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.
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.
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.
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 to find the full list of current Green List occupations, otherwise keep up to date with changes to this list by subscribing to our Immigration NZ News newsletter here
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:
There are several options based on your country of residence. These can have short deadlines or small quotas.
This type of visa is issued to support specific industries and communities.
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 Work visa nz page and Work-to-Residence visa category
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our highly experienced licensed Immigration team will take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of New Zealand Immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our team is on standby, ready to help.
Our highly experienced licensed Immigration team will take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of New Zealand Immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our employer team is on standby, ready to help.
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Today the government announced a pathway to residence for migrant workers who are living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave who are eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else they will miss out on this one off opportunity.
Today the government announced a pathway to residence for people living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else you miss the boat.
The government has moved the introduction of the new employer accreditation process across to mid-2022. At the same time, the Minister of Immigration announced new work visa rules for migrant workers who are already in New Zealand and working full time.
The government has increased the median wage to $27 per hour from 19 July. Any Skilled Migrant residence application lodged after this date will need to include a skilled job offer that pays at least $27 per hour. For some lower-skilled occupations, the minimum pay rate increases to $40.50 per hour.
From 19 July 2021
From 30 June 2021
Employers of migrant workers must become accredited from 1 November 2021 before work visa applications can be processed. Most employers are not accredited. Those that are accredited will have to roll into the new system when it goes live in late September.
From mid-2020 (delayed)
Skilled occupation "Dairy Cattle Farmer" spilt into three occupations. New occupations are: "Dairy Farm Manager", "Assistant Dairy Farm Manager" and "Dairy Herd Manager". Each sit at different skill levels, therefore, the award of points will depend on pay rates, job tasks and other requirements.
From 15 February 2021
The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool for six months (to be reviewed in April 2021). Invitations to Apply for Residence remain suspended. The last selection from the Skilled Migrant pool took place on 18/03/2020.
From 7 October 2020
The government added four new occupations that are now regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. These are:
Aged or disabled carer, Bicycle mechanic, Driller and Nursing Support worker.
From 27 July 2020
Anyone invited by Immigration NZ to apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category where their invitation is dated between 1 November 2019 and 15 April 2020 (inclusive) has now been granted an additional six months to lodge their residence application.
From 27 May 2020
The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool. This means Invitations to Apply for Residence are also suspended. Malcolm Pacific Immigration does not anticipate selections to resume until after the general election held on 17 October 2020.
Immigration NZ is now prioritising Skilled Migrant Residence applications where the main (principal) applicant meets the criteria:
From 24 February 2020
From 7 October 2019
The government recently added more occupations that are now to be regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. In order to qualify for points, the job must be paying at least the current median wage (or higher for certain occupations) at the time the residence application is lodged.
From 1 November 2021
From 1 November 2021 anyone who is not a NZ citizen must be fully vaccinated (unless exempt) before travelling to New Zealand. Fully vaccinated means your last dose of vaccine was given at least 14 days before travelling and it was an approved vaccine.
Applications for employer accreditation closed at the end of June 2021. Applications lodged before the closure date are still being processed. New applications for accreditation open on 9 May 2022. The process will be quite different to what employers have experienced in the past. Businesses will need to meet minimum standards.
Wednesday, 1 December is fast approaching and it is estimated that around 16,000 individuals and families can apply in the first wave for the 2021 Resident Visa opening next month. It is exciting for the thousands of people who have been waiting patiently to become residents that finally the finish line is in sight.
The first wave of applicants can apply from 1 December 2021. Around 16,000 applications are expected in this first wave. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. In total, the government expects approximately 110,000 applications that will include about 165,000 people.
The second group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 March 2022 are those who hold an eligible work visa and either meet "Settled", "Skilled" or "Scarce" as set out above. In total Immigration NZ estimate around 110,000 people will qualify to apply for this visa.
The first group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 December 2021 are those that on 29/09/2021:
Is this the only requirement to qualify for residence? No. In addition to the eligible work visa criteria workers also need to be regarded as one of the following:
People who were lawfully in NZ (or in Australia when the travel bubble closed between April and July 2021) on 29/09/2021 need to meet the visa eligibility criteria:
The government has introduced a limited pathway to residence for people who are already living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave of people eligible to apply. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. The deadline to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa is 31 July 2022.
A small number of critical health workers (taking up jobs for six months or longer) or specialist workers (taking up jobs that are for longer than six months) who were granted border exemptions may also have eligibility for the 2021 Resident Visa. They will need to have arrived in NZ and lodge a 2021 Resident Visa application.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
The work visa categories set to close are:
From September 2022 people holding job offers in a small number of occupations may apply for residence. Some occupations are a direct pathway to residence and others require a period of two years or longer before applying.
There are qualification and/or occupational registration requirements to meet. Establishing if an overseas qualification matches the NZ equivalent qualification before applying is paramount for success.