Work visa holders

You must check that the work visa a migrant holds will let them work for you. Some migrants can only work for a specific employer.

Restrictions and exceptions due to COVID-19 

You can request to bring critical workers into New Zealand while the border is closed on the basis of them being ‘other critical workers’ — this group was previously called ‘essential workers’.

COVID-19: Key updates

NZ employer COVID-19 information

Changes to temporary work visas in 2022

Immigration New Zealand is making major changes to the way you recruit some migrants for temporary work. People can no longer apply directly for work visas - an employer has to apply on their behalf.

New accreditation and single work visa

Checking a migrant's work visa

It is your responsibility to check that a migrant has a visa that lets them work for you. The quickest and most reliable way to find out is to use our online tool, VisaView. It holds information about the work rights for every migrant.


You need a RealMe login to use VisaView.

Log in to VisaView with RealMe

If a migrant already has a work visa

A migrant already in New Zealand can only work for you if:

  • they have an open work visa — that is, their visa is not based on a job with a specific employer, or
  • before they start working for you, they:
    • apply to change the conditions of their current visa so you can employ them, or
    • get a new visa that lets them work for you.

If they do not have an open work visa, they can only work for you if you are the employer named on their visa.

Varying the conditions of a temporary visa

If a migrant has completed study in New Zealand

Graduates can apply for a Post-study work visa which lets them work for almost any employer for 1, 2 or 3 years, depending on their qualifications.

Post-study work visa

Graduates holding a work visa

Being a good employer

All workers in New Zealand — citizens and migrants — have the same rights.

Complying with immigration and employment law