Family Law Christchurch

Working in New Zealand

IMMIGRATION LAW

Family Law Christchurch
Family Law Christchurch

Working in New Zealand

IMMIGRATION LAW

Family Law Christchurch
previous arrow
next arrow

Working in New Zealand

Thinking of working in New Zealand? There are many types of working visas available so get in touch with us today and we can help guide you in the right direction.

To work in New Zealand you must hold a work visa. There are many types of work visas available in New Zealand and determining which ones best suit you can be confusing and complicated. 

The most common work visa is an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). You can apply for this visa if you have a job offer from an accredited employer and you meet the skills and qualifications required for the job. The employer must also have offered you a role that is at least 30 hours a week. An accredited employer is a New Zealand employer who has received an accreditation from Immigration NZ, allowing them to recruit migrants to fill roles that cannot otherwise be filled by New Zealand workers.

If you are eligible for an AEWV you may be able to stay and work in New Zealand for up to 5 years, but only if you are paid at least the current median wage. You can also study for up to 3 months within a 12 month period or do any study that is required as part of your job.

It is important to remember that your visa is linked with your employer, so if your situation changes you will need to apple for a new visa or submit an application to vary the conditions of your visa.

Skilled Migrant Category

If you currently work for or have a job offer from an accredited employer, along with qualifications above a certain level you can apply for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa. This visa allows you to live, work, and study in New Zealand indefinitely.

To qualify for this visa you must be able to claim at least 6 points through your qualifications and/or years of experience of skilled work in New Zealand.

To be eligible to apply for this visa, you must possess a job or have a job offer in New Zealand. The employment should be with an accredited employer and can be either full-time and permanent, for a fixed term of a minimum of 12 months, or a contract for services lasting at least 6 months.

The SMC visa is based off a points system, with different points allocated to levels of qualification, income and New Zealand occupational registration. You cannot combine points across these three categories to reach the required 6 point threshold. You are however entitled to combine points from these categories with years of experience in skilled work in New Zealand at 1 point a year for up to 3 years.

Skilled Residence Pathways – Green List

In New Zealand there are currently 3 skills-based pathways to residence available to those who are eligible – the Skilled Migrant Category Resident pathway, the Green List pathway, and the Care Workforce and Transport Sector Agreement pathways.

Skilled in a certain area and looking for a fast track to residency in New Zealand? You may be eligible to apply for a Green List Work Visa.

The Green List is a list of roles put together by the New Zealand government in an attempt to combat a skills shortage in high skill roles. Those that qualify for this visa may be eligible for a fast track to residency or can apply for a work to residence scheme.

Within the Skilled Residence Pathways scheme, there are two options – the Straight to Residence Visa and the Work to Residence Visa. Which visa you qualify for will depend on your occupation.

You can apply for the Straight to Residence visa if you currently are, or have a job offer from an accredited employer and your job is on Tier 1 of the Green List. You can apply for the Work to Residence visa if you currently are, or have a job offer from an accredited employer and your job is on Tier 2 of the Green List.

As the roles on the Green List are narrowly defined, migrant workers can often find that their qualifications do not meet the equivalent New Zealand qualification. Talk to us today and we can help to can review your circumstances and qualifications to assess whether one of the Green List pathways is the best option for you.

Skilled Residence Pathways – Care Workforce and Transport Sector Agreement

In New Zealand there are currently 3 skills-based pathways to residence available to those who are eligible – the Skilled Migrant Category Resident pathway, the Green List pathway, and the Care Workforce and Transport Sector Agreement pathways.

If you have worked in the care sector you may be eligible for the Care Workforce Work to Residence Visa. To qualify for this visa you must currently work for, or have a job offer from, an accredited employer in New Zealand in a full time or permanent fixed term role of at least 12 months. You must also have spent at least 24 months working in a care workforce role in New Zealand where you were paid at least level 4 support worker’s minimum wage.

If you have worked in the transport sector you may be eligible for the Transport Work to Residence Visa. To qualify for this visa you must currently work for, or have a job offer from, an accredited employer in New Zealand in a full time or permanent fixed term role of at least 12 months. You must also have spent at least 24 months working in a high in demand land or maritime transport role in New Zealand.


So are you interested in working in New Zealand?

How we can help:

  • We can review your circumstances to assess whether the SMC is the best residence pathway, advise who is best placed to be the principal applicant, and determine whether the general eligibility criteria is met
  • Advise on any criteria not met and what steps need to be taken in order to meet the criteria, including reviewing and advising employers on employment documentation and statutory employment obligations
  • Advising on temporary visa options for those emigrating to New Zealand while your residency application is in progress
  • Helping you prepare for each stage of the application process and being the contact person for communications from INZ
  • Responding to and presenting submissions to INZ on your behalf regarding concerns raised during the application process
  • Representing you at appeals to the Immigration & Protection Tribunal on potentially incorrect decisions received from INZ