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Work Visas

Work Visas have strict policy instructions under which the applicant needs to qualify. Most work visas include restrictions to work in a particular occupation, for a specific employer, or in a particular region of New Zealand. 

The main work visa that is available for applicants looking to work in New Zealand is the Accredited Employer Work Visa. Since this visa's introduction, Immigration New Zealand has made employer accreditation mandatory for employers to hire migrant workers on this visa. This visa is restricted to a particular job & employer.

Image by Marvin Meyer

Accredited Employer Work Visa

This visa allows you to stay in New Zealand for up to 3 years if you have a job offer from an accredited employer and the skills and qualifications for the job.

On this visa:

  • if you are eligible, you can apply for a Straight to Residence Visa, Work to Residence Visa, Care Workforce, or Transport Work to Residence Visa.

  • if you are eligible, use skilled work experience in New Zealand to claim points towards the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa.

  • you can study for up to 3 months in any 12-month period, or do any study required as part of your employment.

  • you can support a work visa for your partner and visitor or student visas for your dependent children. 


This visa ties you to the employer - if your situation changes, you will need to vary the conditions of your visa or apply for a new visa. If in doubt, contact us.

Partnership based Work Visas

Partner of a student work visa

This visa allows you to work in New Zealand for the duration of your partner's student visa if you have a partner who is studying an eligible level 7 or 8 qualification or any level 9 or 10 qualification.

Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa

This visa allows you to work in New Zealand if you have a partner who is a New Zealand citizen or resident.

Partner of a Worker Work Visa

This visa allows you to work in New Zealand for the duration of your partner's work visa.


  1. Partner of Military Work Visa

  2. Partner of an NZ Scholarship Student Work Visa

  3. Victims of Family Violence Work Visa

Post-Study Work Visa

This visa allows you to stay and work here for up to 3 years, depending on what you studied.


You can apply for this visa if you have recently finished your studies in New Zealand.


You can work for any employer in any job if you have a degree level 7 or above qualification.

You can work in a job that is related to what you studied if your qualification is non-degree level 7 or below. Your qualification must also be on the Qualifications Eligible for a Post Study Work Visa list.

Entrepreneur Work Visa

This visa allows you to work in your own business in New Zealand if you have a business plan, at least  NZD $100,000 to invest, and are able to claim 120 points on Immigration New Zealand's points scale.

With this visa, you can:

  1. Come to New Zealand to buy or set up your own business.

  2. Work in your own business in New Zealand for up to 3 years in total.

  3. Include your partner, and dependent children aged 19 and under, in your visa application. 

If your business is in the science or ICT sectors and shows a high level of innovation or export potential, Immigration New Zealand may consider waiving the NZD $100,000 capital investment requirement.

You can stay 12 months in the start-up stage. Once you can show that the business has been set up, then you can stay another  24 months.

Entrepreneur Residence Visa

You can apply for this visa if you have been self-employed in New Zealand for at least 6 months, or have operated a self-employed business for 2 years on another visa.

This visa allows you to stay in New Zealand indefinately.

Working Holiday 

Working Holiday Visa

Citizens of certain countries can apply for this visa if they want to work and study in New Zealand. You must be between 18 to 35 years old.

With this visa, you:

  1. can work in New Zealand for up to 12 months. 

  2. can study or train for up to 6 months in total. 

  3. can’t accept a permanent job.

Working Holiday Extension Work Visa

This visa allows you to stay in New Zealand for another 3 months if you are on a Working Holiday Visa and have done seasonal work in the viticulture or horticulture industries.  

You can only be granted one  Working  Holiday Extension Visa 

Your seasonal work doesn’t need to be continuous or for the same employer.


You don’t have to have a job offer to apply. 


If approved your extended visa will retain the same conditions as your initial Working Holiday Visa.


Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports)

You can apply for this visa if you have exceptional talent in the field of art, sport, or culture.

With this visa, you can

  • You can stay up to 30 months on a work visa, and then if your residence application is successful, indefinitely.

  • Start your pathway to residence in New Zealand by being actively engaged in your field of art, culture or sport in New Zealand for up to 30 months.

  • Apply for residence after 2 years of being actively engaged in your field of art, culture or sport in New Zealand, which if granted, will allow you to live and work in New Zealand indefinitely.

Specific Purpose Visa

This visa allows you to come to New Zealand for a specific purpose or event. This includes migrants traveling to New Zealand to work in the recovery from extreme weather events.

Singapore Work Exchange Programme Visa

You can apply for this visa if you are 18 to 30 years old and a citizen of Singapore. This visa allows you to work and study in New Zealand for a short amount of time.

Jobs in demand

Green List Roles

The Green List contains a small number of highly skilled roles that have been identified as being in ongoing shortage in New Zealand.


These roles will have registration, qualification, or experience requirements.


Employers won’t need to provide proof of advertising for these occupations. 


Eligible migrants working in these occupations will have clear pathways to residence, either through a direct-to-residence application or after working for in New Zealand depending on the role.


