Key message: Immigration policy allows overseas workers to fill jobs when no New Zealanders are available and or when there are particular skill shortages.
A non-New Zealander can apply for a temporary work visa under Essential Skill work policy if he/she has a job offer from a New Zealand employer and is skilled in an occupation where there are not enough New Zealanders available to do the work. Visas granted under this policy will specify the occupation and employer where the person must work.
A person may be granted a visa to work in New Zealand temporarily for a specific purpose or event such as a tournament or show. Specific purpose or event visas also specify an occupation and employer.
See temporary work visas section for more information.
Students may also be granted a temporary work visa of up to 12 months duration after completion of their studies. All international students who complete a New Zealand qualification that would qualify for points under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) have the opportunity to apply for a Graduate Job Search Work Visa, which does not specify an occupation or employer to allow the person to find work relevant to their qualification.
They have to apply for the visa within three months after the end date of their student visa and would have to meet all relevant requirements, including evidence of sufficient funds to maintain their stay for the 12-month period.
Once they have found a job, they can apply for a further work visa for up to two or three years under the Study to Work Category.
New Zealand has working holiday schemes with a number of countries. They generally entitle 18-30 year olds to holiday and undertake incidental work (in any occupation) in New Zealand for up to a year (two years for UK citizens).
See more about the Graduate Job Search Work Visa.