Absolute skills shortage

Skilled occupations that New Zealand hasn't had enough people to do for a long time. These occupations are listed on the Long Term Skills Shortage List.  

Long Term Skills Shortage List

Academic year

A programme of study that has a course value of 120 or more credits, and lasts at least 8 months or 2 semesters.

Acceptable English language test results

We accept the following tests:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet Based Test (TOEFL iBT)
  • Occupational English Test (OET)
  • Cambridge English B2 First (FCE) or B2 First for Schools (FCE for Schools)
  • Pearson Test of English: Academic (PTE: Academic)

Acceptable identity document

  • Original passport
  • Certificate of identity
  • Refugee travel document
  • National ID card with photo

Acceptable investment

An ‘acceptable’ investment is one that:

  • is able to make a commercial return
  • is not for your own personal use (such as a boat or personal residence)
  • is invested in New Zealand in New Zealand currency
  • is invested in lawful enterprises or managed funds that comply with all relevant laws in force in New Zealand
  • has the potential to contribute to New Zealand's economy
  • is invested in any of the following:
    • bonds issued by the New Zealand government or local authorities
    • bonds issued by New Zealand firms traded on the New Zealand Debt Securities Market (NZDX)
    • bonds issued by New Zealand organisations with a BBB- rating or better (or equivalent) from an internationally recognised credit rating agency, eg Standard and Poor's
    • equity in New Zealand firms (public or private including managed funds)
    • bonds issued by New Zealand registered banks
    • equities in New Zealand registered banks, as defined by the New Zealand Reserve Bank Act 1989
    • venture capital funds that are managed by a fund manager or broker and meet all the criteria for an acceptable investment
    • residential property development
    • bonds in finance companies.

Acceptable manning agent

A manning agent that:

  • is a public service, or a publicly licensed service
  • if it charges fees for placing crew, charges only the employer and not the crew
  • if it asks crew for costs, only asks crew to reimburse the reasonable costs of documents needed to be granted a visa, like medical exams, travel documents and a seafarer’s book (these aren’t fees)
  • won’t withhold any property from crew, especially if the property can prevent crew from leaving their employment, like identity documents, passports, or money
  • will only recruit crew who want to work on a fishing vessel in New Zealand, they can’t use force or threats
  • has never used the debt of a crew member to bond them into working for them against their will
  • has never been involved in human trafficking or any other kind of exploitation.

Acceptable qualification

An acceptable qualification for a Post Study Work Visa, for applicants under 2022 transitional settings is:

  • a New Zealand qualification listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework
  • involves 60 weeks of study at Levels 4 to 6, or 30 weeks or more of study at Level 7 and above.

New Zealand Qualifications Framework | NZQA website

The 2022 transitional settings may apply to:

  • students who applied for their Student Visa on or before 11 May 2022, and
  • students who have been granted their visa as part of the border exception for 5,000 new and returning students (cohort 4).

Acceptable qualifications for a Post Study Work Visa (pre 12 May 2022)

Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)

A New Zealand government-owned organisation that provides fault-free insurance cover that may pay towards the cost of medical treatment for injuries resulting from accidents in New Zealand.

See the ACC website for more information

Accredited employer

An employer approved by Immigration New Zealand to employ workers on the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). Only accredited employers can support an AEWV.

Accredited labour hire company

A company that has Immigration New Zealand’s approval to employ people from overseas to supply labour to third-parties. Labour hire companies providing labour to the construction sector in Christchurch must be accredited for work visas to be approved.

AEWV balance

The amount of time you have left before you reach your maximum continuous stay. For example if you have a 5 year maximum continuous stay and are currently on a 3 year AEWV, you may be able to apply for the 2 year balance to take you up to 5 years.

How long you can stay on an AEWV


The Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) provides information we use to check:

  • the skill levels of jobs
  • the qualifications and experience you need to work in those jobs.

Check the ANZSCO list


A legal process that is used to review a decision. Appeals are made to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, which is part of the Ministry of Justice. The result of an appeal can be for the decision to stay the same, for the decision to change or for a new decision to be made.

Immigration and Protection Tribunal website

Approval in principle of a visa

A visa application is approved in principle when we've recommended your application for approval, but need extra documents like a passport or receipt for tuition fees, to confirm you meet the visa requirements.

An application is not fully approved until we receive all the documents we ask for, and record in our computer system that we've granted the visa.

Approved arts or music festival

An arts or music festival hosted in New Zealand that has been formally approved by Immigration New Zealand (INZ). For INZ to ‘approve’ a festival its organiser must submit a formal proposal, showing that both:

  • the festival has been hosted in New Zealand for 3 or more years
  • 10 or more overseas performers and/or support crew will take part in the festival.

Approved community organisation sponsor

Approved community organisations are eligible to sponsor applicants for a Community Sponsored Refugee Resident Visa. Immigration New Zealand has approved the following community organisations for the 2017/2018 pilot of this visa category:

  • Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand (Wellington)
  • Gleniti Baptist Church (Timaru)
  • Society of St Vincent de Paul (Nelson)
  • South West Baptist Church (Christchurch)

Approved community organisations may either nominate mandated refugees directly, or request that the UNHCR refer candidates to Immigration New Zealand. Approved community organisations agree to sponsor approved refugees and provide travel, housing, settlement and employment assistance for two years.

Approved education provider

A primary or secondary school, or tertiary education provider that has been approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority or New Zealand’s Ministry of Education to offer certain courses of study.

Approved promoter

A promoter on Immigration New Zealand’s Approved Promoter List.

Approved Promoters information

Approved student exchange scheme

A scheme that has been approved by Immigration New Zealand and New Zealand’s Ministry of Education to allow overseas students to attend a school, or education or training institute in New Zealand.

Contact your school or exchange provider to see if they are an approved student exchange scheme for New Zealand.

At sa palagay mo ay pinagsasamantalahan ka

Ang pagsasamantala ng migrante ay pag-aasal na nagsasanhi, o nagpapalaki ng panganib ng pinsala sa kagalingang pangkabuhayan, panlipunan, pisikal o pandamdamin ng manggagawang migrante. Kabilang dito ang mga paglabag sa minimum na mga pamantayan sa pagtatrabaho o mga paglabag sa mga batas ng kalusugan at kaligtasan at ng imigrasyon. Hindi kabilang dito ang di-malubhang mga paglabag na hindi palagian at madaling maremedyuhan.

Authority to Act

A document authorising another person or organisation (for example a friend, family member, licenced immigration adviser or lawyer) to communicate with Immigration New Zealand on your behalf. This can be in the form of either:

  • a completed INZ1160 Immigration Adviser Details form, or
  • a signed statement which contains your representative’s full name, contact details, and their relationship to you.

Note that if you choose to have someone act on your behalf they will have access to information about you held by Immigration New Zealand including information such as your medical records and immigration history.

INZ1160 Immigration Adviser Details form


Basic New Zealand qualification

A basic qualification is a recognised certificate, diploma or degree that is at level four to eight of the New Zealand Qualification Framework.

New Zealand Qualifications Framework


Biometric information is physical information that distinguishes one person from another and can be used to establish a record of and confirm an individual’s identity. The most common forms of biometric information are photographs and fingerprints. Other forms of biometric information include iris scans and voice recognition.