Their partners will have open work rights. Both residence pathways will be limited to migrants 55 years or younger.

Green List - Tier 1 Occupations

Straight to Residence pathway  


Eligible migrants in these occupations can apply for residence now.


External Auditor

Internal Auditor

Construction Project Manager

Project Builder (including Building Project Manager and Site Foreman)

Quantity Surveyor


Chemical Engineer

Materials Engineer

Civil Engineer

Geotechnical Engineer

Structural Engineer

Electrical Engineer

Electronics Engineer

Environmental Engineer

Industrial Engineer

Mechanical Engineer

Production or Plant Engineer

Engineering Professionals nec

Civil Engineering Technician

Electrical Engineering Technician

Electronic Engineering Technician

Telecommunications Engineer

Telecommunications Network Engineer

Clinical Dental Technician (Dental Prosthetist)

Dentist (Dental Practitioner or Dental Surgeon)

Dental Specialist

Dental Technician

Dental Therapist


Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Oral medicine specialist

Oral Pathologist

Oral surgery specialist





Public health dentistry specialist

Restorative dentistry specialist

Special needs dentistry specialist

Oral Health Therapist

General Practitioner

Resident Medical Officer


Specialist Physician (General Medicine)


Clinical Haematologist

Medical Oncologist



Intensive Care Specialist



Renal Medicine Specialist


Thoracic Medicine Specialist

Specialist Physicians nec


Surgeon (General)

Cardiothoracic Surgeon


Orthopaedic Surgeon


Paediatric Surgeon

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon


Vascular Surgeon


Emergency Medicine Specialist

Obstetrician and Gynaecologist



Diagnostic and Interventional Radiologist

Radiation Oncologist

Medical Practitioners nec


Nurse Practitioners

Registered Nurse (Aged Care)

Registered Nurse (Child and Family Health)

Registered Nurse (Community Health)

Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency)

Registered Nurse (Developmental Disability)

Registered Nurse (Disability and Rehabilitation)

Registered Nurse (Medical)

Registered Nurse (Medical Practice)

Registered Nurse (Mental Health)

Registered Nurse (Perioperative)

Registered Nurse (Surgical)

Registered Nurse (Paediatrics)

Registered Nurses nec

Enrolled Nurse (Nursing Assistant)

Medical Laboratory Scientist

Anaesthetic Technician

Medical Laboratory Pre-Analytical Technician

Medical Laboratory Technician

Clinical Psychologist

Educational Psychologist

Organisational Psychologist

Psychologists nec


Physicist (Medical)



Addiction Practitioner / Alcohol & Drug Clinician

Drug and Alcohol Counsellor



Clinical Physiologist

Careers Counsellor

Family and Marriage Counsellor

Rehabilitation Counsellor

Student Counsellor

Counsellors NEC


Dispensing Optician


Genetic Counsellor

Orthotic and Prosthetic Technician



Ambulance Paramedic

Perfusionist (cardiac)

Hospital Pharmacist

Industrial Pharmacist

Retail Pharmacist


Play Therapist (hospital)

Speech Language Therapist

Operating Theatre Technician

Sterile Processing Technician

Social Worker


Medical Imaging Technologist

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist

Medical Radiation Therapist

Nuclear Medicine Technologist


Occupational Therapist


Other Spatial Scientist

Environmental Research Scientist

Food Technologist

Chief Information Officer

ICT Project Manager

ICT Managers nec

Analyst Programmer

Developer Programmer

Software Engineer

Software Tester

ICT Security Specialist

Software and Applications Programmers nec

Multimedia Specialist

Green List - Tier 2 Occupations

Work to Residence pathway


Eligible migrants in these occupations can apply for residence after two years:


Building Associate

Building Construction supervisor

Crane, Hoist or Lifter Operator

Factory Process Worker


Health and Social Services

School Principal

Kaiako Kura Kaupapa Māori (Māori-medium Primary School Teacher)

Pouako Kura Kaupapa Māori (Māori-medium Primary School Senior Teacher)

Primary School Teacher

Middle School Teacher / Intermediate School Teacher

Secondary School Teacher

Special Needs Teacher

Teacher of the Hearing Impaired

Teacher of the Sight Impaired

Special Education Teachers nec

Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages

Early Childhood (Pre-primary School) Teacher – registered

Telecommunications Technician

Earthmoving Plant Operator (General)

Backhoe Operator

Bulldozer Operator

Excavator Operator

Grader Operator

Loader Operator

Automotive Electrician

Diesel Motor Mechanic (including Heavy Vehicle Inspector)

Motor Mechanic (General)

Motorcycle Mechanic

Electrician (General)

Plumber (General)



Dairy Cattle Farmer (Dairy Cattle Farm Manager)

Dairy Farm Manager

Assistant Dairy Farm Manager

Dairy Herd Manager

Migrants paid at least twice the median wage in other roles can also apply for residence after two years. 

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