Essential Skills Work Visa

To legally work in New Zealand you will need to have a current Work Visa. You can apply for work without a visa but you cannot start working until your visa has come through.

If you have an offer of a job from a New Zealand employer, you may be eligible to apply for a temporary work visa to enable you to take up that employment.

The policy is designed to promote the entry of people required on a temporary basis to fill shortages where New Zealanders are either not available or cannot be readily trained to do the work.

If you are offered a job that cannot be filled by a New Zealander and the New Zealand employer is willing to "sponsor" you, then it may be possible for you to apply for a work visa.

If your occupation is listed on the Immediate Skill Shortage List and you meet any listed criteria for qualification and/or work experience, you can apply for a work permit or visa without your potential employer having to satisfy the labour market test. The Immigration Department conducts labour market tests to determine whether suitably qualified New Zealand workers are available, or could be easily trained to do the work and should be offered the employment rather than an overseas temporary worker.

If you have a Skilled Migrant Category application under consideration and a job that starts soon, you can apply for a Temporary Work Visa to be able to start work before your permanent residence comes through.