South Island Contribution Work Visa

You can apply for this visa if you have an Essential Skills Work Visa and have been employed in the South Island for over 5 years. This visa provides a path to residence if you remain in the same industry and region.

Length of stay

30 months

Age range

55 and under

NZD $860
Processing time
80% within
7 weeks
With this visa you can
  • Work in the industry and region specified on your current Essential Skills Work Visa.
  • Apply for residence after 2 years.
Things to note
  • You must have been employed full time in the South Island as the holder of an Essential Skills Work Visa for the 5 years prior to 22 May 2017.
  • You can’t include a partner or dependent children in your work visa application, but they can apply for visas based on their relationship to you.

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.


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

If you are submitting a paper application form, you must provide a supplementary form for Hong Kong and Macao visitors, workers and students.

Supplementary form for Hong Kong and Macao visitors, workers and students (INZ 1220) PDF 240KB

Also provide your:

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

Also provide a copy of your Identity card.

If you are 17 or over, you must provide a police certificate from:

  • your country of citizenship
  • any country you have lived in for 5 years or more since you turned 17 years old.

Good character

How to get a police certificate


Police certificates must be less than 6 months old at the time you apply.

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.

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.

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

We check your identity documents — for example, your passport — to confirm your age.

We’ll confirm this by checking our records when you apply.

During this time you must have:

  • held an Essential Skills Work Visa, or an Interim visa, which specified work in the South Island
  • been employed full-time.

Time spent working outside the South Island can count towards the five years employment required if you spent no more than three months outside the South Island per calendar year, and no more than 12 months in total.

You must hold current employment or have an offer of employment which is:

  • full-time
  • paid by salary or wages
  • genuine
  • sustainable and ongoing (ie. permanent or indefinite, or for a stated term of at least 24 months)
  • in the South Island
  • based on terms and conditions which are not less than those of the New Zealand market
  • with an employer who has a history of compliance with immigration and employment law, and is not included on the list of non-compliant employers maintained by the Labour Inspectorate.

Non-compliant employers


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.

Gather your documents

Prepare and gather all the documentation you need for this visa.

Wait for a decision

If there is anything else you need to do, we will be in touch.

Timeframes - Processing
80% within 7 weeks

80% of applications are currently completed within this time.

Apply for a resident visa

Once you have held your South Island Contribution Work Visa for 24 months you can apply for residence under the South Island Contribution Resident Visa category.

South Island Contribution Resident Visa

How to submit

Payment methods and receiving centre details if applicable.

Applying on paper

Payment methods

By Post

Credit Card
You can pay with Visa or MasterCard. We take payment when we receive your application. You must have enough funds available on the day we receive your application or it may be returned to you.

Debit Card
You can pay by debit card. We take payment when we receive your application. You must have enough funds available on the day we receive your application or it may be returned to you.

Postal address

Immigration New Zealand
PO Box 76895
Manukau City
Auckland 2241
New Zealand

Courier address

Immigration NZ
DX Box: EP71514
20 Fairfax Avenue
Auckland 1061
New Zealand


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 must work in the industry and region specified on your visa label.


You can study for up to 3 months in any 12-month period.

Keep your visa in a valid passport

If you want to travel, your visa must be in a valid passport.

If your passport expires, you must apply to transfer your visa to a new passport before you can travel.

Transferring my visa to a new passport


To transfer your visa, you must:

  • send us your old and new passports
  • complete an ‘Application for Transfer or Confirmation of a Visa’
  • pay a transfer fee.

Application for transfer or confirmation of a visa

Application for Transfer or Confirmation of a Visa (INZ 1023) PDF 375KB

Fees, decision times and where to apply