Requirements for working temporarily in New Zealand There are a number of requirements that you will need to meet to get a temporary work visa. In this section you can find out whether you need a work visa, whether you'll qualify, and what a temporary work visa will allow you to do.

You do not need a New Zealand work visa if you are:

A New Zealand citizen or you hold a New Zealand residence visa, or an Australian citizen, or the holder of a current Australian permanent residence visa including a current Australian resident return visa. (If there are conditions on your residence visa/resident return visa, then you will require a New Zealand work visa.)

Certain kinds of work do not require a work visa. If your employment in New Zealand involves visits for business negotiations, short-term sales trips, work for official trade missions recognized by the New Zealand government, or work for overseas governments, you may be able to do it while on a visitor visa. See what these options are and what they require.

Requirements for all temporary work visa applicants

There are a number of requirements that all applicants need to meet for a temporary work visa.

To enter New Zealand you must:

  • Be in good health and of good character, and
  • Have a passport that is valid for at least three months past the date you are to leave New Zealand, and
  • be genuine in wanting to work in New Zealand, and
  • Have the right visa for your visit.
  • If you are granted a temporary work visa you need to meet certain conditions during your stay:
  • The work you do must be in line with the conditions specified in your visa
  • You must keep within New Zealand's laws
  • You must only stay in New Zealand for the time allowed by your visa.
  • If you break any of these conditions we may require you to leave the country immediately.

Requirements for different categories

As well as meeting the requirements for all applicants, you must meet the requirements of the category under which you are applying for a temporary work visa. We grant temporary work visas under several different categories, which have different requirements. Which category you can apply under depends on your circumstances.

I have a job offer from a New Zealand employer

If you have a job offer from a New Zealand employer and do not fall under one of the categories for specialist workers below, you may apply under the Essential Skills work category. The employer will need to show that no New Zealand citizens or residents are available to do the job, either by: showing that the job is included in one of the Essential Skills In Demand Lists; or providing evidence that they have genuinely tried to find a New Zealand worker to fill the position. In addition, you must be appropriately qualified by training or experience to take up the position.

Work and live in New Zealand permanently

Here are the visa options like New Zealand work permit if you want to live in New Zealand permanently, and your visa application will be based on your occupation or skills.

Skilled Migrant Visa NZ Category - for people who have the skills, qualifications and experience New Zealand needs.

Work to Residence - for people who

  • Are qualified in occupations that are in demand in New Zealand, or
  • Have a job offer from an accredited employer, or
  • Have exceptional talent in sports or the arts.
  • This option allows you to apply for a temporary work visa as a step towards gaining permanent residence.
  • Residence from Work - for people who are already in New Zealand on a Work to Residence visa, and want to apply for residence.

Who can apply?

  • To be eligible for residence under SMC you must:
  • be 55 or under
  • be healthy
  • be of good character
  • speak English.

To decide if you can apply we use a points system. You get points for age, experience, employability and qualifications.

How to apply

There are two steps

  • You complete an Expression of Interest, telling us about yourself, your family, your skills and your experience.
  • If you have enough points, we accept your Expression of Interest, and send you an Invitation to Apply. You complete it, and return it to us with your supporting documents.
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