Working in NZ if you’re aged 18 to 35
Some work visas are only for people aged 18 to 35. You can also apply for other work visas if you have the right skills and experience.
For information about visa extensions during COVID-19, visit the Immigration NZ website.
Coming for a holiday and some work
Working holiday visas are available to people from lots of different countries. They’re mainly for people aged 18 to 30, but for a few countries it’s 18 to 35. For many countries, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) offers a set number of visas each year — that is, a quota. If the quota is full, you’ll need to wait until the next year to apply.
You can stay for up to 12 months (or 23 months if you’re from the UK or Canada). You do not need to have a job before you arrive, but you do need to have a return ticket or enough money to get home.
Find out if you can come on a working holiday and what you need to do before you apply.
Getting an extension to your visa
You cannot renew a working holiday visa, but if you’ve worked for at least 3 months doing seasonal work in the fruit and vegetable, or wine industries, you can apply to stay for another 3 months.
Using your skills and experience to get a job
If you’re highly skilled you can come to New Zealand for up to 9 months to look for work in your field of expertise on a Silver Fern Job Search Visa. To apply you’ll need to:
- be able to speak English
- have acceptable qualifications:
- a bachelor’s degree or higher qualification, or
- a recognised trade qualification and at least 2 years’ experience in your trade.
Only 300 applicants are accepted each year.
When you find a job
If you get offered a job for more than 1 year and up to 2 years that uses your skills and education, you can apply for a Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa.
You cannot hold this visa for more than 2 years, but you may be able to go on and apply for residence or another kind of temporary work visa.
Studying before you work
If you’ve been studying in NZ on a student visa and have finished your studies, you might be able to stay here for work. Before you apply, you must have a job offer that’s relevant to what you studied.
Some students and trainees from other countries can also apply for visas to work in New Zealand.
Getting a tax number
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 your New Zealand tax matters.