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Work Visas

There are several different types of work visa depending on your circumstances.  Have a browse and see which you think is most appropriate for you. These include Working Holiday, Silver Fern, Work to Residence and Essential Skills as well as Work Visas for partners of work visa holders, some student visa holders and New Zealand Citizens and Residents.

Working Holiday Visa

There are many different schemes, depending on your nationality and country in which you reside.  The following information is specifically about the UK Working Holiday Scheme. If you are a citizen of a different country or live permanently in a different country, follow the LINK to see what other schemes exist.

You can choose to apply for a either a 12  or 23 month visa. This must be an online application. If you apply for the 12 month visa initially and then decide you want more time,if you apply  while you are in New Zealand on your UK Working Holiday Visa, you can extend you visa by a further 11 months. The application for your extension must be paper-based. You must be between 18 and 30 years old at the time of application.  You can work for up to 12 months and study for up to six months (regardless of 12/23 month scheme).  The table below summarises some of the differences in what you will need.

  12 month 23 month
Medical Certificate No Yes
Chest X ray No# Yes
Maintenance funds (£1 = 2$NZ approx) $4,200NZ $8,050 NZ
Funds for return flight Yes Yes

# If you have spent more than 3 months in the last 5 years in a country not on the list of countries with low risk of TB, you will have to provide a Chest X-ray.

The approximate cost of a medical certificate and chest  x-ray in the UK is around £370.  These are usually significantly cheaper in New Zealand.  You will have to provide a medical certificate and chest x-ray if you apply for the extension.  If you have had your 31st birthday by this time, you won’t be eligible. You will also have to pay the application cost again. This is currently $208 . Contact us for further details.

Work to Residence and Essential Skills Work Visas

If you are offered a job by an Accredited Employer or if your job is on the Long Term Skills Shortage List and you meet the exact qualifications and experience required, you may be eligible for a Work to Residence visa.  These are for 30 months and allow easy progression to residence at the end of this period.  See  COMPARISON-OF-DIFFERENT-TYPES-OF-WORK-VISA

Is your skill on the official list? If you have a job offer from New Zealand that meets the criteria, you can apply for a temporary visa for up to 5 years under the Essential Skills  category.  This length of the visa will depend on the length of the job and also the skill level.  You can apply for another work visa before your first expires so long as your job continues and its status hasn’t changed.  New Zealand is keen to attract skilled workers to fill jobs for which there are insufficient New Zealanders. Some employers are “Accredited” to employ workers from overseas, which can help you get a Work to Residence visa. If they are not accredited, employers must prove that they cannot recruit a New Zealander and that they will be paying you the normal rate for this type of work.  However, if your job offer is on one of the Essential Skills Lists (The Long Term Skills Shortage List, the Immediate Skills Shortage List or the Canterbury Skills Shortage List) then it is automatically assumed that there are not enough Kiwis to do the work. If your job is in the Canterbury (Christchurch) area and not at Level 1 or 2 and not on one of the shortage lists, it must have been registered with the Canterbury Hub before it can be offered to you. Remember: for your job offer to count as “Skilled” you must have the prescribed qualification and/or experience as listed on the ANZSCO.  Check this out here.

Your job offer must be approved (see above), be for at least 30 hours a week and on the standard terms and conditions that are normal for that job in New Zealand.  You must have the appropriate qualifications and experience (see above), have an appropriate standard of English for the job, be of good character and in good health.  If you want to bring your partner or any dependent children with you, they will need a visa of their own. Partner and Dependent Child Visas are available.

Silver Fern Job Search Visa (Annual limit: 300 visas.) Places for 2015 have now all been filled. The 2016 places will become available on 3 November 2016. Places will have been filled within minutes!
If you are between 20 and 35, have a degree or trade qualification at NZQF Level 4, you could be eligible to apply for a Silver Fern Job Search Visa.   N.B. If you have a trade qualification, you will also need  at least 2 years work experience.   The visa will allow you to travel to New Zealand within 6 months of receipt, and give you 9 months to look for a job, during which time you can work for any employer within any occupation.  If you succeed in finding a skilled job and meet all the other criteria for work visas, you can apply for a Silver Fern Work Experience Visa for a maximum of two years.  During this time you must work in the specified occupation for the specified employer.  Contact us for further information.

Other work visas

Other types of Work Visa are available such as the Post-study Job Search Visa – but this is only for people who have completed a New Zealand qualification at the appropriate level and duration.  if your partner has a Work Visa under Essential Skills or the right type of Student Visa, you may well be entitled to a work visa as a partner. For information on any of these or to explore further your options for a work visa, contact us.