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Working in NZ for up to 3 months

If you’re coming to NZ for less than 3 months to work you may only need a visitor visa rather than a visa to work.

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

COVID-19: Key updates — Immigration NZ

Working on a visitor visa

In some circumstances you can get a visitor visa to work here for less than 3 months. People from some countries do not need to apply for a visitor visa. Check the list before you apply.

Visa waiver countries

If you’re coming to NZ on business

You can get a special visitor visa, such as a Business Visitor Visa, for some business activities, including:

  • setting up or closing a business here
  • making a short sales trip
  • taking part in an official trade mission recognised by the NZ Government, or
  • carrying out business negotiations with a foreign company’s representatives in NZ.

Visa factsheet: Business Visitor Visa

You make regular visits for business

If you come to New Zealand on regular short trips for trade and investment activities, you can apply for an APEC Business Travel Card.

APEC Business Travel Card

If you’re with a group of touring entertainers or a festival act

You can come here to work on a visitor visa as:

  • an entertainer
  • musician or artist, or
  • their direct support staff.

Your employer must be on Immigration NZ’s approved list of:

  • arts and music festivals, or
  • promoters.

Visa factsheet: Short-term Entertainment Act Visitor Visa

Visa factsheet: Arts and Music Festival Visitor Visa

If you’re a journalist or work in the media

You can come to New Zealand on a visitor visa for up to 1 month if you’re working on the Visiting Media Programme offered New Zealand Trade and Enterprise or the New Zealand Tourism Board.

Visa factsheet: Visiting Media Visitor Visa

If you’re an academic

If you’re invited by a New Zealand institution to work on teaching, educational, professional management or research activities, you only need a visitor visa.

Visa factsheet: Academic Visitor Visa

If you’re working at a sports event

You can visit New Zealand for up to 3 months if you come here for an event or tour as:

  • a sportsperson
  • their support staff
  • a match or tournament official
  • a media or broadcasting worker.

You can only work at the event or tour you’re coming for.

Visa factsheet: Sports Event Visitor Visa

Work visas for a specific purpose

You can work in New Zealand for up to 3 months in special circumstances.

If you’re installing machinery or equipment

You can work in New Zealand for up to 3 months to install specialised machinery or equipment bought by a company in New Zealand, but only if it was a condition of the purchase.

Visa factsheet: Specific Purpose Work Visa

If you’re a Filipino 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

If you’re an entertainer

If you have a contract to work in the entertainment, music, film or television industries for a short time, you can apply for a work visa that covers the duration of your contract, plus a little time to get home. This could be for longer than 3 months.

Your employer in New Zealand must support your application and show that there was no New Zealander available to do the work.

Visa factsheet: Entertainers Work Visa

Getting a tax number

If you’re paid for your work by an NZ employer, you need to pay tax here. Once you have your visa, apply for an IRD number from Inland Revenue. You give this number to your employer when you start work and use it for all of your New Zealand tax matters.

International tax — coming to NZ for the short term

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