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. 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 depending on the pay rate of the job you are offered.

How long you can stay

All conditions

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

  • This visa will be closing to new applications on 31 October 2021. It will be replaced by the Accredited Employer Work Visa from 1 November 2021.

Introducing new accreditation and single work visa

  • Your employer needs 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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Work visa