Work Visa – Skilled Stream

Essential skills work visa

If you have an offer of full time skilled employment from a New Zealand employer then you may apply for a work visa under Essential Skills. You must have qualifications and/or work experience relevant to the offer of employment and in many cases the New Zealand employer will have to prove there are no New Zealand citizens or residents available to fill the position (Labour market test).

Work visas under Essential Skills can be anywhere from 1-5 years in duration.

Work to residence visa

Work to residence is initially a temporary work visa which can lead to residence after working on this visa for at least 24 months.

There are 5 different sub classes under the main category:

  • Talent (Accredited Employer) – job offer from accredited employer for a period of at least 24 months
  • Talent (Arts, Culture and Sports) – have an exceptional talent in a declared field of art, culture or sport
  • Long Term Skills Shortage List – hold an offer of employment in an occupation that is included on the Long Term Skill Shortage List for a period of at least 24 months
    Entrepreneur Work visa – see Business Visa
  • Skilled Migrant Job Search visa – you can not apply for this visa. Immigration may grant this visa to you to give you the opportunity to find skilled employment. You must have lodged a Skilled Migrant residence visa application and comply with all requirements

Study to work

If you are studying in New Zealand and you want to stay and work here after you have completed your studies, you may be eligible for a work visa under the Study to Work category.

You have two options:

  1. Graduate job search visa
  2. Graduate work experience visa

You may be eligible for the first option if you are a student who has completed a qualification or qualifications in New Zealand, but you do not have a job offer. A Graduate Job Search Work Visa can be granted for a maximum of 12 months. Then, when you have found a job, you can apply for a further visa for up to two or three years under the Study to Work category.

A Graduate Work Experience Visa may be granted if you are a student with an offer of employment relevant to your qualification. This visa may be granted for a maximum of two or three years.

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