Visa News

Residence from Work in NZ: Your Current and Upcoming Pathways

Do you want to stay in New Zealand permanently? Working in NZ can be a great pathway to residence. Explore how to gain residence from work in NZ here.

12/05/20223 min read
Businessman and employer in a job interview

Do you want to stay in New Zealand for the long term? Working in New Zealand can offer a great pathway to residence. There are several visa categories to choose from, so which is right for you and how do you apply? Explore how to gain residence from work in NZ with the visa options below.

The Skilled Migrant Category

If you have skills that are in demand in New Zealand, you may be able to apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category. The NZ Skilled Migrant Visa invites skilled people from overseas to apply for NZ residence based on current skill shortages in the labour market. Immigration NZ uses a points-based system to assess all Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for this visa. If you meet the desired number of points (based on age, qualifications, and work experience), you may receive an invitation to apply for residence. From there, you will need to meet a range of strict requirements in order to be granted residency by proving the claims you made in the EOI. This category is under review and is expected to reopen around August 2022. For more information about this, we recommend consulting with an experienced immigration adviser in NZ.

Work to Residence Visas

If you don’t qualify for the Skilled Migrant Category, several temporary work visas in NZ offer a pathway to residency. All visa applications require you to meet the specified health, character, and language requirements. In most cases, you must have two or three years of NZ work experience under your belt to qualify for residency.

Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV): Coming July 2022

The Accredited Employer Work Visa will replace six temporary work visas on 4 July 2022. Under this new visa category, the employer must be accredited and have an approved job check before migrant workers can apply to work for them. Some AEWV holders may be eligible to apply for NZ residence in the future if they are on an approved list of highly skilled occupations or are paid 200% or more of the median wage. These residence pathways are due to open in September 2022.

Religious Worker Visa

The Religious Worker Visa offers a pathway to residence for those who have worked in a religious organisation in New Zealand for three years or more. To be granted a Religious Worker Visa, you must have a job offer from a registered religious organisation in New Zealand that has agreed to sponsor you.

The Entrepreneur Work Visa

The Entrepreneur Work Visa enables people from overseas to buy or set up a business in New Zealand. To apply for this visa, you must provide a detailed business plan and have a minimum capital investment of $100,000. With this visa, you can apply for residency after 6 months or 2 years if you are successful and meet the specified requirements. The 6-month option offers a fast track to residence for stronger applicants who have invested $500,000 or more into their business and employed three New Zealanders in full-time work. Be careful because this visa category has very high decline rates.

The 2021 Resident Visa: Limited Opportunity

If you are already living and working in New Zealand, you may be eligible to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa. This visa offers a limited pathway to residence to eligible work visa holders and some critical purpose visitor visa holders. To find out if your visa is eligible, talk to Malcolm Pacific Immigration today. The deadline for application closes on 31 July 2022, so seek advice now and apply as soon as possible.

Apply for Residence Today! Get in Touch with Malcolm Pacific Immigration

Applying for NZ residence can be confusing and complex, but we’re here to help. Get in touch with Malcolm Pacific Immigration for reliable visa information and advice. Our knowledgeable team of licensed immigration advisers will provide all the guidance you need to improve your chance of success.

Get started with a FREE consultation today

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.

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The Green List

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.

Read more here.

16 May 22

Work Visa Categories Closing

The work visa categories set to close are:

  • Essential Skills Work Visa
  • Essential Skills Work Visa – approval in principle
  • Work to Residence (Talent – Accredited Employer)
  • Work to Residence (Long Term Skills Shortage)
  • Silver Fern Job Search Work Visa (closed October 2019)
  • Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa.
10 Feb 22

Policy Decision Key Dates in 2022

  • February 13. Fully vaccinated Kiwis plus certain other travellers entering NZ from the rest of the world* can skip MIQ.
  • April 30. The border starts a phased reopen to fully vaccinated foreign nationals.
  • April 30. The Productivity Commission reports back to the government on immigration settings.
  • May 9. Applications open for mandatory Employer Accreditation.

*Excludes high-risk countries.

16 Dec 21