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Apply for a work visa

If you’re planning to work in New Zealand and you’re not a citizen or permanent resident of NZ or Australia, you’ll need a visa that lets you work.

Who needs a visa

You can apply for a visa to work here temporarily if you:

  • have a job offer from a New Zealand employer
  • are coming for a specific work-related purpose or event
  • have a partner here, and you want to join them and work
  • are from a country that has a special work scheme, or
  • have been studying here and want work here.

Work that leads to residence

Some work visas can also lead to residence — that is, the right to live, study and work here without needing to leave by a certain date. To apply you need to have skills, experience and qualifications that are needed for the New Zealand workforce.

Work visas that lead to residence

New Zealand residence — Immigration NZ

Citizens or permanent residents of Australia

You can work, live and study in NZ. You’ll get a resident visa when you arrive.

Are there any special rules for Australian citizens and residents? — Immigration NZ

Choose the right visa

Some visas have age limit requirements. For example, you may need to be between, or under a certain age. Check the visa conditions before you apply.

There are more than 80 visas that let you work in New Zealand. Before you apply, decide which visa is right for you.

Explore visa options to work — Immigration NZ

Application fees

Find out how much it costs to apply, where to send your application or your passport, and how long it will take to get your visa.

Fees, decision times and where to apply — Immigration NZ

Before you apply

You need to gather information about yourself and your plans for your time in New Zealand. What you need to provide depends on the visa you apply for. For all visas, you need to provide proof of your identity and good character. You may also need to provide information about your health.

New Zealand visas — Immigration NZ

For many visas you need to find a job in New Zealand first.

Check the criteria for the visa you’re applying for. If you do not provide all the documents you’re asked for, your application may take longer to process.

Proving your identity and good character

You must provide a photo, passport and other identity information.

Depending on the visa you’re applying for and how long you intend to stay in New Zealand, you must provide police certificates from countries you’ve lived in for more than 5 years since you turned 17. These help to prove that you’re of good character.

Getting medical certificates

Depending on how long you’re staying here and where you’re from, you may have to provide medical certificates or get a chest X-ray from a doctor approved by Immigration New Zealand (INZ).

Translations of documents into English

If you have to provide police or medical certificates and they’re not in English, you need to provide certified translations. INZ can also ask you to provide translations of any other documents that are not in English.

English translations must be done by:

  • the translation service of New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs (DIA)
  • an embassy or high commission, or
  • a private or official translation business.

DIA’s translation service — Citizenship and Immigration

Translations cannot be done by:

  • you — that is, the person applying for the visa
  • a member of your family
  • an immigration adviser helping with your application.

How to apply

You can apply online for most work visas. There are a few visas that you need to fill in a printed application form for, including some country-specific work visas.

Work visa forms and guides — Immigration NZ

Apply online for a work visa

For most work visas, you need to set up a New Zealand Government RealMe® account before you start your application.

Use RealMe® to prove your identity online

You do not need a RealMe® account if you’re applying for a working holiday visa.

Before you start your online application, have all your supporting documents ready to upload.

Apply for a visa — Immigration NZ

Getting a tax number

Once you have your visa, apply for an IRD number from Inland Revenue (IR). You give this number to your employer when you start work and use it for all your New Zealand tax matters.

IRD numbers for individuals — IR

Utility links and page information

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