Business reasons

Visitors coming to New Zealand for less than 3 months may be granted a Business Visitor Visa for any of the following reasons:

  • to carry out an official trade mission recognised by the New Zealand government
  • to sell goods and services in New Zealand
  • to buy New Zealand goods and services
  • to negotiate or discuss the set-up, expansion or wind-up of a business in New Zealand
  • to carry out any business with the authorised representatives of an overseas company, body or person.

To carry out any other work activities, or stay longer than 3 months, you'll need to apply for a work visa.


Capped sector agreement

Capped sector agreements cover these employment sectors:

  • meat processing
  • seafood processing (onshore)

Capped sector agreements are between employers and Immigration New Zealand. Employers in capped sectors:

  • can only hire a set number of migrant workers, and
  • pay their migrant workers below NZD$29.66 an hour (the February 2023 median wage), but at an agreed wage rate.

Sector agreements and hiring migrants on an Accredited Employer Work Visa

Carrier Relationship Team

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise's Carrier Relationship Team are Immigration New Zealand's connection between travel operators (carriers) such as cruise ships and airlines. 

As well travel operators, the team also works with:

  • other government agencies such as New Zealand Customs and the Ministry of Transport, and
  • industry bodies including the Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand.

The team are supported in their work with airlines by a network of INZ Airline Liaison Officers (ALOs) based at ports across the world.

Certificate of identity

A certificate of identity is any document, other than a passport, issued by the government of any country that allows a person to travel. Certificates of identity confirm a person’s identity, but not their nationality and should only be used for travel when a passport is not available.

Certified copy

A photocopied or scanned document which has been stamped or signed by a person as a true copy of the original. The certifier must be authorised by law to take statutory declarations in your home country or in New Zealand – for example a lawyer, Notary Public, Justice of the Peace, or court official.

Character waiver

A decision to waive character requirements for a person who does not meet them, so we can grant them a visa.

We do not consider character waivers for people who have character issues described in section 15 or 16 of the Immigration Act 2009.

When we make a decision about whether we grant a character waiver, we take into account things like:

  • how long ago the event that created the character issue occurred
  • the circumstances surrounding the offence or incident
  • the person's circumstances, including their ties to New Zealand and reasons for applying for a visa
  • the significance of any information falsely provided or withheld during a previous visa application (if this applies), and the person's intentions and involvement in providing or withholding this information.

Chartered accountant

An accountant who is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, which is a professional body for accountants. Chartered accountants work under a code of ethics.

Christmas and New Year holiday period

The vacation period between the end of the academic year, normally in November, and the start of the next academic year normally at the end of February or start of March.


You are usually automatically a citizen of the country in which you were born, but you may also hold citizenship for another country, if your parents or ancestors originally came from another country.  Your citizenship will be listed in your passport.

Civil union

A civil union has the same property and civil rights as a marriage. It may be between couples of the same sex or couples of different sexes.

Close family

You or your partner's adult brother or sister, adult child or parent.

Close relatives

Close relatives are people who are prohibited from:

  • marrying each other under the Marriage Act 1995, or
  • entering into a civil union with each other under the Civil Union Act 2004.

Marriage Act 1995
Civil Union Act 2004

Comparable labour market

A group of countries that INZ considers have a similar labour market, which is made up of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macau, Malta, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Work experience in a country not listed above will only be assessed as being in a comparable labour market if it was for a multinational entity domiciled in one of the countries listed above.

Compulsory education

Education from the ages of 6 years to 16 years of age is compulsory in New Zealand.

Controlling third party

A company involved in triangular employment that:

  • hires employees from another employer
  • directs or controls those employees as if they were the direct employer, and
  • is not the direct employer in the employment agreement.

How we define franchisees and controlling third parties

Convention refugee

A person who's been given refugee status by the New Zealand Government.

Country you have the right to enter

Any country you have the right to live in permanently.

You also have the right to enter a country if:

  • you have a valid visa for that country or are allowed to travel visa waiver there, and
  • you meet that country’s entry requirements (for example, you have onward travel arrangements).

Customary adoption

In some countries and cultures parents may adopt children without going through a formal legal adoption process.  If this applies to your family situation we will require evidence of this adoption.


Damaged passport or travel document

If your passport or travel document is damaged in a way that compromises its integrity,  you may not be able to travel to New Zealand.

Examples include:

  • Damage located on the bio page
  • Pages that have been substantially torn or come away from the document completely
  • Where security features have been compromised

De facto relationship

A de facto relationship is between two people who usually live together as a couple, like a marriage or civil union. They are not married or in a civil union with each other.

Deemed to hold a visa

Some people are deemed to hold a visa. This means they have been granted entry permission where it is not possible or appropriate for them to apply for a visa.

Deemed visas are most commonly used for cruise ship passengers, people travelling to the Ross Dependency in Antarctica and members of visiting armed forces.

Deferral period

We may defer the decision on your Skilled Migrant Category application and offer you a work visa to allow you to obtain skilled employment in New Zealand, if you:

  • do not qualify for points for skilled employment in New Zealand; and
  • have not  undertaken two or more years of full-time study in New Zealand that has resulted in the award of a Doctorate or Master’s degree;  and
  • meet all other requirements for approval (including the requirements of Skilled Migrant Category Job Search Instructions)

Skilled Migrant Category Job Search Instructions

If you’re in New Zealand, the decision on your resident visa application will be deferred for nine months from the date your work visa is granted. If you’re outside New Zealand, the decision will be deferred for 12 months from the date your work visa is granted.

Deportation order

A legal document that notifies a person that they will be deported from New Zealand and explains:

  • the reason the person is being deported
  • any time period for which the person may not return to New Zealand
  • any costs associated with the deportation.


A person is deported from New Zealand if the person leaves New Zealand (whether or not at the expense of the Government of New Zealand):

  • on or after the date on which a deportation order may be served on the person under section 175 of the Immigration Act 2009; or
  • after a deportation order has been served on the person; or
  • while he or she is subject to a prohibition on entry to New Zealand under sections 179 or 180 of the Immigration Act 2009; or
  • the person is served with a deportation order when he or she is outside New Zealand; or
  • the person was deported from New Zealand under the Immigration Act 1987.

Domestic students

Students at schools and tertiary education institutes who have their fees partly or totally paid by the New Zealand Government. In certain circumstances defined by New Zealand’s Ministry of Education, international students can be treated as domestic students.

Definition of a domestic student in New Zealand

Domestic violence

Any violence included in the meaning of domestic violence in section 3 of the Domestic Violence Act 1995.

Domestic Violence Act 1995


A company is domiciled in the country where it is permanently located and legally registered.  Multi-national companies are domiciled in the country where the head office or parent company is registered.  For example, if company A has branches in New Zealand, Australia and Fiji, but the head office is in the United Kingdom it is considered to be domiciled in the United Kingdom.

Double tax agreement

People who are tax residents in New Zealand and another country can be taxed on the same income by both countries. Double tax agreements have been negotiated between New Zealand and many other countries to decide which country has the first or sole right to tax specific types of income.

Drug trafficking

This means having any involvement in the trading of illegal drugs.


