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W2.5 Work visa streams

There are four streams within work visa instructions:

  1. The skilled stream;
  2. The family stream;
  3. The international/humanitarian stream; and
  4. The special work stream.

W2.5.1 Skilled stream

  1. The Skilled stream consists of four broad sets of instructions under which New Zealand facilitates the entry of skilled people:
    1. Work to residence (see WR);
    2. Essential skills (see WK); and
    3. Specific purpose or event (see WS); and
    4. Students/trainees (see WE)
  2. ‘Work to Residence' facilitates the entry of people whose skills are in demand and provides them with a pathway to residence.
  3. ‘Essential skills' facilitates the entry of people required on a temporary basis to fill shortages where New Zealand citizens or residence class visa holders are not available for the work offered.
  4. ‘Specific purpose or event' facilitates the entry of people who have demonstrated skills, expertise or attributes that are likely to benefit New Zealand, where there is no risk of negative impact on opportunities for New Zealand citizens or residence class visa holders.
  5. ‘Students and trainees' facilitates the entry of students and trainees to gain practical work experience or to train as part of their studies.

W2.5.5 Family stream

The Family stream (see WF) enables the following people to undertake temporary employment in New Zealand:

  1. the partners of New Zealand citizens or residence class visa holders, and partners of Long Term Business Visa holders, whose ultimate intention is likely to be to apply for residence; and
  2. the partners of holders of work visas.

W2.5.10 International/Humanitarian stream

The International and Humanitarian stream consists of:

  1. working holiday schemes to allow people from other countries to be granted permission to work on a reciprocal basis; and
  2. provisions to enable New Zealand to meet its humanitarian and international obligations.

W2.5.15 Special work policies stream

  1. The special work stream consists of:
    1. horticulture and viticulture seasonal work instructions;
    2. foreign crew of fishing vessels instructions;
    3. religious worker instructions.
  2. The horticulture and viticulture seasonal work instructions facilitate the entry of seasonal workers to support the horticulture and viticulture industries (see WH).
  3. The foreign crew of fishing vessels instructions provide for the grant of work visas to foreign crew employed on fishing vessels in New Zealand’s fisheries waters (see WJ).
  4. The religious worker instructions enable the entry of workers to undertake genuine religious work in New Zealand, providing New Zealand communities with the opportunity to practice, maintain and advance their religious beliefs.

Effective 17/12/2012


W2.1 Who does not need to apply for a work visa

W2.2 Definitions

W2.10 Generic work visa instructions

W2.15 Funds requirements

W2.20 Onward travel requirements

W2.25 Conditions of work visas

W2.30 Travel conditions on work visas


W2.5 Work visa streams (07/11/2011)

W2.5 Work visa streams (29/11/2010)

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