New Zealand Work Visa

Work Visas for Foreigners

8e5b0eee1cWork visas for foreigners desiring to work in New Zealand are highly sought after.
Foreigners seeking to work in New Zealand must obtain a work visa and this is usually a Work To Residence WTR type. This allows the recipient a 24 month period of working in New Zealand and following a successful completion,  an application for permanent residence status is usually granted.

There are three types of Work to Residence visas:

  1. WR1   Talent   (accredited employers)
  2. WR2   Talent   (Arts, Culture and Sports)
  3. WR3    Long Term Skilled Shortage List

All three visas will allow a 30 month work period and with multiple entry- meaning one can leave and return any amount of times during that period.

Talent Visas – details

  1. Most people intending to move to New Zealand and work usually aim for the first one WR1.  Both are similar and both require that the applicant be under 56 years of age – over that is considered retired. 'Talent' means you have certain abilities that are desirable that would make a positive contribution to the New Zealand economy or society.
  2. WR1  and WR2 both require that you have found a nationally accredited employer that has given you a firm job offer, thus this should precede all other immigration paperwork.
  3. WR1 requires a  salary of a minimum of  NZ$45,000 and must be confirmed by the employer.
  4. WR2 requires that you be 'extraordinary' in your particular talent or gift. Proof would be required by the Immigration Service.

WR3 Long Term Skilled Shortage List – details

  1. This visa is exactly as described,  your skill must be on a particular list of skills that are in high demand. The only major requirement is that your skill simply be on the list.
  2. Unlike the WR1 &2, there is no age limit whatsoever.
  3. No employer need be listed as a job guarantor.
  4. To prove you have that desired skill all degrees, diplomas, accreditation must be in order.
  5. All the necessary job descriptions and requirements are included on the WR3 listing.

Working Holiday Visa New Zealand

The Minister of Immigration and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade announced some major changes to the working holiday schemes New Zealand has with a number of other countries. The changes will all take effect on 1 July 2005.

Working Holiday Schemes (WHS) currently allow 31,000 young people from 22 countries to spend 12 months in New Zealand and undertake temporary work. The schemes contribute to positive outcomes for New Zealand by strengthening international linkages, providing a good source of skilled migrants and contributing to our economy.

The changes include:

  • increasing the overall number of working holidaymakers allowed into New Zealand
  • dividing an extra 10,000 places between the schemes for Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Norway and the USA
  • removing the cap (which means there will be no upper limit on the amount of places) from the schemes for Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom
  • easing the work restrictions (no more than three months with any one employer) from the schemes for Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden and the USA
  • allowing working holidaymakers from the United Kingdom to stay for up to 2 years (ie 23 months)
  • As the schemes broadly operate on a reciprocal basis, the changes mean that young New Zealanders will also benefit from the changes


Student Work Rights New Zealand

Guiding Statement
The following is a guiding statement for immigration student policy. Immigration student policy contributes to New Zealand’s sustainable economic development by:

  • facilitating the entry of genuine students, with a focus on attracting and developing students who have the skills and talent New Zealand needs
  • increasing global connectedness
    supporting the sustainable growth of export education capability
  • earning foreign exchange, and strengthening New Zealand education, while managing risk to New Zealand and maintaining social  cohesion.
  • Expanded Work Opportunities for Students (and Some Partners)

Term-time work rights

Term-time work rights of 20 hours per week will be available to the following students:

  • all students enrolled in a full-time course of at least two years
  • all students enrolled in a course that would result in points under the Skilled Migrant Category (see section SM14 of our Operational Manual) (regardless of length of course or type of institution)
  • secondary students engaged in full-time, full-year course of study in Year 12 or Year 13 with written permission from their school and parental consent
  • English language students with an IELTS overall band score of 5.0 or above at the time of application for a visa or permit to study a full time course of at least six months duration.

Christmas holiday work rights
The right to work full-time in the Christmas holiday period will be available to any student enrolled in a course of 12 months or more duration.

Partner’s work rights
Open work permits will be available to the partners of the following students:

  • students enrolled in courses of study towards qualifications in areas of absolute skill shortage as specified in the Long Term Skill Shortage List students enrolled in postgraduate qualifications i.e. levels 8, 9, or 10 on the qualifications table.

Facilitating the Pathway from Study to Work to Residence

New work permit for some graduates
Any student regardless of institution type who successfully completes a course in New Zealand resulting in a qualification that would get points under the Skilled Migrant Category will be eligible to apply for a six -month open work permit.
Once they have secured relevant employment they can then apply for either a post-study two-year work permit (currently specified in our Operational Manual at U7.20.15) or proceed directly to the Skilled Migrant Category.

Special Conditions for NZAID Students

Work rights for some NZAID students
NZAID students to be granted term-time work rights if:

  • the student has written approval from NZAID and the education provider, and
  • the work is a compulsory course requirement or is related to their postgraduate course of study.
  • Work rights for some partners of NZAID students

Partners of NZAID students will be eligible for a work permit which will not need a labour market test if:

  • they have a job offer, and
  • written approval of NZAID.

Further permits restricted
NZAID students, their partners and dependants may only be issued with further visas or permits for New Zealand in the two-year period following completion of their scholarship with NZAID approval (with the exception of a work permit to complete course requirements, or a short-term visitor’s visa).