Eastern Europe

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Czech Republic

Edmund Hillary Fellowship

The Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF) gives visionary entrepreneurs, investors and startup teams a platform to incubate global impact ventures from Aotearoa New Zealand.

EHF is about creating and supporting a diverse community of entrepreneurs who push the boundaries of creativity and innovation, with fresh new ideas and different approaches to business.

Edmund Hillary Fellowship website

Eligible Pacific countries

A group of Pacific countries from which employers in the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme are allowed to recruit RSE workers. The nations are:

  • the Federated States of Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • Kiribati
  • Nauru
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • the Republic of Marshall Islands
  • Samoa
  • the Solomon Islands
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu. 

Eligible sponsor (RFSC)

To be considered an eligible sponsor under the Refugee Family Support Category, sponsors must:

  • be a New Zealand citizen or resident
  • have been granted New Zealand residence because they were a refugee or protected person, or an Afghan interpreter or the partner or dependent child of an Afghan interpreter
  • be a family member and want to sponsor you and your partner and dependent children for residence
  • not have any other family member who is eligible to apply for New Zealand residence under any other category
  • not have sponsored anyone else who has since been granted a resident visa under the Refugee Family Support Category
  • live in New Zealand
  • be 18 or over
  • meet our requirements for acceptable sponsors
  • be able to fulfil their obligations as your sponsor, like making sure the sponsored people have somewhere to live for their first 2 years in New Zealand
  • meet the criteria for registering as a tier one sponsor or a tier two sponsor.


Immigration New Zealand’s online health processing system, which is used by panel physicians to send us chest x-ray and medical certificates.

Emergency situation

A situation that requires someone to receive immediate medical treatment in New Zealand because:

  • their life depends on an immediate transfer to New Zealand, as judged by local health authorities
  • they have an accident or sudden illness while travelling on a ship or aircraft.

Employment outside Auckland

A place of work that is outside Auckland attracts bonus points as we want to ensure all of New Zealand can benefit from the skills of people moving here.  To qualify for points you will need to prove that your employment is outside the area covered by the Auckland Council.

English speaking background

If you are not providing an English language test result, you may be able to meet English language requirements by showing you have an English speaking background.

Proving you have an English-speaking background

English translations

A translation of a document written in a language other than English, into English.

All documents provided with residence applications must be translated into English.

Entertainment industry worker

Someone who works as either:

  • an entertainer
  • a performing artist, eg musician, actor, extra, presenter, contestant 
  • a producer
  • a director
  • part of a film or video production crew
  • part of a film or video post-production crew, or
  • support personnel for any of the above.

Entry permission

Entry permission allows a visa holder to enter New Zealand.

Holding a visa doesn’t guarantee entry permission unless the person holds a:

  • New Zealand Permanent Resident Visa
  • a Resident Visa granted in New Zealand
  • a Resident Visa granted overseas, if the person has already travelled to New Zealand on that visa.

A person travelling to New Zealand with an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) must apply for both a visa and entry permission when they arrive in New Zealand.


English for Speakers of Other Languages. See the Ministry of Education's website for information on ESOL and learning English in New Zealand, in several different languages.

ESOL information on the Ministry of Education website

ESOL tuition

ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) tuition

This is English language tuition. If you’re applying for a Resident Visa, your partner and any children aged 16 and over may choose to buy ESOL tuition in New Zealand, instead of meeting the minimum standard of English. If applying through the Parent Category, all applicants (including the principal applicant) may choose to buy ESOL tuition. You’ll need to pay the tuition fee before the application can be approved.

Learning English in New Zealand

Essential Skills in Demand Lists

A group of lists detailing the occupations that New Zealand doesn't have enough people to work in. They include the:

  • Long Term Skills Shortage List
  • Immediate Skills Shortage List
  • Construction and Infrastructure Skills Shortage List.

People who are qualified to work in an occupation on one of these lists, can apply for a work visa without their employer first having to check if any New Zealanders are ready and willing to do the work. 

View the Skill Shortage Lists tool

Exceptional talent in a field of art, culture or sport

We’ll consider you have exceptional talent in your field of art, culture or sport if all of the following apply:

  • you have an international reputation and record of excellence in your field
  • you’re still prominent in your field
  • you can help New Zealanders to take part in and improve the quality of their achievements in your field of art, culture or sport.

Executive or senior manager

An executive or senior manager is a person who:

  • Is a senior employee of an organisation
  • Has been employed by that organisation for at least 12 months before their proposed transfer to New Zealand
  • Is responsible for the entire organisation’s operations in New Zealand, or a substantial part of it, while receiving general supervision or direction principally from higher level executives, the board of directors or stockholders of the business.

Express purpose

A reason for travelling to New Zealand on a Limited Visa, which may include any one of the following:

  • to study a short course as a full-fee paying student
  • for a special event, like a wedding, funeral, anniversary, reunion conference, seminar, graduation, sports tournament or match, or religious ceremony
  • for medical treatment
  • for a family emergency, like if someone in your family has an illness or accident
  • to work for a Recognised Seasonal Employer.

You may be able to come to New Zealand on a Limited Visa for a reason not on this list, if we think your reason justifies us granting you a visa.

Expunged criminal records

Expungement of a criminal record is a legal process that can clear criminal convictions from a person's record.


False or misleading information

This is anything that you tell us that is untrue in any way.  If you provide false or misleading information, we may decline the Expression of Interest or application in which you provided this information.

February 2023 median wage rate

The February 2023 median wage rate is NZD$29.66 an hour. This median wage was published by Stats NZ in June 2022.

Labour market statistics (income): June 2022 quarter — Stats NZ

We use this rate as an eligibility requirement for:

  • Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)
  • Partner of a Worker Work Visa
  • Subsequent Migrant Exploitation Protection Visa
  • variation of conditions for AEWV, Essential Skills Work Visa, Partner of a Worker Work Visa and Skilled Migrant Category Interim Visa.

Wage rate requirements for visas

Financially reliant

Being totally or substantially dependant on a parent for financial support.

When we assess if child relies on an adult for financial support, we’ll look at whether:

  • the child is working, how many hours they work and for how long they’ve been working
  • the child has any other independent means of financial support
  • the child is living with his or her parents or another family member, and how much support is provided
  • the child is studying, and whether the study is full-time or part-time.

Five Country Conference

A co-operative immigration forum made up of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Foreign Charter Partner

An overseas company that owns and operates a foreign chartered vessel (FCV) as part of a formal fishing charter partnership with a New Zealand Charter Party.

Foreign crew

Any overseas crew working on a fishing vessel in New Zealand including workers who do work other than fishing, like processing the catch.

Foreign fee paying student

An international student who must pay the full cost of their study, without the financial support of the New Zealand Government. Not a domestic student.

Franchisee employer

An employer that pays a franchisor to use their pre-existing businesses system, including how they operate and their brand, advertising and trademarks.

How we define franchisees and controlling third parties

Full birth certificate

A birth certificate that includes your full name, your date and place of birth and your parents’ full names.

We only accept full birth certificates as proof of your identity. 

If you can't get your birth certificate, you'll need to provide official evidence of this from the authority responsible for registering births in your birth country, eg a ‘non-availability’ or ‘birth not registered’ certificate.

