Skilled Migration 
New Zealand

NZ welcomes skilled workers and migrants that contribute to New Zealand’s economy. There are a number of ways skilled migrants can enter and be permitted to work in New Zealand. This usually requires a type of work visa.

Read about our Skilled Migrant Category Visas below, or complete a Preliminary Evaluation for a FREE assessment.

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Karen Warrington
Karen Warrington
17 July 2023
Professional and concise, always with their finger on the pulse with everything going on in the NZ & Aus Immigration world! We were very happy with every moment of our two and a half year journey with IMMagine, and would recommend them to anyone thinking or already in the process of immigrating and in need of sound & accurate guidance.
Kim Donnelly
Kim Donnelly
11 July 2023
Immagine Immigration has changed our lives. We had a very frustrating 18 months of COVID lockdowns in which to collect the comprehensive list of documentation we would require to emigrate. Once the borders finally opened and we were allowed into New Zealand things happened very fast. Iain and Ee Chiao arranged a visitor's visa for me. Once I arrived I applied for as many jobs as I could and got a job offer within 5 weeks. Immagine then assisted with ensuring my employer provided the correct information to INZ and applied for my work visa on my behalf. Once I started working we immediately applied for our residency visas on 19 January 2023. My partner, in the meantime, received his open work visa and was able to come over too. We received our Residency visas on 5 July 2023! This is an incredibly fast turnaround as my friends and family have recently waited for an average of 12 to 15 months to get residency. The difference? They did not make use of Immagine but rather went it alone. An incredibly stressful route. We have paid a lot for the service but we have gotten the results we needed which were - Move to New Zealand and start a new life as quickly as possible. We will use the same strategy when it comes to gaining permanent residency and then citizenship. Thank you Ee Chiao - you are a wonderful person!
Roberto Guarderas González
Roberto Guarderas González
19 June 2023
The best company ever: 100% trustworthy! Recommended to everyone!
David Brice
David Brice
25 May 2023
Immagine have to be the BEST immigration consultants. A thorough, professional team that get results. Outstanding in my experience
Yunus Musa
Yunus Musa
24 February 2023
The only migration agency you need for AU and NZ. Heard a couple of bad experiences through my friends with other agencies. Ian, Jo and Hamish are thorough professionals and they mean business! It has been a wonderful journey indeed. Thank you IMMagine!
Rit Muk
Rit Muk
12 January 2023
5 star service. Not only is the team knowledgeable but the level of execution and communication was outstanding. The whole process was stress free.

How we help 
Skilled Migrants

Visa and citizenship application processes can drag out for months and even years, and getting rejected means starting all over again. It’s important to choose a team that will get it right the first time for you!

As a professional and dedicated team of immigration lawyers we look forward to helping make your immigration process as simple and seamless as possible. We will tailor a plan for your exact situation and will explore all potential avenues for you to achieve your immigration goals.

Our goal is to keep you sane through the process, to equip you with the right knowledge and to represent you in a professional manner to the Australian and New Zealand governments.

Complete our Free Evaluation

Work Permit Visa Types

New Zealand offers many types of work visas. Based on your individual circumstances, you may be eligible for one or more types. Each type of work visa allows for different provisions, including length of stay, ability to work, age limitations, etc.

Essential Skills Work Visa New Zealand

This has now been replaced by the Accredited Employer Work Visa.

An Essential Skills Work Visa could be granted if you had the necessary qualifications and experience in a particular field, and have obtained a full time (at least 30 hours per week) job in NZ. This was usually under the condition that your employer has previously made efforts to find local workers to fill the same position prior to your employment through a labour market test.

However, if your occupation was found on a shortage list (national or regional), your qualifications and experience make you a suitable candidate, then your employer wouldn’t have needed to provide evidence for attempting to hire local NZ skilled workers for the position.

There were multiple skills in demand lists, including:

Accredited Employer Work Visa (EAWV)

Obtaining an AEWV is for most a three step process:

  1. The New Zealand employer has to apply to become ‘accredited’ with the Immigration Department. This is supposed to take around two weeks.

  2. The New Zealand employer then submits a ‘job check’ which is essentially recent evidence they have advertised the role and could not find a suitably qualified New Zealander to fill it. This is supposed to also take around two weeks.

  3. The successful candidate files their work visa.

These three steps must be done sequentially.

How Long Can I Stay on an Essential Skills Work Visa (ESWV)/ Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) in New Zealand?

The ESWV/AEWV allows you to stay in NZ for up to 3 years depending on salary.

If your salary falls below the national median then you are entitled to stay up to 24 months.

This visa also allows you to support visa applications for your partner and dependent children, as long as you meet the income requirements.

Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa

Is broken into several ‘sub categories’ but all allow skilled migrants to stay in New Zealand indefinitely. Migrants in this category can live, work and study in NZ without limitation.

To access this visa category, migrants must be below the age of 56 and must:

  1. Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) which describes their qualifications, experience and proposed future employment in NZ. Only successful applicants will be invited to apply for this visa category. This is a points based system pitting migrant against migrant; OR

  2. Have a job in NZ on the ‘Green List’ of occupations which provides a non points based pathway to a Resident Visa; OR

  3. A sub list of the ‘Green List’ occupations provide a non points based two year pathway to a Resident Visa; OR

  4. Have a permanent job in NZ that pays (by salary, not package) twice the median salary. This creates a non-points based pathway to residence.

Working Holiday Visa

NZ has a Working Holiday Visas with many countries which is generally available to young people between the ages of 18 and 30. Working Holiday Visa holders can stay in New Zealand for between 12 month and 24 months under normal circumstances.

To apply for the Working Holiday Visa you need to have enough money for a return ticket, and confirm that the primary objective of your stay is to holiday. Work and/or study should be secondary intentions.

Entrepreneur Resident Visa

The Entrepreneur Resident Visa allows self-employed individuals to stay in NZ. This visa allows you to work, live and study in NZ without limitations.

SSE Visa

The SSE Work Visa (Supplementary Seasonal Employment Work Visa) is a visa that allows students and visitors already in NZ to apply for seasonal work. Seasonal work opportunities are typically in the horticulture or viticulture industries.

The SSE Visa can allow you to extend your stay in NZ by 6 months.

Temporary Graduate Visa / Post Study Work Visa

The Post Study Work Visa, sometimes also referred to as the Temporary Graduate Visa, allows you to stay and work in NZ after completing your qualifications. To qualify, it’s imperative that you completed your qualifications in New Zealand.

This visa type allows you to stay and work for any employer in NZ for 1-3 years, and do almost any type of work depending on the qualification that you came to New zealand to study.

Partnership Work Visa / Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa

This Visa allows an individual to join their NZ partner, who is already working in NZ. The Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa may allow you to work in NZ as well as study up to 3 months.


Work Visa
Application Process

Each work visa has a different application process. As part of the application you may be required to provide evidence demonstrating qualifications, experience and that you have been successful in a job application. You may also need to provide a health certificate and police certificate.

How much does a New Zealand working visa cost?

Depending on the work visa type, they generally cost a few hundred dollars.

How long does it take to get a work visa for New Zealand?

It typically takes between 2 months to get approval for a New Zealand Work Visa if you are using a competent adviser.

Migrate to New Zealand

Are you a skilled migrant looking to apply for any of the visa types listed above?

Take our FREE Preliminary Evaluation to assess whether we can assist you with your migration.

Free Preliminary Evaluation