China Special Work Visa

Apply if you have a job offer as a qualified chef, traditional medicine practitioner, Mandarin teacher’s aide, Wushu martial arts coach or tour guide. You must be a citizen of the People’s Republic of China.

Length of stay
Up to

3 years

Each year


NZD $700
Processing time
80% within
6 weeks
With this visa you can
  • Come to New Zealand to work in a China special work occupation.
  • Study for up to 3 months.
Things to note
  • The length of your stay will depend on the length of your job offer.
  • At any one time under the China Special Work Category, New Zealand can have: 200 Chinese chefs, 200 traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, 150 Mandarin teacher’s aides, 150 Wushu martial arts coaches, 100 Chinese tour guides.
  • If you’re granted a visa for less than 3 years, you can apply for another visa for the balance of the time while in New Zealand. You’ll need to continue to meet all of the criteria to be granted another 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.
    Explore family visa options

What you need to apply

Check if you are eligible to apply for this visa and what supporting documents and information you need to provide.

View All Evidence

You must provide proof of your identity:

Acceptable photos

You may provide your original passport, or a certified copy when you submit your application. If you provide a certified copy we may request your original passport to complete your application.


Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months after you plan to leave New Zealand.

If you are a citizen of China and you submit a paper application form in China, you must also complete a supplementary form.

Supplementary form for Chinese citizens (INZ 1027) PDF 338KB

Also provide your:

  • Hukou (household registration book)
  • Chinese identity card.

You must have a chest x-ray and a medical examination as proof of your good health.

Getting an x-ray or medical examination


You must provide a chest x-ray completed in the last 3 months, even if you've provided one to us previously, if:

  • you have spent 6 consecutive months in China since the last x-ray certificate was issued, and
  • you are now coming to NZ for more than 6 months.

If you have a criminal conviction or are a security risk to New Zealand we may not be able to grant you a visa.

Good character for temporary visas

You must provide police certificates if your total time in New Zealand will be 24 months or longer across all visits. This includes any time you have spent in New Zealand in the past on other visas, even if you have been out of the country since then.

You also must provide police certificates if we ask for them.

If you are 16 years old or younger you do not need to provide police certificates.

Providing police certificates

How to get a police certificate

If you have already sent us Police Certificates with a previous visa application and they are less than 24 months old, you do not need to send them again.

Police certificates must be less than 6 months old when you submit your application. They must be from any country you are a citizen of, or have spent more than 5 years in since you turned 17.


If you provide a police certificate that is not in English, you must provide an English translation.

This includes police certificates that record no convictions.

When we decide if your intentions are genuine, we consider all the information:

  • you provide to support your application
  • we have about your personal circumstances, and
  • you provided in any previous applications.

Genuine intentions to visit, study or work in NZ

You must provide a valid People’s Republic of China passport.


Also provide your:

  • Hukou (household registration book)
  • Chinese identity card.

You must provide:

  • a copy of a job offer of full-time work from your New Zealand employer
  • your employer’s name and contact details
  • a copy of your job description
  • a copy of your employment agreement.

Employment agreements and rights


Your New Zealand job offer must be for one of the following special work occupations:

  • Chinese chef
  • Traditional Chinese medicine practitioner (including nurses)
  • Mandarin teacher’s aide
  • Wushu Martial Arts Coach
  • Chinese tour guide.

Process and costs

The information below will help you understand the process, timeframes and costs involved in applying for this visa, so you can plan ahead and have the best chance of submitting a complete application.


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How to submit

Payment methods and receiving centre details if applicable.


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These are the conditions that you must meet once you have your visa.

Entry permission

You must apply for entry permission when you arrive in New Zealand. You can do this by completing a digital New Zealand traveller declaration (NZTD), or an NZTD paper declaration.

New Zealand Customs and Biosecurity also check that you meet their entry requirements.

Arriving in New Zealand


You can be refused entry permission if:

  • you don’t meet our character requirements
  • your circumstances have changed since you were granted a visa
  • you refuse to let us to take your photo, or provide us with your fingerprints or an iris scan, if we ask you for them.


You may work only in the specific occupation, for the employer and in the location specified on your visa.


You can study for up to 3 months.


If you want to study for longer than this you’ll need to apply for a student visa.


You have to come to New Zealand within 6 months of the date your visa is granted.

After you arrive in New Zealand, you can come and go from New Zealand as many times as you like before your visa expires.

Visa expiry

You must leave New Zealand before your visa expires.


After you’ve been back in China for 3 years, you can apply for another China Special Work Visa if you wish.