Full-time job

A job where you work at least 30 hours a week.

Full-time study

Your study is full time if you are studying:

  • at a private training establishment (PTE) and need to attend at least 20 hours each week
  • a level 7 course or higher at a PTE, and are doing 3 papers or more each semester, or
  • at a university or polytechnic, and are doing 3 papers or more each semester.

Funds already held in New Zealand

When you nominate funds for an Investor 1 Resident Visa, Investor 2 Resident Visa, Parent Retirement Resident Visa, or Temporary Retirement Visitor Visa, you can include funds you’ve already invested in New Zealand, as long as:

If you already have funds invested in New Zealand, your investment period will start from the date we approve your application for your visa in principle, and not the date you invested the funds.

Funds for visitors

You must have at least NZ $1,000 per month, or NZ $400 per month if you’ve already paid for your accommodation.

Evidence can include:

  • proof of accommodation pre-payment, like hotel pre-paid vouchers or receipts
  • bank statements
  • credit card statements
  • bank drafts
  • travellers’ cheques
  • a 'Sponsorship Form for Temporary Entry' completed by an acceptable sponsor.

If you are sponsored, your sponsor must provide evidence they can look after you in New Zealand. Evidence can include:

  • recent bank statements
  • pay slips
  • employment agreement
  • accommodation ownership or payment of rent.


Funds that have been gifted to you

Funds that have been gifted to you unconditionally and legally, and have been been earned or acquired legally by the person gifting them.

Future growth area

Industries identified as having the potential to grow New Zealand’s economy. Current future growth areas are:

  • biotechnology
  • information communications technology
  • creative industries - advertising, software and computing services, publishing, TV and radio, film and video, architecture, design, designer fashion, music and performing arts, visual arts.

Note: Points for employment, work experience and qualifications in future growth areas are being removed from the Skilled Migrant Category from 28 August 2017 onwards. Unless you already have an application underway, or have been invited to apply before this date, you will not be able to claim these points.


Genuine and stable partnership

A partnership is genuine if it has been entered into on a long-term and exclusive basis.

A partnership is stable if it is likely to continue for a long time.

Going concern

A business that is operating and making a profit.


High-end music act

A music act promoted in New Zealand by a music promoter on Immigration New Zealand’s Approved Music Promoters List.

Arts festival and entertainment promoters

High quality education provider

A university or other education provider that’s:

  • been assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) as a ‘category 1’ Education Organisation
  • a signatory to Ministry of Education's ‘Code of Pastoral Care for International Students’.

Information about the category of education organisations is available on NZQA’s website.

Find Education Organisations | NZQA website
Code of Pastoral Care for International Students

High remuneration

Remuneration at or above NZD $59.32 an hour (or the equivalent annual salary) which is:

  • genuine
  • ongoing, and
  • able to be sustained by your employer.

Horticulture industry

Fruit and vegetable growing businesses.


Identified cultural tradition

A tradition in a culture where it’s normal for people other than those getting married to select the couple to be married, and make the marriage arrangements.

Identity document

An identity document:

  • confirms a person's identity
  • includes a person's full name and date of birth, and
  • includes a photograph of the person's head and shoulders.

Examples of identity documents are:

  • original passport
  • certificate of identity
  • refugee travel document
  • national ID card with photo
  • valid photo driver licence.


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), which tests how well you read, write, speak and listen in English.

Immigration control area

An airport, port or other place designated by Immigration New Zealand to process people entering or leaving New Zealand.

Immigration instructions

Immigration instructions set out the rules and criteria that people coming to New Zealand from other countries must meet before we can grant them a visa or entry permission.

The immigration instructions published in our Operational Manual and are updated regularly to reflect changes in government policy.

Immigration instructions


Applicants are considered to have influence over a business if they exercise significant influence over the management and administration of the business. This includes, but is not limited to, when acting as a director or senior manager.

Inland Revenue

The New Zealand Government agency that collects tax.

Inland Revenue Department website

International Qualifications Assessment

A report from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority that:

  • verifies your qualifications
  • assesses the level of your qualifications compared to qualifications on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework
  • names the New Zealand qualifications that are similar to your international qualifications.


An acronym for Immigration New Zealand.

Issuing authority

The government agency that gave you the document (for example, your passport or birth certificate).


Job token

A unique number that represents one of the jobs an accredited employer is approved to hire migrants for.

A job token is also known as a ‘unique link’ because it is the link sent to migrants to apply for an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). A job token is used to track the status of a job. For example, when a migrant opens the link and accepts the request, the job token is marked as ‘in progress’.

Joint Agreement to Recruit

A joint Agreement to Recruit (ATR) is when RSE employers work together to recruit RSE workers.

Joint ATRs can help when:

  • an employer does not have enough work for the whole time workers are in New Zealand
  • an employer needs more workers than their allocation allows
  • the timeframes work for both employers.

All employers who work together in a joint ATR must:

  • follow the ATR application process
  • each fill in an ATR and pay for it
  • meet ATR requirements
  • provide ATR evidence.

One employer must be responsible for bringing the workers into New Zealand.


Kartu Keluarga

The official Indonesian family registration document.

Key people

People who can influence an organisation's compliance with employment and immigration law, including directors of a company, partners in a partnership, and school principals.


Label-less or eVisa

A visa issued electronically and without a physical label in your passport.

You can use your eVisa to travel to enter and remain in New Zealand for the period allowed by your visa.

Labour hire company

A company that:

  • enters into contracts with third-parties to supply labour
  • employs people to provide that labour.

Labour Inspectorate

The Labour Inspectorate is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise's Employment Services department.

In the Labour Inspectorate are a team of 5 inspectors who only work in the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Scheme. Their task, set by Immigration New Zealand (INZ), is to make sure employers comply with RSE policy, specifically, pastoral care, accommodation and employment standards.

Labour market test

 A test to establish whether:

  • an employer has made a genuine attempt to attract and recruit suitable New Zealanders for a job
  • there are any suitable New Zealanders to do a job, or who can be trained to do a job.

When we carry out a labour market test, we’ll look at things like:

  • the employer's reasons for not employing a New Zealander to do a job
  • evidence of the employer's recruitment attempts, like newspaper and internet advertising
  • advice from Work and Income
  • advice from industry groups, like unions.

Legally earned or acquired funds

Funds or assets (or a combination of both) that you either earned or acquired in a way that:

  • was legal in the country you earned or acquired them
  • would also have been legal if you’d earned or acquired them in the same way in New Zealand.

Licensed immigration advisers

Licensed immigration advisers (LIAs) are licensed by the Immigration Adviser’s Authority (IAA) to provide specialist immigration knowledge.

Licensed immigration advisers must:

  • be honest, professional and respectful
  • provide you with ongoing, timely updates
  • charge fees that are fair and reasonable
  • meet competency standards and follow a Code of Conduct set by the IAA.

Code of Conduct
Competency Standards

The IAA keeps a register of LIAs. If an adviser doesn’t appear on the register, then they are unlicensed.

Licensed Immigration Adviser Register

Limited medical examination

A limited medical examination checks for conditions which are the most expensive and place the most demand on New Zealand’s health system and special education services. We cannot grant you a medical waiver if you or anyone included in your application has one of these conditions.

