you decide which pathway to take.
Firstly, Consider Your Employment Options
If you're a migrant worker looking for employment in New Zealand, there are ways to help increase your chances of gaining a work visa when you have the skills NZ employers are looking for. By understanding how your skill set fits into New Zealand’s work visa landscape you can determine which work visa is most applicable. INZ has introduced specific visas to make it easier for skilled and qualified individuals to work in the country.
Fast Track Work Visas - Green List Occupations
Before going any further, determine if you have an occupation which New Zealand Immigration deems critical this will be found on the Green List. The Green List was introduced to prioritise key roles necessary to keep the country running smoothly.
Certain occupations on the Green List can expedite the visa application process. These in-demand jobs range from engineers and doctors to teachers, among others. Some provide a direct pathway to residence, while others require two years or more of work experience before applying.
These roles can help you to fast track your visa application. After securing a job offer you may find yourself with the green light to move to NZ within weeks.
Read this article on how to apply for New Zealand green list roles, otherwise keep up to date with changes to this list by subscribing to our Immigration NZ News newsletter here
What are the Other Available Work Visa Options for Migrants in New Zealand?
While the Green List has made it easier to fast track in-demand workers to New Zealand, it is not the only choice for individuals looking to move to New Zealand for work.
Depending on your circumstances there are several different visa options available. Entering the country based on your skill levels gives you the most choice however you may find your country of origin or family situation means you can also apply for a work visa.
The following New Zealand work visa options are also available:
For Skilled Migrants
- Accredited Employer Work Visa: This New Zealand work visa is the most popular for migrant workers. To gain this work visa the applicant must have a job offer from an accredited New Zealand employer. Employers are required to meet specific criteria to be accredited before hiring migrants. If an employer is still waiting for accreditation, this can prolong the period it takes to gain employment. Holders of AEWV NZ can potentially apply for a Work to Residence or Highly Paid Residence Visa after two years, depending on their role.
- Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports) Work Visa: This visa is for migrants with exceptional talent in the arts, sports, or culture who have a sponsor and the support of a recognized NZ organization in their field. Talent Work Visa holders can start their pathway to residence in NZ by actively engaging in their field for up to 30 months.
For Family of Citizens, Residents or Work Visa holders
- Partner of a Worker Work Visa: If your partner has a New Zealand work visa such as an AEWV and you want to join them and work in NZ, you can apply for this visa. Your visa will be issued for the same length of time as the main work visa holder.
- Partner of New Zealand citizen/ resident visa. In order to qualify for residence you must provide evidence that you have been in a stable relationship for at least 12 months before lodging a residence application.
For International or Humanitarian Obligations
There are several options based on your country of residence. These can have short deadlines or small quotas.
- Working Holiday Visa: this scheme to allow a number of people from specific countries to be granted permission to usually work for 12 months.
- Immigration provisions to enable New Zealand to meet its humanitarian and international obligations.
Special Work Visa
This type of visa is issued to support specific industries and communities.
- horticulture and viticulture seasonal work visas
- foreign crew of fishing vessels visas
- religious worker visas
If you're considering applying for a New Zealand visa, don't be overwhelmed. Reach out to our Malcolm Pacific Immigration advisers for advice and guidance on the process.
For more information on available work pathways and work to residency visas, please visit our new zealand work visa 2023 page and Work-to-Residence visa category
Secondly, Ensure your Job Application Stands Out.
On the whole, New Zealand work visa applicants will need to gain employment before their visa application is accepted. New Zealand like many other countries has labour shortages therefore there are many positions available.
Having skills in various critical sectors like healthcare can also increase your chances, but it doesn't guarantee immediate job offers. Therefore, you should prepare yourself thoroughly and start your job search as early as possible. New Zealand employers do value overseas experience but you still need to stand out with a well-crafted CV and excellent interview skills.
Thirdly, Make Your Application Process Easy by Consulting with a Immigration Adviser.
There are several reasons why you might want to consider hiring a licensed immigration adviser when applying for a visa in New Zealand. Some common reasons include:
Obtaining a visa quickly: An immigration adviser can help you navigate the application process and ensure that you have all the necessary documentation to apply for a visa. This can help you expedite the process and obtain a visa more quickly.
Receiving professional support: An immigration adviser can provide you with professional support to make the immigration process smoother. They can help you understand the requirements for your visa application, provide guidance on the documentation required, and advise you on how to present your case to immigration officials.
Accessing advice from experienced professionals: If you have a unique or complex immigration situation, it may be beneficial to seek advice from experienced professionals who have dealt with similar cases. This can help ensure that your application is handled properly and increases your chances of success.
It's important to note that immigration laws in New Zealand change regularly. Seeking advice from friends or family who have gone through the process in the past may not provide you with accurate information. Professional advisers are up to date on the latest changes to immigration laws and can provide you with the most current and accurate information.
If you're considering hiring a licensed immigration adviser, consider contacting Malcolm Pacific Immigration for a free consultation. Their team of skilled and experienced advisers can assist you with your New Zealand visa application every step of the way.
Benefits of Working With an Immigration Adviser
Navigating New Zealand's Immigration policy can be a challenging task, particularly if it's your first time applying for a visa. Understanding the intricacies of the application process can be time-consuming and stressful.
We help you ensure your application is prepared accurately, help streamline your application and avoid unsuccessful applications due to mistakes such as incomplete documentation or other errors.
Contact Malcolm Pacific Immigration For a Free Consultation.
Our expert advisors will provide you with the support you need to save time, reduce stress, and save money.
Contact us today for a free consultation and get personalised advice from a licensed immigration professional.