Information about Essential Skills Work Visa

If you have 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. Unless you are staying with the same employer and in the same role and region, your employer must have checked if any New Zealanders were available to do the work, before offering you the job. If you are granted this visa, you may be able to support visa applications for your partner and dependent children.


Up to 3 years

All conditions

With this visa you can

  • Work in New Zealand for an employer who has offered you a full-time job.
  • Study for up to 3 months in any 12 month period, or do any study required as part of your employment.

Things to note

  • You can stay up to 3 years depending on the pay rate of the job you are offered.
    How long you can stay
  • Changes have been made to Essential Skills visas to streamline application processing and increase visa duration.
    Essential Skills Work Visa changes
  • This visa will close to applications on 3 July 2022, and be replaced by the Accredited Employer Work Visa from 4 July 2022.
  • Your employer may need to try to recruit any suitable New Zealanders who are available to do the work before offering you the job.
  • Your partner or dependent children may be able to apply separately for visas based on their relationship to you.



Check that you meet the detailed criteria.

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