Medical waivers for visa applications

List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment (LQEA)

When you apply for a visa that has qualification requirements, you may need to get an International Qualification Assessment for your overseas qualification.

Not all international qualifications need to be assessed. Those are in the List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment (LQEA). Search the list to see if you need an IQA for your qualification.

Check if you need to apply for an International Qualification Assessment





An occupation classified as skill level 4 or 5 on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).


Ma o e masalomia i le fai faatautala o oe

O le fai faatautala o tagata fai mai o amioga nei e mafua ai, pe faatupulaia ai foi lamatiaga, ma afaina ai tulaga tau tamaoaiga, agafesootai, tulaga faaletino po o le mafaufau o tagata faigaluega fai mai. E aofia ai le solia o tulaga maualalo tau galuega po o le solia o tulafono mo tulaga faalesoifua maloloina, saogalemu ma femalagaiga. E lē aofia ai faaletonu laiti ma tulaga e lē afaina tele ai ona o tulaga ua solia ma e lē tupu soo ma e faigofie ona teuteu.

Managed funds

Funds that are invested in either:

  • a managed fund investment product offered by a financial institution
  • equities that are managed by a fund manager or broker.

For us to accept managed funds as an investment, managed funds must be invested only in New Zealand companies. Managed funds with international exposure are acceptable only for the part of the investment that is invested in New Zealand companies.

Mandated refugee

A mandated refugee is someone protected under the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) International Protection Mandate and recognised as meeting the definition of refugee under the 1951 Refugee Convention.

UNHCR International Protection Mandate

1951 Refugee Convention


Material change in circumstances

A material change in circumstances is any change that may affect our decision to grant you a visa, or to grant you entry permission. This could include changes in your health, employment or partnership status.

Maximum continuous stay

The total time you can be on the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) in New Zealand before you must spend time outside New Zealand to be eligible for another AEWV.

The maximum continuous stay and the time you must spend outside New Zealand depends on your role and if you are paid at least NZD$29.66 an hour (the February 2023 median wage).

You can have multiple shorter AEWVs that add up to your maximum continuous stay.

For example, if you earn above the February 2023 median wage and your maximum continuous stay is 5 years, it can be made up of a 3-year visa and a 2-year visa. After 5 years you have to leave New Zealand for 12 months in a row before you can be eligible for another AEWV.

Maximum continuous stay and longer visa length for the AEWV

Median wage

The median wage we use is NZD$31.61 an hour.

We update the median wage in February each year. The median wage we use comes from the 'median hourly earnings from wages and salaries' published by Stats NZ in the previous year.

However, Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) applications made after 28 February 2024 use the February 2023 median wage.

Wage rate requirements for visas
Labour market statistics (income): June 2023 quarter — Stats NZ

Median wage for the Parent Resident Visa

This is a salary amount we use to calculate entitlements for the Parent Resident Visa. It is currently NZD $65,748.80 (based on a 40-hour week).

This figure is based on the New Zealand median wage.

For more information about how we use the median wage to calculate entitlement to visas:
Wage rate requirements for visas

Medical certificate

This is a document you get from a medical practitioner after you have completed a medical examination. The certificate tells us the results of that examination which we then use to determine whether you have an acceptable standard of health.

Medical waiver

A decision to waive health requirements for a person who doesn’t meet them, so that we can grant a visa.

We don’t consider medical waivers for people who:

  • require dialysis, or will require dialysis within the next five years
  • have severe haemophilia
  • have a physical, intellectual, cognitive or sensory incapacity that requires full time care, including care in the community
  • have any form of tuberculosis (TB) and have not completed full treatment as outlined in the New Zealand Guidelines for TB Treatment
  • have a history, diagnostic findings or treatment for Multidrug-Resistant TB or Extensively Drug-Resistant TB, unless they have been cleared by a New Zealand Respiratory or Infectious Diseases specialist as outlined in the New Zealand Guidelines for TB.

We also don’t consider medical waivers for people who were eligible to be included in an earlier application for a residence visa as a partner or dependent child; and

  • were not declared in that earlier application; or
  • were not included in that earlier application; or
  • were withdrawn from that earlier application.

When we make a decision about whether we’ll grant a medical waiver, we take into account things like:

  • the objectives of our health requirements and the objectives of the category under which the visa application has been made
  • the degree to which significant costs or demands will be imposed on New Zealand's health or education services
  • whether the person has immediate family lawfully and permanently resident in New Zealand, and the circumstances and duration of that residence
  • whether the person’s potential contribution to New Zealand will be significant
  • the length of the person’s intended stay in New Zealand.

Migrant levy

A levy we used to charge to help fund settlement programmes for new migrants. The migrant levy has been replaced by the immigration levy.

Migrant worker exploitation

Migrant exploitation is behaviour that causes, or increases the risk of, material harm to the economic, social, physical or emotional well-being of a migrant worker. This includes breaches of minimum employment standards or breaches of health and safety and immigration laws. This excludes minor and insignificant breaches that are not constant and easily remedied.

Migrant exploitation – Employment New Zealand website

Minimum threshold

The minimum threshold is the lowest number of points you need to score for your Expression of Interest to enter the Expression of Interest Pool. This threshold is set at 100 points.  You also need to have scored points for either recognised qualifications or work experience to meet the threshold.

Expressions of Interest in the Pool are ranked from highest to lowest and the greater your score the greater your chance of being invited to apply for residence.

Minimum wage

The least amount someone working in New Zealand can be paid by law. Minimum wage rates are reviewed every year and are available on the Employment New Zealand website.

Minimum wage information – Employment New Zealand

Multiple entry travel conditions

Travel conditions that allow a visa holder to enter and exit New Zealand multiple times while their visa is valid, however the holder must not exceed any maximum stay conditions on their visa (if applicable).

Visa holders with multiple entry travel conditions still need to apply for entry permission each time they return to New Zealand.


New Zealand Qualifications Authority

The New Zealand government agency responsible for setting the standards for New Zealand qualifications and recognising overseas qualifications. It administers the New Zealand Qualifications Framework and assesses overseas qualifications against it.

For more information visit:
New Zealand Qualifications Authority

New Zealand Qualifications and Credentials Framework

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) handles the NZQCF. The framework lists all the New Zealand qualifications and credentials approved by NZQA. On the framework, each qualification or credential has a level of between 1 and 10, based on the learning complexity. The framework helps individuals and organisations understand the level of skill and knowlege someone with a qualification or credential has. It makes it easier to compare qualifications across countries and regions.

The framework used to be known as the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).

About the New Zealand Qualifications and Credentials Framework (NZQCF)  New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA)

New Zealand Scholarship

Students who have a New Zealand Scholarship receive funding from the New Zealand Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). There are 4 different schemes:

  • New Zealand Scholarships
  • New Zealand Short-term Training Scholarships
  • New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships
  • New Zealand English Language Training for Officials.

New Zealand visa

A record held by us that shows you're able to travel to, or stay in New Zealand. The kind of visa you have affects how long you can stay and what you can do. A visa may or may not be endorsed in your passport.

