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Work Visa for New Zealand

New Zealand offers a range of visas allowing the holder to live and work in the country. However, deciding which Work Visa is the most suitable for your plans can be challenging.

The expert Total Law team is here to provide advice throughout the application process and beyond. Get in touch on 0333 305 9375 or via the online chat.

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    Overview of Work Visas for New Zealand

    If you are planning to work while in New Zealand and do not have settled status or New Zealand citizenship then you will need to apply for a Work Visa if you plan to become employed.

    The exact Work Visa you will need will depend on the work you will undertake while in New Zealand and how long you plan to be employed.

    It is important to apply for the correct Work Visa as you could risk having your application delayed or even refused. This could mean losing an important job offer, or it may have an impact on your long-term immigration plans.

    Reach out to Total Law on 0333 305 9375 for advice on submitting a successful application for a New Zealand Work Visa and avoiding the most common mistakes.

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    Types of Work Visas


    With a wide range of work visas available, it is important to understand which permit is the most suitable, especially if you plan to stay in the country long-term.

    Here are some of the most popular visas for those looking for a Work Visa for New Zealand:

    Working Holiday Visa

    The Working Holiday Visa is available to those aged between 18 and 30 years of age, or in some cases 35 depending on a citizen’s nationality. It is a Short-Stay Visa that usually allows holders to stay for up to 12 months.

    Holders of the Working Holiday Visa can work in New Zealand for the duration of their stay and can take up temporary employment to fund their travels or gain work experience.

    A Working Holiday Visa allows free travel throughout New Zealand during their stay, and holders can leave and re-enter the country.

    The Visa costs NZD 455 and takes around five weeks to be approved. It is also possible to apply for an extension to the visa in some cases.

    To be approved for a Working Holiday Visa, applicants should:

    • Have a current passport with at least 15 months left after entering New Zealand
    • Be between 18 and 30 years old (or up to 35 if applying from some countries)
    • Have a return travel ticket or the funds to buy a return travel ticket
    • Have a minimum of NZD 4200 in funds to support themselves while in New Zealand
    • Have valid medical insurance cover
    • Not been granted a Working Holiday Visa before

    Business Visas


    For those planning to visit New Zealand for business reasons, applying for a Business Visa may be the most suitable option.

    There are several Business Visas designed for those who want to undertake business activities in New Zealand but do not intend to reside or work in the country permanently.

    Some common types of New Zealand Business Visas include:

    • Visitor Visa for individuals to visit New Zealand for short-term business-related activities, such as attending meetings, conferences, or trade fairs. It typically has a shorter duration compared to other business visas.
    • Business Visitor Visa is suitable for individuals who need to conduct business activities in New Zealand for a short period. It may also allow for additional privileges, such as multiple entries.
    • Investor Visa for those who wish to invest in New Zealand or establish a business in the country. It requires applicants to make a significant financial investment in New Zealand and meet certain eligibility criteria.
    • Entrepreneur Visa is suitable for those wanting to start or buy a business in New Zealand. It requires applicants to have a viable business plan and sufficient funds to support themselves and their business endeavours.
    • Specific Purpose Work Visa for those working in New Zealand for a specific business-related purpose, such as attending a conference, conducting training, or participating in a corporate exchange program.

    Each of these visas has different eligibility criteria, processing times and fees. You should reach out to Total Law for more information on the requirements for each of these business visas.

    Entertainer Work Visas 

    The Entertainer Work Visa is for those individuals who work in the entertainment industry and wish to perform entertainment-related activities in New Zealand. The visa suits musicians, actors, dancers, performers and other artists.

    An Entertainer Work Visa is usually issued for a short term, often to cover one-off performances or a tour. The maximum time the visa can be issued is 30 months and the costs start at NZD 35.

    Those applying for an Entertainer Work Visa will need to submit supporting documentation, such as details of their entertainment activities, contracts, itineraries, and evidence of their professional credentials or qualifications.

    In some cases, applicants must also secure sponsorship from a New Zealand-based organisation, employer, or individual to support their visa application.

    Skilled Migrant Work Visas 

    The Skilled Migrant Work Visa allows skilled workers to live and work in New Zealand on a long-term basis.

    Applicants for the visa must meet certain eligibility criteria and earn enough points based on factors such as age, work experience, qualifications, job offer, and other factors related to their ability to contribute to New Zealand.

    Each applicant must submit an Expression of Interest explaining their reasons for applying for the Skilled Migrant Work Visa. The expression should give information about their work history, skills, and qualifications.

    If a Skilled Migrant Work Visa is granted, the applicant and their dependents are granted residence in New Zealand. They can live, work, and study in the country indefinitely and may be eligible to apply for New Zealand citizenship.

    Contact us to apply for renewal of your work visa for New Zealand. Contact Us

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      Work Visa Requirements

      Each New Zealand Work Visa has different criteria; it is important to know what evidence is needed to result in a successful application.

      In addition to the visa-specific requirements, the following will need to be also provided:

      • A valid passport
      • Evidence of qualifications
      • Prove of good health
      • Prove you are of good character such as a clean criminal record

      If you are unclear on how to submit evidence to support your application for a New Zealand Work Visa, then contact the immigration experts at Total Law.

      How Can We Help?

      Total Law is here to help make sure you are applying for the most suitable Work Visa, especially given the large number of visas offered by the New Zealand immigration service.

      Our knowledgeable team have years of experience in New Zealand immigration and can support you in putting together a well-supported application to enable you to live and work in New Zealand.

      To get started, all you need is to get in touch with Total Law at 0333 305 9375 or use our online chat service.

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                Related pages for your continued reading.


                Yes, it is possible to obtain a Work Permit in New Zealand without a job offer, but the availability of such options depends on the applicant’s circumstances, qualifications, and the specific visa category you are applying for.

                Yes, a valid Work Visa for New Zealand usually allows holders to leave and re-enter the country during the validity period of their visa. However, ensuring your visa remains valid for your intended trip outside of New Zealand is important.