Essential Skills Work Visa For New Zealand

Jul 13, 2022

6 min read

Visa Appointments

Did the travel bug bite you, but you still need to work? If your answer is yes, then a working visa is for you. I just applied for my New Zealand work visa, and I can't wait to see what's in store! After reading you’ll know everything you need to about applying for a work visa for New Zealand.

I'll tell you everything you need to know about the application process and what documents you'll need.

What Is A Work Visa?

A work visa is a visa that allows you to go to a country (in this case New Zealand) and work there. There are different visa categories and a number of visas that allow you to work in New Zealand. Before you apply, you need to make sure you apply for the right visa.

New Zealand work visas are only temporary; some can lead to permanent residency. Meaning you can study, live and work there indefinitely.

What Types Of Working Visas Are There For New Zealand?

Quick Note: I will be discussing the essential skills work visa (skill shortage list) that will allow you to work long-term in New Zealand in-depth later in this post.

Post-Study Work Visa

This type of visa is for you if you have completed an acceptable qualification in New Zealand and you would like to get a job there. Part of the criteria you must meet is to apply for the post-study work visa no later than 3 months after the end of your student visa.

If you studied for a doctorate, you can apply for up to 6 months after the end of your student visa.

This visa is valid for 3 years. You can work for any employer when you receive your post-study work visa. Every time you complete another qualification in New Zealand, you can apply for another post-study work visa.

Depending on your skills and experience, you may be able to apply for a resident visa (basically go from work to residence) through the Skilled Migrant Category.

Post-study work visas can be applied online; they guide you through all the criteria you need to meet, and they show you the costs of the visa.

Working Holiday Visa

Much like Australia, New Zealand also offers a working holiday visa. These visas are only for people between 18 and 30 (in some countries, 35). This is perfect for young people longing to travel.You can stay for 12 months or 24 months if you’re from the UK or Canada while working to fund your holiday.

You do not need to secure a job before you arrive in New Zealand, but you need to have proof of a return ticket or guarantee that you have enough money to leave New Zealand.

The best thing about the application for the working holiday visa is that it's super easy. The whole application can be done online. All the documents and everything you need for a successful working holiday visa application will be given to you.

The embassy will let you know 20 days after completing your application and submitting it. After that, they will inform you via email that you got your visa, or they'll ask for more information.

Now let's get down to the specifics about the type of work visa everybody wants to know about.

Essential Skills Work Visa

This visa is the most popular temporary work visa for people who got a job offer in New Zealand. You can only apply for an essential skills work permit if you're offered a full-time job in New Zealand and if you have the qualifications and necessary skills for the position. If your application for the visa is approved, you will be able to support visa applications for your partner and dependent children.

Requirements For An Essential Skills Work Visa

These are the following visa requirements (be sure to check you eligibility):

  • Must hold a firm offer of employment.

  • The job offered must pass a "Labor Market Test" to ensure that no New Zealander is available to fill the position.

  • Applicants must demonstrate the qualifications and skills (work experience) required for the job.

The essential skills work visa is valid for 3 years.

Documents Required For An Essential Skills Work Visa

There are a few documents you'll need for your visa application. These documents are crucial, and you need to make sure you have everything before submitting your application.

You will need the following documents:

  • Your passport or a copy of your ID. If you apply online, you must upload a copy of your passport. If you submit a paper application, you'll need to provide your original passport or a certified copy.

  • You may have to provide police certificates as proof of good character.

  • If you are 17 years or older and plan to stay 24 months in New Zealand, you must provide police certificates from any country you are a citizen of and any country you've spent more than 5 years in since turning 17.

  • You may need to go for a medical exam and a chest x-ray and show the documents as proof of good health.

  • A copy of your employment contract.

  • Provide an "Employer Supplementary Form" completed by your New Zealand employer.

  • Original or certified copies of your qualifications and evidence that the New Zealand Qualifications Authority recognizes your qualifications.

  • Occupational registration form.

Now that you know what documents you need to include in your application let's look at how you can apply.

How To Apply For An Essential Skills Work Visa In New Zealand

This part is pretty easy! You can start your application online.

  • Before you start the process, be sure that you have all the necessary documents required to apply.

You can get an immigration adviser to help you with your application

  • Decide whether you want to apply online or offline. If you decide to apply offline, you will have to go to the New Zealand Embassy.

  • Complete the visa application form by entering all the required information.

  • Pay the application fees required for them to process your visa.

Finally, send the filled application to the embassy.

Quick Note: Get a tax (IRD) number form Inland revenue before you start to work in New Zealand.

Remember to attach all documents

Essential Skills Work Visa Costs

A hard copy of the visa will be NZD 375 with a immigration New Zealand (INZ) fee of NZD 38. An online work visa will be NZD 355, and immigration New Zealand (INZ) charge is NZD 38.

A Few Things To Keep In Mind Regarding Your Visa

Once you receive your work visa, you need to keep in mind a few things which include:

  • You should not do any other work except the job for which you have the work visa.

  • You must carry the work visa with you during your work hours.

  • You need to renew your visa before it expires.

  • If you lose your work visa, you should inform your employer.

  • If you resign from your job, you need to leave New Zealand within 7 days.

So, ready, set, apply! Now you can start the process of applying for your working visa and join all the other visa holders. Enjoy all the beautiful sites New Zealand has to offer. Remember to be ‘Kiwi confident!

Written By: Laliq Schuman
Fact Checked By: Richard Nathan

Frequently Asked Questions

Can New Zealand Citizens Sponsor Immigrants?

Yes! New Zealand citizens and residents can sponsor visa applications.

How Much Money Do I Need To Immigrate To New Zealand?

You'll need at least NZD 100 000 and a detailed business plan to apply.

Is It Hard To Get A Visa To Work In New Zealand?

It may be challenging to get a work visa for New Zealand due to limited spots and tight deadlines for applications.

What Are Temporary Visas?

These visas are for people that want to take on seasonal work in New Zealand. These employments can’t be permanent or indefinite.

More from New Zealand

Related Articles