New Zealand Visa Holder

A New Zealand visa holder is a person who has been authorised for entry or residence in New Zealand and has been issued a New Zealand visa by the New Zealand government. This visa is not valid until you are in New Zealand.

If you are applying for a visa as the partner or dependent child of a New Zealand visa holder, you can apply at the same time as they apply for their visa.

Non-principal applicants

Anyone included in a visa application who is not the principal applicant, ie the principal applicant’s partner, the principal applicant’s dependent children, the principal applicant’s partner’s dependent children.


Organisation of national repute

A New Zealand organisation that is nationally recognised for its record of excellence in either:

  • a field of art, culture or sport
  • fostering exceptional talent in a field of art, culture or sport.

Occupational registration

Registration with a New Zealand registration authority that allows you to work in a particular occupation in New Zealand. New Zealand law requires you to have New Zealand registration before you can work in some occupations in New Zealand.

Offer of skilled employment

A job offer from a New Zealand employer made to you.  The job offered must meet our definition of skilled employment.

Offers of employment

All offers of employment must be genuine and sustainable, and contain the following information:

  • name, address, telephone and/or fax number of the employer
  • name and address of the person to whom the job is offered
  • a full job description including:
    • the job title or designation
    • the address of the place of employment
    • the type of work, duties and responsibilities involved
    • details of pay and conditions of employment
    • any qualifications, experience or training required
    • the duration of the job
    • how long the job offer is open.

Official Workbook

A government issued work record that is a legal requirement for workers in some countries.

If you need to demonstrate work experience in a country that uses an official workbook, you should provide a copy if you are applying for a work, visitor or student visa, or the original or a certified copy if you are applying for a resident visa.

Ordinarily resident in New Zealand

Ordinarily resident in New Zealand is defined as having been lawfully present in New Zealand for more than 183 days in the last 12 months.


A registered company, incorporated society or charitable trust.


Panel physicians

A doctor or radiologist who has been approved by New Zealand Immigration to complete medical and chest x-ray certificates.  


A person you are legally married to, or in a civil union or de facto relationship with, and who you live with in a genuine and stable partnership. Partners can be of the same or opposite sex.


A passport establishes the holder’s identity and nationality, and confirms their right to enter the country that has issued the document.

If you're coming to New Zealand temporarily, your passport should be valid for at least 3 months after you plan to leave New Zealand.

If your government has consular representation in New Zealand that is able to issue and renew passports, your passport must be valid for at least 1 month after you plan to leave New Zealand.

Pea ke fakakaukau ‘oku kākā‘i koe

Ko hono ngaohi kovia ‘o e kakai hiki fo‘ou maí ko ha tō‘onga ia ‘okú ne fakatupunga, pe fakatupulaki ‘a e tu‘u lavea ngofua ‘a hono uesia ‘a e tu‘unga lelei fakapa‘anga, fakasōsiale, fakaesino pe fakaeloto ‘o e tokotaha ngāue toki hiki fo‘ou maí. ‘Oku kau ki heni ‘a hono maumau‘i ‘o e ngaahi tu‘unga fakangāue tefitó pe maumau‘i ‘a e ngaahi lao ki he mo‘ui lelei mo e malú mo e ‘imikuleisoní. ‘Oku ‘ikai fakakau ai heni ‘a e ngaahi maumau iiki mo ma‘ama‘a ‘a ia ‘oku ‘ikai ke hoko ma‘upē mo faingofua hono fakalelei‘í.

Persons exempt from licensing

The following persons are exempt from the requirement to be licensed:

  • persons who provide immigration advice in an informal or family context only, so long as the advice is not provided systematically or for a fee
  • members of Parliament, and members of their staff who provide immigration advice within the scope of their employment agreement
  • foreign diplomats and consular staff accorded protection under the Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act 1968 or the Consular Privileges and Immunities Act 1971
  • employees of the public service who provide immigration advice within the scope of their employment agreement
  • lawyers
  • persons employed by or working as volunteers for community law centres (as defined in section 6 of the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006). At least 1 lawyer must be on the employing body of the community law centre, or employed by or working as a volunteer for the community law centre in a supervisory capacity
  • persons employed by or working as volunteers for citizens advice bureau
  • persons who provide immigration advice offshore in relation to applications or potential applications for student visas only.

Positioning crew

Positioning crew fly as passengers to New Zealand so they can join a plane or cruise ship as a working crew member.

Postgraduate qualification

A qualification at level 8, 9 or 10 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.

Levels of the NZQF | New Zealand Qualifications Framework

Potentially prejudicial information (PPI)

When we assess a visa application we may find information that may affect our decision. This is potentially prejudicial information (PPI).

Before we make a decision we send a PPI letter to the applicant asking them to respond.

Pre-assessment result

A report from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority that assesses your qualification based on the information you supply.

Primary sector

A group of industries that grow animals or plants for food or other uses, or take minerals from the ground to sell to production industries in the secondary sector (for example, manufacturers).

The primary sector includes the farming, mining, fishing, and fruit, vegetable and flower-growing industries.

Principal applicant

The main person we assess against the criteria for a Resident Visa.

Protected person

A person who is given a Resident Visa in New Zealand because they will be seriously harmed or tortured, or they risk inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment if they return to their resident country. This person is said to have protected person status. 



A form of secure online identification that allows you to use a wide range of New Zealand Government digital services using a single username and password.

Recognised business experience

For us to recognise your business experience:

  • your business experience must include planning, organisation, control, senior change management, strategy, and mentoring;
  • you must have gained your business experience as an owner or senior manager of a lawful business enterprise. This business must have had 5 or more full-time employees, or an annual turnover of NZ$1million (one million New Zealand dollars).

When we assess applications for Investor 2 Resident Visas, we only award points for business experience that meets this criteria.

Recognised qualification

A certificate, degree or diploma that is officially sanctioned based on:

  • an assessment by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority that relates to the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF)
  • its level on the NZQF as set out in the 'List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment'
  • its level on the NZQF based on the applicant’s job registration in New Zealand (if that registration involves an assessment equal to a qualification on the ‘List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment’)

List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment

Recognised Qualification - Two years

For the purposes of Skilled Migrant Category bonus points for New Zealand qualifications, Immigration New Zealand considers "two years" of study to be study undertaken for at least 16 months over four or more semesters.

Recognised Seasonal Employer

An employer who has Immigration New Zealand's approval under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme to recruit workers from overseas to work in our fruit and vegetable growing industries when they need extra workers.

Refugee - Refugee Family Support Category

A person granted New Zealand residence for one of the following reasons:

  • they were given refugee status by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees before they arrived in New Zealand
  • they were recognised as a refugee by the New Zealand Government after they arrived in New Zealand.

Refugee and a protected person status

Refugee and protected person status is a legal status. Refugees are people who meet the definition of a refugee provided in the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, as amended by the 1967 Protocol.

A refugee

A refugee is a person who:

  • Is outside of his or her home country or country of habitual residence.
  • Faces a real chance of being harmed if returned to that country.
  • The harm faced is a sustained or systemic breach of a fundamental human right.
  • The harm faced is for reasons of who the person is, or what they believe. The reasons may be race (or ethnicity), religion, political opinion, nationality or membership of a particular social group (such as family status, gender, or sexual orientation or identity).
  • Needs and deserves protection in New Zealand.

