Phone: (+64) 9 309 8889 Email:

If you wish to work in New Zealand, there are various temporary work visas. Briefly, the main categories you might qualify under are:

Essential Skills Work Policy

If you have a job offer which is included on the Immediate Skills Shortage List (ISSL) and you meet the list’s requirements, you have a good chance of getting a work visa. You can check here to see if your occupation is included:

Otherwise, if your offer of employment is not included on the ISSL list you can still apply for a work visa, however it will be depend largely on the availability of local workers. INZ will run a labour market check to see if local workers are available to fill the position in that region. If so, your chances of being granted a work visa are less. Obviously the more highly skilled your job, the more likely you are to be successful. 

Entrepreneur Work Visa

This is a 3 year work visa which allows you to start up a business or purchase an existing business, and later apply for residence under the Entrepreneur category. Initially INZ will give you a 12 months' work visa to allow you to start up your business. After 12 months, if you have established it, you will be granted the remaining 2 years. This category is complex and requires a strong business plan with realistic goals and substantial investment funds.

Work to Residence (Skilled Migrant Policy)

If you have applied for residence under the Skilled Migrant category with 160 points or more, but without a job offer, INZ may first grant you a 9 months’ work visa so that you can come to New Zealand and look for skilled employment which is relevant to your application.

Residence from Work (Long Term Skill Shortage List)

This is for skilled applicants with a job offer in an occupation included on the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL). You will receive a multiple entry work visa allowing a stay in New Zealand of 30 months. If you work in that occupation for at least 2 years you will have the opportunity to apply for residence - if you meet the criteria.

Silver Fern VISA

This category offers a 9 months skilled work visa for people outside NZ between 20 to 35 years of age. Basic requirements are a recognised qualification, sufficient English fluency, NZ$4,200 in funds and acceptable health and character.  There are only 300 places available each year in April, which fill up fast!

Working Holiday Visa

Work visas for citizens of various countries which allow short-term work for a specific number of 18 - 30 year olds. The list of countries is expanding, so it’s best to keep an eye on the INZ website to see if your country qualifies.

Work Visa under Talent (Accredited Employers) Work Policy

Companies who have gained INZ accreditation may extend a job offer to you, if all criteria are met. This allows you to apply for a temporary work visa, allowing a stay in New Zealand of 30 months.

Partner of a NZ citizen or resident

If you live with an NZ citizen or resident as a married or de facto couple and can provide solid evidence of your co-habitation, you may apply for and may be granted an open work visa. This allows you to work for any employer or be self-employed.

For details of your individual circumstances please contact us for a personal assessment.