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For information about COVID-19, visit the Unite against COVID-19 website.

Visas for workers from specific countries

NZ has special arrangements with some countries to let their citizens work here. Some visas recognise your skills and experience, while others let you find out about our lifestyle and culture.

For information about visa extensions during COVID-19, visit the Immigration NZ website.

COVID-19: Key updates — Immigration NZ

Depending on your citizenship, you can apply to work here if you’re qualified to work in an occupation New Zealand needs or wants to support.

Working holidays

Young people from more than 40 countries can come to New Zealand for a working holiday.

Working Holiday Visas

Other options for working in NZ

Australia

If you’re an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you can work, live and study here indefinitely. You apply for a resident visa at the border when you arrive in New Zealand.

Visa factsheet: Australian Resident Visa

Chile

Working in the primary sector

You can train in NZ for up to 12 months in the following primary industries:

  • farming
  • mining
  • fishing — as long as the work is land-based
  • fruit, vegetable and flower-growing.

To apply:

  • your training must be supported or funded by your government
  • you need to be accepted for at least 12 weeks of training with an approved education provider.

Visa factsheet: Primary Sector Trainees Work Visa

Only 60 trainees from Chile can work in NZ on this visa at the same time.

Working holiday

If you’re aged 18 to 35, you can visit New Zealand for up to 12 months, and also work or study while you’re here. 940 people from Chile can get a working holiday visa each year.

Visa factsheet: Chile Working Holiday Visa

China

Skilled workers

If you’re a Chinese citizen you can work in NZ for up to 3 years if you’ve been offered a full-time job in some specific occupations and have the relevant qualifications. Check the list to see if your occupation is on it.

China skilled work occupations

Qualifications for China skilled work occupations

Up to 1000 people can come to New Zealand on a China Skilled Workers Visa. No more than 100 people can be working in New Zealand for each occupation on the list.

Visa factsheet: China Skilled Workers Visa

Specialist occupations

You can apply to work in New Zealand for up to 3 years if you’ve been offered a job and have specialist skills and experience as:

  • a Chinese chef
  • a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner
  • a Mandarin teacher’s aide
  • a Wushu martial arts coach, or
  • a tour guide.

Evidence you’re qualified for work under the China Special Work Category

At any one time, between 100 and 200 places are available for each occupation.

Visa factsheet: China Special Work Visa

Working holidays

If you’re aged 18 to 30, you can visit New Zealand for up to 12 months, and also work or study while you’re here. 1000 people from China can get a Working Holiday Visa each year.

Visa factsheet: China Working Holiday Visa

Help with your application

There are checklists in Chinese and English that you can use to help you apply for your work visa.

Checklist for China (PDF)

Germany

Law students and graduates

While you cannot be paid for your work, if you’re studying or have graduated in law you can come here for up to 6 months to observe how our legal system works. Before you can apply, a law firm in New Zealand must offer you a temporary job.

Visa factsheet: German Law Student Visitor Visa

Find a lawyer or law firm

Working holiday

If you’re aged 18 to 30, you can visit New Zealand for up to 12 months, and also work or study while you’re here.

Visa factsheet: Germany Working Holiday Visa

Indonesia

If you’re a qualified chef, halal slaughterer or a Bahasa teacher’s aide you can apply for a visa to work in New Zealand for up to 3 years, with a possible extension to 4 years. There are a limited number of visas available for each occupation:

  • 100 qualified Indonesian chefs
  • 20 halal slaughterers
  • 20 Bahasa teacher’s aides.

Visa factsheet: Indonesia Special Work Visa

Japan

Working in tourism as an interpreter

You can apply to work for up to 3 years as an interpreter of Japanese and English if:

  • you’ve been offered full-time work in a tourism-related industry
  • your employer will pay your wages, accommodation, medical costs and return airfare.

Your chance of getting a visa is better if you have relevant experience and plan to return to Japan to pursue a career in tourism or a related field.

Visa factsheet: Japanese Interpreters Work Visa

Working holiday

If you’re aged 18 to 30, you can visit New Zealand for up to 12 months, and also work or study while you’re here.

Visa factsheet: Japan Working Holiday Visa

Pacific Island countries

Working in agriculture or viticulture

You can apply to work in our fruit and vegetable, or wine industries as a seasonal worker.

