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Work Visa

Here’s some general information about Work Visa policy for your reference. For personalized immigration advice, please contact one of our Licensed Immigration Advisers.

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Work Visas often come with strict conditions detailed on the visa document. These typically include restrictions on working in a specific occupation, for a particular employer, and within a certain region of New Zealand. It's essential to comply with these conditions. If you need any changes, seek professional advice.

Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)

The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) is a popular choice for those seeking to work in New Zealand. To apply, applicants must have a job offer from a New Zealand employer accredited by the NZ government.


Employers must first apply for accreditation, which must be approved before a work visa application can proceed. They must also demonstrate to Immigration NZ that no qualified New Zealanders are available for the job, typically through a "job check" process. Once approved, the AEWV application can be submitted. This multi-step process can be complex, often requiring specialist advice and guidance. Many applicants (over 70%) opt to use a Licensed Immigration Adviser to enhance their chances of success.


Key requirements include holding a pre-cleared job offer from Immigration NZ, meeting English language standards in some cases, demonstrating suitable qualifications and experience for the job, and meeting health and character criteria. The visa is typically issued for 3 or 5 years depending on the job's skill level, and in some cases, holding an AEWV may lead to permanent residence.

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The NZIHS immigration advisers and experts take away the stress and worry of navigating the complex world of New Zealand Visitor visas, policies, and immigration.

Partnership Visa
(NZ Partner)

In the realm of immigration, love faces borders that must be navigated. For New Zealanders in love with someone from overseas, this journey can be emotionally charged. There are no shortcuts; seeking advice early on can prevent heartache, save time, and minimize costs.


If a couple has lived together for less than 12 months, they may qualify for a 12-month work or visitor visa. For those together for 12 months or more, a 24-month work visa may be available. In both cases, Immigration New Zealand requires proof of a genuine and stable relationship, along with demonstrating its duration, good health, and character.


These policies can also support couples working towards residence, aiding those who are still gathering evidence to prove the genuineness and stability of their relationship.

Partnership Visa
(Non-NZ Partner)

Once a migrant worker secures employment in New Zealand, their partner often seeks employment as well. The "Partnership Visa" offers the advantage of allowing unrestricted work across any job or region in New Zealand. However, conditions on the Partnership Visa may limit the partner to working for an accredited employer and meeting specified pay rates.


Partners of non-New Zealanders holding a Work Visa may qualify for a work visa of the same duration as their partner, subject to meeting pay conditions and working for an accredited employer. Immigration New Zealand requires proof of a genuine and stable relationship, along with good health and character.


In some cases, income thresholds of the migrant worker must be met before a Partnership Visa can be issued. For detailed guidance on visa options and obligations, consult with a Licensed Immigration Adviser.

Specific Purpose Or Event Visa

These specialized work visas accommodate various scenarios, often involving individuals who remain paid by an overseas employer while working in New Zealand. Whether it's a concert performer, a technician installing advanced equipment, or a multinational corporation's new CEO, these visas cater to diverse roles.


Qualifying skills for this visa may include:

- Executives and specialists employed by large companies or engaged in special projects.

- Sports players, coaches, referees, and show judges.

- Individuals installing specialized machinery.

- Entertainers, performing artists, and film crews.


Consulting with a professional adviser is essential to determine if this visa aligns with your specific needs or those of your business.

Work to Residence Visa

Any individual holding a work visa may qualify to apply for residence under standard residence policies. Additionally, there are specific pathways to residence for holders of the following work visas:


- Talent Visa (Arts, Culture, and Sport)

- Religious Worker Visa

- Accredited Employer Work Visa (for specific occupations or pay rates—seek advice)


For holders of these visas, residence applications can be submitted immediately or after 2 to 3 years of employment.


Note 1: Applicants must maintain good character and health, though waivers may be considered in exceptional cases.


Note 2: Due to the specialized nature of these visas, unique procedures may apply in certain situations.


Applicants and employers are advised to seek personalized immigration advice, as navigating these pathways involves multiple complexities.

Talent Visas
(Arts, Culture and Sport)

This pathway offers a route to residence for individuals with an internationally recognized reputation in Arts, Sport, or Culture. To apply, applicants require endorsement from a recognized New Zealand national body and a personal sponsor. The criteria for this visa are stringent, necessitating documentation of their track record of international achievements.


Candidates may also be eligible for a Work visa based on their talent in Arts, Culture, or Sport, provided they are supported by a nationally reputable organization. Good character and health are essential requirements for all applicants.

Post-study Work Visa

Once studies are completed, there's a limited opportunity to gain local work experience in New Zealand before returning home. The duration of the work visa depends on the type of qualification obtained and the length of study in the country.


Upon completing approved courses, some applicants may qualify for a work visa valid for 12 to 36 months, allowing employment in any job. Applicants must demonstrate good character and health, along with providing evidence of sufficient funds.


Note: Eligibility hinges on how the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) assesses specific courses, which can change. Misinformation from course agents or fellow students can lead to confusion and significant disappointments. It's advisable to seek professional advice.

Working Holiday Visa

Designed to entice adventurous young people to New Zealand, this program offers the chance to work while exploring the country. It's an exciting opportunity to discover New Zealand, forge new friendships, and earn income to fund your travels.


New Zealand has reciprocal arrangements with over 40 countries, providing young travelers with these opportunities. Typically, there's an age limit of 18 to 30 (sometimes extended to 35). Quotas often apply, operating on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants must refrain from permanent employment and meet requirements of good health and character.

Religious Worker

This visa facilitates the recruitment of seasoned religious workers to bolster community religious groups.


In certain cases, religious organizations can apply for Work Visas on behalf of religious workers.

Applicants must be sponsored and meet health and character requirements.

This pathway can lead to residence.

Student & Trainee Visa

This opportunity allows overseas students to gain course-related practical training or work experience in the New Zealand environment, enhancing their international experience.


Work visas can be issued to support students for whom work training is essential to their qualification, such as medical and dental trainees and jockeys.

Specialist Work Visa Categories

These visas are designed to bolster local primary industries and, in some instances, hospitality, with quotas and specific qualification or experience criteria possibly in place.


Other specialized visas include those for horticultural and viticultural seasonal workers, as well as foreign crews of fishing vessels. Employers may have obligations regarding accommodation and repatriation.

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