If you want to work in New Zealand, you will need to consider which work visa opportunity best suits you.

There are many types of work visas. Some are for short periods, of 1 to 3 years in duration, and are called temporary. Other visas are more permanent and even offer the benefits of becoming a resident. These are called resident visas.

If you are unsure about which visa is best for you, a brief description follows

Temporary work visas 
Ideal for short term opportunities or as a starting point to experience life in New Zealand. This visa allows you to work in New Zealand for a set time period – usually granted for the length of your employment contract. This visa is great for anyone interested in short term work options in New Zealand with a job offer.

Working Holiday Visa 
Perfect if you are under 30 and looking to travel and work in New Zealand for up to 12 months (up to 23 months if you are from the UK) The great advantage of a Working Holiday Scheme visa is that you can work, so you have the funds to do all the things you want during your time in New Zealand. You could work in a range of jobs, including hospitality, fruit picking in the sun or even a professional career job. It's your choice.

Work to Residence visas 
Special categories to experience life in New Zealand where you start qualifying for residency from day one, so you can either stay for a short time or apply to stay for as long as you like.

Resident visas 
For those who want to make New Zealand your permanent home.

Student visa 
If you are enrolled into a qualifying course at a New Zealand tertiary institution, you can apply for a student visa. This visa allows you to study and to work up to 20 hours per week.

visas faq

Will the immigration authorities or Embassy help me to prepare my application and make sure that everything is correct before applying?

No. This type of service is no longer provided by Government. The authorities exist to enforce the immigration law, make decisions on residence applications and to issue residence visas. Although basic information and application forms are available, the authorities are unable to provide independent advice and personalised guidance on your specific case. A New Zealand Licensed Immigration Adviser can provide this kind of service.

What is New Zealand Citizenship and when can I apply for that?

Citizenship and Residency are quite different. As a resident you retain your country’s citizenship, after you have resided in New Zealand for a minimum of 3 years you may apply for New Zealand citizenship.

Do I need to be rich to come to NZ?

No. There is a fee required for the assessment of the qualifications if required as well as for lodging the application and costs involved in moving to another country. You don’t have to be wealthy to come to NZ. You do need sufficient funds however, to support yourself and your family for at least 6 months. Should you wish to apply in one of the Business Categories, you do need capital.


As we are not certified immigration consultants, we are unable to give you specific immigration advice. We suggest you contact one of our Trusted Business Partners Heartland Immigration who specialise in providing qualified advice on matters concerning visas and costs involved.

Age limits and residency/exceptions

There is no age limit in regard to ‘termed work visa’s’ ie. 1 year, 2 year; as long as you have a job offer to support that visa. The age limit for residency is 56 and we suggest you talk to an immigration consultant for more information.

Must partners be married to qualify for Family visas?

Immigration New Zealand doesn’t require couples be married for them to be eligible for a residency or work visa as the partner of a New Zealand citizen or resident. Eligible partners include husbands, wives, de factos and civil union partners of a New Zealand citizen or permanent residents. Partners of New Zealand citizens or residents may be issued with a work visa if they provide documentary evidence demonstrating to an immigration officer that: - They are living together with that partner in a genuine and stable partnership at the time of making their application - The New Zealand partner intends to be in New Zealand for the same period of time applied for by the applicant; and - The New Zealand partner supports the application. In addition to the above requirements, residence applicants also need to demonstrate they have been living with their New Zealand citizen or resident partner for at least one year at the time the application is made.

How long will it take Immigration New Zealand to process my visa application?

The time it will take for us to process your application can vary depending on: - the requirements of the immigration instructions you are applying under - the completeness of your application - how easily we can check the information you provide - how well and how quickly you respond to any concerns we raise with you. - Processing times can also vary between offices.

How do I apply for a visa to work in New Zealand?

Which type of visa you apply for depends on why you want to come here, the skills you have to offer, and how long you want to stay.