You can stay in New Zealand for up to:

  • 7 months in any 11-month period, or
  • 9 months in any 11-month period if you’re a citizen of, and live in Tuvalu or Kiribati.

You must work for a seasonal employer who has been approved by Immigration New Zealand (INZ).

Recognised seasonal employers’ list

At present around 11,000 workers come to New Zealand on this visa each year. The majority are from:

  • Fiji
  • Kiribati
  • Nauru
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu, and
  • Vanuatu.

Visa factsheet: Recognised Seasonal Employer Limited Visa

Getting residence if you have a job offer

Every year, usually in April, INZ invites people from Samoa, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Tonga and Fiji to register for a ballot. If you’re picked from the ballot, you may be able to apply for a visa that lets you and your family stay in New Zealand indefinitely.

To apply you must:

  • be aged between 18 and 45
  • have been offered a full-time job for 12 months or more that pays enough to support your family
  • be able to speak, read and write English.

Visa factsheet: Samoan Quota Resident Visa

Visa factsheet: Pacific Access Category Resident Visa

Philippines

Skilled workers

If you’re a qualified farm manager, engineering professional or registered nurse you can apply for a visa to work in New Zealand for up to 3 years. There are a limited number of visas available for each occupation:

  • 20 farm managers
  • 20 engineering professionals
  • 100 registered nurses.

Visa factsheet: Philippines special work category

Registering as a nurse

If you’re a Filipino nurse wanting to get occupational registration in New Zealand, you can work here for up to 3 months to achieve that.

Visa factsheet: Specific Purpose Work Visa

Working holiday

If you’re aged 18 to 30, you can visit New Zealand for up to 12 months, and also work or study while you’re here. Only 100 people from the Philippines can get a working holiday visa each year.

Visa factsheet: Philippines Working Holiday Visa

Republic of Korea

Skilled work

If you have qualifications and experience to work in one of a range of occupations, you can apply to work here for up to 3 years.

Republic of Korea special work occupations

Up to 50 places are available in each occupation, but there can only be a total of 200 people working here on this visa.

Visa factsheet: Republic of Korea Special Work Visa

Working in the primary sector

You can train in New Zealand for up to 12 months in the following primary industries:

  • farming
  • mining
  • fishing — as long as the work is land-based
  • fruit, vegetable and flower-growing.

To apply:

Visa factsheet: Primary Sector Trainees Work Visa

Only 50 trainees from South Korea can work in New Zealand on this visa at the same time.

Working holiday

If you’re aged 18 to 30, you can visit New Zealand for up to 12 months, and also work or study while you’re here. 3000 people from South Korea can get a working holiday visa each year.

Visa factsheet: Korea Working Holiday Visa

Help with your application

There are checklists in Korean and English that you can use to help you apply for your work visa.

Checklists: Korea

Thailand

Thai chefs

You can apply to work in New Zealand as a Thai chef for up to 3 years, with a possible extension to 4 years, if you:

  • have acceptable qualifications and experience
  • have an offer of full-time work as a Thai chef
  • work for the employer and in the place that’s on your visa.

Visa factsheet: Thai Chef’s Work Visa

Working holiday

If you’re aged 18 to 30, you can visit New Zealand for up to 12 months, and also work or study while you’re here. Only 100 people from Thailand can get a working holiday visa each year.

Visa factsheet: Thailand Working Holiday Visa

Help with your application

There are checklists in Thai and English that you can use to help you apply for your work visa.

Checklists: Thailand

Vietnam

Skilled workers

If you’re a qualified chef or an engineering professional, you can apply for a visa to work in New Zealand for up to 3 years. Up to 100 chefs and 100 engineering professionals can be working here at any one time on a Vietnam Special Work Visa.

Visa factsheet: Vietnam Special Work Visa

Working holiday

If you’re aged 18 to 30, you can visit New Zealand for up to 12 months, and also work or study while you’re here. Only 100 people from Vietnam can get a working holiday visa each year.

Visa factsheet: Vietnam Working Holiday Visa

Help with your application

There’s a checklist in Vietnamese and English that you can use to help you apply for your work visa.

Checklists: Vietnam

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