A protected person

A protected person is a person:

  • whose deportation from New Zealand would violate the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment 1984 (Convention against Torture) and/or the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 (ICCPR).
  • for whom there are substantial grounds for believing she or he would be in danger of torture, arbitrary deprivation of life or cruel treatment if deported from New Zealand.

Cruel treatment is defined in the Act as cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

If a person can obtain effective protection from the authorities of their country or a third country, New Zealand is not obliged to protect them.

A person may be excluded from refugee status if there are serious reasons for considering that he or she has committed serious crimes such as war crimes or crimes against humanity.

Refugee Family Support Category queues

We use two tiered queues to help us select people to invite to apply for residence under the Refugee Family Support Category.

To join a queue, family members have to be sponsored by a person who has been granted New Zealand residence because they were a refugee or protected person, and are an eligible sponsor.

Different criteria apply for sponsors to register for tier one and tier two queues. Tier one sponsor registrations are selected in the order they are received until the annual quota is met. If there are any places left after this, we fill the remaining places from the tier two queue.

Registration authority

An organisation authorised by New Zealand law to give occupational registration.

Religious work

Paid or unpaid work that’s in one or more of the following activities:

  • teaching religious scripture or philosophy
  • leading religious ceremonies, worship or prayer
  • ordaining new religious leaders, initiating new members into your religious community, carrying out religious ceremonies
  • providing spiritual guidance and care.

Request further information (RFI)

A request further information (RFI) is when we ask visa applicants for more information to make a decision on their application.

Residence from Work Category

The Residence from Work Category includes:

  • Talent (Accredited Employer) Resident Visa
  • Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports) Resident Visa
  • Long Term Skill Shortage List Resident Visa
  • Religious Worker Resident Visa
  • South Island Contribution Resident Visa.

Residential house

For the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme, a residential house is a self-contained house, flat, unit, townhouse or apartment designed to accommodate a household — a home for families or individuals living in New Zealand on a more permanent basis. If a house is advertised online — for example, through holiday or peer-to-peer websites — it is still considered to be a residential house.

A residential house is not transitory accommodation used to temporarily accommodate people who would normally live outside New Zealand.

Right to remove a child

If a child under the age of 16 is travelling with just one parent, we need to be satisfied that the accompanying parent has the right to bring the child to New Zealand with them.

Evidence of the right to remove a child includes:

  • legal documents to show the accompanying parent has sole custody of the child and the other parent has no visitation rights, or
  • a signed statement from the other parent, witnessed according to local practice or law, stating that the other parent allows the child to remain in New Zealand with the accompanying parent over the period of intended stay.

Recognised Seasonal Employer allocation

Employers in the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Scheme get an RSE allocation based on the RSE Cap numbers available. The allocation is how many workers they can hire and bring into New Zealand on the RSE Limited Visa.

The Government sets the total number of RSE workers who can work under the RSE scheme. It is called the RSE Cap and is currently 19,500. The RSE Cap is the total amount of RSE workers that can arrive into New Zealand over a season. For the purposes of the RSE Scheme a season starts from 1 July one year and ends 30 June the following year.

If there is an increase to the RSE Cap, then a decision is made by Immigration New Zealand (INZ) around allocations and RSE employers are advised.

When setting the RSE Cap, consideration is given to the horticulture and viticulture industries' assessment of its needs, production growth forecasts, employer demand, and RSE Cap growth trends from recent years.


SSE approved employer

An employer that has INZ approval under the Supplementary Seasonal Employer Scheme (SSE) to recruit temporary visa holders already in New Zealand to plant, maintain, harvest or pack crops when there are not enough New Zealanders available to do the work. Or until 30 June 2021:

  • a Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) with an approved Agreement to Recruit where places have been unable to be filled by RSE workers, or
  • any employer for the specified role for a specified region for the specified period, as published by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) on the Work and Income website.

Schengen member state

A country that has agreed to allow the free movement of citizens within the Schengen Area.

Seasonal Labour Co-ordinator

A person employed by the horticulture and viticulture industries to find people to do seasonal work in New Zealand, including for approved Supplementary Seasonal Employers.

Seasonal work

Planting, maintaining, harvesting or packing crops in the horticulture or viticulture industries.

Section 49 conditions

Sometimes visas are subject to extra conditions under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act 2009. We call these section 49 conditions. For example, if you’re granted residence under the Skilled Migrant Category a section 49 condition could be that you take up an offer of skilled employment within 3 months of arriving in New Zealand.

Sector agreement

An agreement between Immigration New Zealand and a certain sector, for example the Meat Processing sector or Tourism sector.

Sector agreements may allow certain roles in that sector to be paid below NZD$29.66 an hour (the February 2023 median wage) as part of an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV).

Skilled residence applications

Skilled residence applications include the:

  • Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa
  • Straight to Residence Visa
  • Work to Residence Visa
  • Care Workforce Work to Residence Visa
  • Transport Work to Residence Visa

New Zealand skilled residence pathways

Skills Match Report

A report from New Zealand’s Work and Income that detailed if any New Zealanders were available to work in a particular occupation.

A Skills Match Report was required for most Essential Skills applications for work that paid below the median wage.

Sole carer

A person who has the primary responsibility for the day-to-day care of a dependent relative or relatives in New Zealand, on an ongoing basis.

Special category visitor visas

A visitor visa that allows people who aren’t tourists to visit New Zealand for a short time. You may be eligible for a visitor visa in a special category, if you have a specific reason for your visit. Examples include:

  • for business reasons
  • to take part in a New Zealand Trade and Enterprise or New Zealand Tourism Board Visiting Media Programme
  • to join a vessel or aircraft as crew
  • to take part in a sports events, either as a sports person, support staff, or media or broadcasting personnel
  • as a visiting academic
  • to take part in an approved arts or music festival
  • to take part in a high-end music act.
  • to travel to New Zealand as a tour escort.

Special direction

A decision made by New Zealand’s Immigration Minister (or his or her delegate) to waive an immigration requirement for, or impose an immigration condition on a person, visa, or document. Special directions are only made in very special circumstances.

Specialist personnel

Specialist personnel are employees who:

  • Are transferred to undertake a specific or specialist task at a senior level within an organisation
  • Possess knowledge of the organisation’s service, research equipment, techniques or management.


A guarantee from a person, organisation or government agency to look after you while you visit, study, work or settle in New Zealand. If you're coming temporarily, your sponsor will also guarantee the cost of your return home .

Statutory Declaration

A written statement of facts, signed by you declaring the facts you wrote are true. Declarations have to be signed in front of an authorised person, such as a Justice of the Peace, a barrister or solicitor, a Notary Public who also signs the statement to confirm it was signed by you.

Sufficient funds for students

Full fee paying students must provide evidence they have enough money to live on while they are in New Zealand.

Evidence can include:

  • bank statements showing funds held by or on behalf of the student that showing the equivalent of NZD $15, 000 for a full year of study, or NZD $1,250 per month in New Zealand. If they applied after 31 July 2022, they need NZD $20,000 per year of tertiary, English language, or other non-compulsory education. For all compulsory education (years 1-13 at a school) they need proof of NZD $17,000 per year
  • a 'Sponsorship Form for Temporary Entry' completed by an acceptable sponsor
  • a completed 'Financial Undertaking for a Student' form.

