About this visa Essential Skills Work Visa

If you’ve been offered a full-time job, and you have the necessary qualifications and experience to work in that job, you can apply for a temporary visa to work in New Zealand. Your employer must have checked if any New Zealanders were available to do the work, before offering you the job. If you're granted this visa, you’ll be able to support visa applications for your partner and dependent children.

Overview

Up to 5 years depending on the skill level of the job you’re offered

How long you can stay


All Visa Conditions

With this visa you can

  • Work in New Zealand for the employer whose job offer is the basis of your visa application.

Things to note

  • We’ll check if any New Zealanders are available to do the work before we grant a visa.
  • You can’t include your partner or dependent children in your visa application, but they can apply for visas based on their relationship to you. For your dependent children to be eligible for a visa, you’ll need to be earning at least NZ $36,850.44.
  • This visa doesn't allow self-employment. If you want to be self-employed, you can apply for an Entrepreneur Work Visa.

Entrepreneur Work Visa

Explore family visa options

The application process

Stage 1

1 You’re offered full-time work in New Zealand

To apply for this visa, you’ll need to provide a written employment and an ‘Employer Supplementary Form’ completed by your employer. Their form must include evidence they made genuine attempts to recruit New Zealanders, unless:

  • your work is in an occupation on an Essential Skills in Demand List and you have the qualifications and/or work experience listed for that occupation
  • you’ve recently applied, or been invited to apply for residence under our Skilled Migrant Category.

Your employer must also engage with Work and Income and obtain a Skills Match Report if your job offer is for a low-skilled role.

 

2 Apply for a work visa

Check if you’re eligible to apply online, it’s faster and easier. You can then apply and pay online.

Or apply on the paper form and send it to us with your application fee, immigration levy, and your supporting documents.

You can use our Office and fees finder to find out how much you’ll need to pay, and where to send your application.

Eligible to apply online

 

3 We make a decision about your application

We’ll process your application as soon as we can.

Most online applications are processed within 22 days, and most paper applications within 24 days, but it can take longer in some situations.

If there’s anything else you need to do, we’ll be in touch.

How long you can stay on an Essential Skills Work Visa

Please check that you meet the detailed criteria before you apply for a visa or travel to New Zealand

Use the filters to display detailed criteria and evidence

Work visa