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 work visa to work in New Zealand if you are:
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 recognised 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.
There are a number of requirements that all applicants need to meet for a temporary work visa.
To enter New Zealand you must:
If you are granted a temporary work visa you need to meet certain conditions during your stay:
If you break any of these conditions we may require you to leave the country immediately.
You can be refused a visa if:
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.
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:
In addition, you must be appropriately qualified by training or experience to take up the position. See the full list of requirements.
Our Silver Fern Categories are for young, highly skilled people who have recognised qualifications and want to come to New Zealand to look for long-term, skilled employment. See the requirements.
Our Specific Purpose or Event Category is for people who want to work here temporarily for a particular purpose or event such as a tournament, a show or for certain professional reasons. See the requirements.
If you are a tour guide, leader or escort and you will be working while you are in New Zealand, you will need to apply for a Specific Purpose work visa before you arrive. Working is any activity resulting in gain or reward, including any form of payment or benefit that can be valued in terms of money, such as board and lodging, goods (eg food or clothes) and services (eg transport).
If you are a tour guide who is a Chinese national, you may be able to apply under the China Special Work Category. You can apply from within New Zealand if you hold a valid work or student visa.
There are two categories under which students can get a work visa in New Zealand:
Our Family Stream is for people who want to work temporarily while joining their partner here. See the requirements.
Our Work Exchange Scheme Category is for people who want to take part in a work exchange scheme that has been pre-approved by us or is a government to government exchange scheme. See the requirements.
We have categories for people who want to come to New Zealand to work temporarily in one of the following specialist fields:
As agreed to under the NZ-China Free Trade Agreement, we have categories for Chinese nationals who are qualified and experienced in specific occupations and have a New Zealand job offer in that occupation:
As agreed to under the ASEAN-Australia-NZ Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA), we have work visa categories for nationals of the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia who are qualified and experienced in specific occupations, and have a New Zealand job offer in that occupation.
If you do not know which of the categories applies to you, we have two quick reference tools to help you:
Essential Skills in Demand Lists
Office and fees finder
Work Visa Application
Work Visa Guide
Application for Residence
Form for partners supporting partnership-based temporary entry applications
Partnership-based Temporary Visa application
Partnership-based Temporary Visa Guide
More forms and guides...