Funds held by or on behalf of the student must be from a genuine source (such as the salary of the student’s parents) and be available to the student throughout their stay in New Zealand.

Sponsorship Form for Temporary Entry (INZ 1025)

Financial Undertaking for a Student (INZ 1014)

Support staff at a sports event, tour or tournament

People whose job it is to support sports events and tours, such as:

  • team management, including coaches, administrative and logistics staff
  • medical personnel, including doctors and physiotherapists
  • match officials, including referees and umpires
  • tournament officials, including judicial and anti-doping officials.

Support workers' level 4 minimum wage rate

The level 4 support workers' minimum wage rate from 1 July 2022 is $28.25 per hour.

Sydney Accord

The Sydney Accord is an international mutual recognition agreement for qualifications in the fields of engineering technology.

Sydney Accord accredited undergraduate degrees are recognised under the Skilled Migrant Category.

List of signatories on International Engineering Alliance website


Travel conditions

Instructions on a visa that give the visa holder permission to enter a country for a certain amount of time. The instructions also state that the visa holder can enter the country either once (a single entry visa) or many times over a stated period of time (a multiple entry visa).

Tertiary education institute

A New Zealand university, institute of technology, polytechnic or wānanga.

Tier one sponsor (RFSC)

An eligible sponsor who has registered as a sponsor under the Refugee Family Support Category and either:

  • doesn’t have any immediate family living in New Zealand as New Zealand citizens or residents
  • the only family they have in New Zealand depend solely on them to meet their ongoing needs for day-to-day care.

Tier two sponsor (RFSC)

An eligible sponsor who has registered as a sponsor under the Refugee Family Support Category and both:

  • has been a New Zealand resident or citizen for 3 years or more when they register
  • has spent 184 or more days in New Zealand as a citizen or resident in each of the 3 years before they register.

Tour escorts and tour guides

A tour escort travels with and provides support for a tour group in New Zealand. They are responsible for logistical and organisational support, such as arrival and departure formalities and translation, rather than leading activities or providing in-depth local knowledge.

A tour escort may be granted a visitor visa to carry out their duties in New Zealand.

Tour Escort Visitor Visa

A tour guide leads a tour group in New Zealand, is employed by a New Zealand employer and provides in-depth local knowledge of New Zealand society, history, geography, etc.

A person performing some or all of the role or duties of a tour guide must apply for a specific purpose work visa.

Specific Purpose Work Visa

Transit passenger

A passenger who arrives by plane into New Zealand while on their way to another country, and for the whole time they are in New Zealand stays:

  • in the transit area at Auckland Airport —  there are no transit areas at other New Zealand airports
  • on board the plane they came to New Zealand on, or
  • in the custody of New Zealand Police.

The time a passenger spends in transit will be less than 24 hours.

Transit visa waiver country

A country whose citizens do not have to apply for a visa before passing through New Zealand as a transit passenger. Travellers must request a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA).

Transit visa waiver countries

Triangular employment

A triangular employment arrangement involves three parties:

  • the employee
  • the direct employer – who holds the employment agreement with the employee and places them with the controlling third party
  • the controlling third party who directs the day-to-day work of the employee.


An acronym for Transitioning to Recognised Seasonal Employer, a visa we used to grant to allow people to do seasonal work in the horticulture and viticulture industries. It’s been replaced by the Seasonal Supplementary Employment (SSE) Work Visa.


Uncapped sector agreement

Uncapped sector agreements cover these employment sectors:

  • care workforce
  • tourism and hospitality
  • construction and infrastructure
  • seasonal snow and adventure tourism
  • transport.

Uncapped sector agreements are between employers and Immigration New Zealand. Employers in uncapped sectors can:

  • hire any number of migrant workers, and
  • pay their migrant workers below NZD$29.66 an hour (the February 2023 median wage), but at an agreed wage rate.

Sector agreements and hiring migrants on an Accredited Employer Work Visa

Unencumbered funds

Funds that are free from mortgages, liens, charges, loans, bonds and creditor claims.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is the United Nations refugee agency.

Unlicensed adviser

A person who is neither licensed under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007 to operate as an immigration adviser or exempt under section 11 from the requirement to be licensed.


Và cho rằng bạn đang bị bóc lột

Bóc lột người di cư là hành vi gây ra hoặc làm tăng nguy cơ gây tổn hại đáng kể đến phúc lợi kinh tế, xã hội, thể chất hoặc tinh thần của người lao động di cư. Điều này bao gồm vi phạm các tiêu chuẩn làm việc tối thiểu hoặc vi phạm luật về sức khỏe, an toàn và nhập cư. Điều này không bao gồm các vi phạm nhỏ và không đáng kể, không xảy ra thường xuyên và dễ dàng khắc phục.

Variation of conditions

A change to the conditions of a student, work or visitor visa. You may apply for a variation of conditions to allow you to:

  • travel to and from New Zealand more than once
  • change the course you’re studying, or the education provider you’re studying with, or to work during the holidays (student visas)
  • change your occupation, employer, place of employment, or study part-time (work visas)
  • do seasonal work, work-part time, or study (visitor visas).

Venture capital fund

A fund that invests capital in an early-stage or start-up (or seed) company in exchange for an equity stake in that company.

Visa waiver country or territory

A country or territory whose citizens do not have to apply for a visa before travelling to New Zealand, when:

  • they are coming for a short visit of 3 months or less (or 6 months or less for British citizens)
  • the reason for their visit is not medical consultation or treatment.

Visa waiver countries and territories

Viticulture industry

Grape-growing businesses.


You must not expect or receive gain or reward for the volunteer work you do.

Gain or reward is any payment or benefit that can be valued in terms of money.

Examples include:

  • accommodation, such as board or lodging
  • goods, such as food or clothing
  • services, such as transport.

If your intention is to receive gain or reward, you are not considered to be a volunteer and should consider applying for a work visa.

Note that WWOOFing (Willing Workers on Organic Farms in New Zealand) is considered to be work, as WWOOFers receive food and accommodation. WWOOFers must hold a work visa.


Washington Accord

The Washington Accord is an international accreditation agreement for professional engineering academic degrees, between the bodies responsible for accreditation in its signatory countries.

Washington Accord accredited undergraduate degrees are recognised under the Skilled Migrant Category.

Washington Accord signatories on the International Engineering Alliance website


An activity which you are paid to do, either in salary or wages, or another benefit like accommodation, food or transport.

Work doesn’t include:

  • business visits for less than 3 months
  • activities by visiting media, academics, sports people and their support staff, or approved festival performers and their crew
  • official business for a foreign government
  • volunteer work for the Department of Conservation (DOC).

Department of Conservation website |

Work to Residence visas

The Work to Residence Category of visas includes the:

  • Work to Residence Visa
  • Transport Work to Residence Visa
  • Care Workforce Work to Residence Visa
  • Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports) Work Visa
  • Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)
  • Religious Worker Work Visa
  • South Island Contribution Work Visa.