Work Visas often have strict conditions set out on the visa document itself. Often this includes a restriction to work in a certain occupation, for a specific employer and in a particular region of New Zealand. These conditions must be complied with. If you want any changes, take advice.
The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) is the most common work visa people apply for when entering NZ to work. To apply for an AEWV, an applicant must hold a job offer from a New Zealand employer who is accredited by the NZ government.
Employers apply separately to become accredited, and that application needs to be approved before a work visa application is lodged. The employer will apply for the job offer you receive to be cleared by Immigration NZ before you apply (known as the "job check"). This will include satisfying the government there are no suitable NZ citizens or residents available to fill the job. The main criteria are:
The Malcolm Pacific Immigration team of advisers and experts take away the stress and worry of navigating the complex world of New Zealand work visas, policies, and immigration.
In the real world, love has no barriers, but in the immigration world, there are borders to cross. This can be an emotionally charged process when a New Zealander has fallen in love with someone from overseas. There are no shortcuts, and taking advice right at the beginning will save a lot of heartache, time and money.
Note: These policies can be used to assist couples who do not immediately meet “duration” requirements or who are still collating evidence to support arguments of “genuineness or stability” in the context of a Residence application.
Often, once a migrant worker secures a job in New Zealand, their partner is just as keen to start working. The benefit of a "Partnership Visa" is that there are no restrictions on what job, employer or area of New Zealand the partner can work. The government has signalled a change to this visa, and it may become more difficult to secure in the future.
These are specialist work visas that cater to multiple situations usually where a person is still paid offshore. From a concert player to installing a high tech printer or the new CEO of a multinational. The types of skills that may qualify for this visa include:
Take professional advice to see if this is the right visa for you or your business.
Any person on a work visa may be eligible to apply for residence under normal residence policy. There is a special pathway to residence for the following work visas:
For holders of the above work visas, residence may be applied for immediately or after 2 or 3 years of employment, subject to good health and character, and meeting a number of other specific requirements. Refer to "Residence from Work" in the "Residence Visas" section of this website.
Note 1. In all cases, applicants must be of good character and health. A medical or character waiver can be made in special cases.
Note 2. Because of the specialist nature of the activities involved, unique procedures need to be followed in some cases.
Applicants and employers should seek professional advice because there are multiple complexities involved.
A pathway to residence for people who have an international reputation in the area of Arts, Sport or Culture. To apply for this visa, a person will need the support of a recognised New Zealand national body and a personal sponsor. The threshold for this visa is high, and applicants will need to document their track record of international success.
After all the hard study is done and dusted, there is a limited opportunity to work to gain some local experience before heading home. The type of New Zealand qualification completed will determine how long a work visa is valid.
Note: Eligibility can depend on how the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) has assessed a particular course. Assessments can change, and some agents selling courses, or students giving advice to each other, can cause confusion, leading to big problems and disappointments for students. Take professional advice.
Designed to attract young people to New Zealand looking for an action-packed adventure with the opportunity to work simultaneously. A great way to explore the country, meet new people and earn money to support your travel.
Allows the recruitment of experienced religious workers to support the efforts of community religious groups.
An opportunity for overseas students to complete course-related practical training or work experience in the New Zealand environment. A great way to get some overseas experience.
These visas support local primary industries and, in some limited cases, hospitality. Quotas may apply along with qualification and/or experience requirements.
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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.
The work visa categories set to close are:
*Excludes high-risk countries.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
From 1 November 2021
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.
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.
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.
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 7 October 2019
From 24 February 2020