Work Permit in New Zealand

Why is Work Permit Needed?

In New Zealand, the people entering the country for work require a valid visa and work permit as per the immigration laws. The New Zealand work permits are divided into various categories for visitors who are willing to work in the country either temporarily or on a  permanent basis. 
The New Zealand work permit needs to be secured and sponsored by an entity that is locally licensed and incorporated.

About the New Zealand Job Market

Popular Industries for Expats

IT, New Media, Medicine, Construction & Engineering

Expat Job Websites

Workhere, workingin-newzealand, trademe, seek

Types of New Zealand Work Visa

Every employee willing to work in New Zealand has to apply for a work visa. In New Zealand, there are 3 major types of work permits issued:

Temporary Work Visas:

This type of New Zealand work permit can be obtained:
- If you have a confirmed job offer from a New Zealand employer. 
- If you are traveling to New Zealand to attend an event or for a specified purpose. 
- If you are interested in accumulating work experience. 
- If you’re willing to join a business partner in the country and also continue the professional or business responsibilities.

Essential Skills Work Visa:

This is issued based on the Australian and New Zealand standard classification of occupations also known as ANZSCO. It ranges from level 1 (the high skilled jobs) to 5 (low skilled jobs).
For the ANZSCO skill level 1-3, a maximum of 3 years duration New Zealand work permit visa is issued. 
If your occupation falls in the ANZSCO skill levels 4 and 5, the maximum duration of a 1-year work permit visa is issued. 
For the ANZSCO level 1 visa, a maximum duration of a 5-year work visa is issued.

Entrepreneur Work Visa:

This 3-year New Zealand work permit is issued to entrepreneurs. It helps them to relocate to New Zealand for establishing or purchasing a business.
This work permit is issued in two stages: 
Start-up stage: In this stage, you will be issued a 12-month work visa to buy or establish a business in New Zealand.  Balance stage: In this stage, you will be issued a 24-month work permit that is the remaining from the 3 years of entrepreneur work visa.

Requirements for New Zealand Work Permit and by New Zealand Employers

The New Zealand work permit requirements vary according to the type of visa you are going to apply. 

Employment Criteria for New Zealand Work Visa

  • ~You should be aged 55 years or under. 
  • ~Your salary will be a minimum of NZ$55,000
  • ~You have a job offer that covers a minimum of 30 hours of employment per week for 2 years or more. 

Requirements for Essential Skills Work Visa 

  • ~Your job offer should be listed under the Long Term Skills Shortage List, the Immediate Skills Shortage List, or the Canterbury Skills Shortage List. 
  • ~You should have a temporary work visa and also a Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) invitation or an SMC application in progress. 

For The ANZSCO skill level 1-3: 

  • ~You should have a job offer that is categorized under skill level 1 in ANZSCO. 
  • ~Your annual salary should be approximately NZ$55,000 per annum. 

Requirements for Entrepreneur Work Visa 

  • ~You should have a minimum capital investment of NZ$10,000. 
  • ~You should have a minimum of 120 points on a scale that decides the success of the proposed business.
  • ~You should have a detailed business plan for the proposed business.
  • ~You should not be involved in any business fraud or any kind of financial misconduct.

Valid Documents Required for New Zealand Work Permit

  • ~Two passport-sized color photographs of you taken within the timeline of 6 months.
  • ~Your passport or travel document which is valid for at least 3 months from the date one is required to go to their home country
  • ~Your medical and chest X-ray certificates 
  • ~Police certificates from your citizenship country or any country where you have lived for a minimum of 5 years till 17 years of age
  • ~Your job offer letter includes: employer’s name, employee’s name and address, your designation along with role and responsibilities, address of the place of employment, pay and conditions of employment, qualifications and experience requirements, confirmation of whether or not registration in New Zealand is required, duration of the job and the duration of job availability

New Zealand Work Permit Process For Application

Getting a work permit in New Zealand is quite an easy process in comparison to the visa application process for many countries.


  • ~As an employee, you fill the work visa application form. 
  • ~As an employer, you have to ensure that the job vacancy is under the Long term skills shortage list and meets the required employment criteria. 
  • ~Fill out the designated sections of the Employer Supplementary form and send it to the employee to submit.
  • ~Submit the application to the nearest Immigration New Zealand branch.

Timeframe for Work Permit Application

The timeframe for a New Zealand work permit visa varies for different categories. If you have applied for the Essential skill work visa, it takes a minimum of 30 days to 45 days.

How Does Multiplier Help With Work Permit? 

Holding 100+ local entities, we are here to simplify your task as an employer and help in hiring talents from across the globe. Developed by our team of talented experts, this HR suite offers end-to-end solutions to our users. 

With the help of our SAAS-based solutions, you can raise your request for a New Zealand work permit. Post that, our team experts will ease your task by driving the entire process from the processing time to the document checklist to the costs. During the entire process, you will be kept notified. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to get a New Zealand work permit visa?

To get a work permit visa in New Zealand, one must be: 

  • Aged 55 years or under. 
  • Have a minimum salary of NZ$55,000
  • Have a job offer that covers a minimum of 30 hours of employment per week for 2 years or more.
Can I apply for a New Zealand work permit visa after study?

Yes. One can apply for a work permit visa post completing their study. The visa issued is valid up to 3 years after the completion of the study and if you match the required qualifications.

Can I get a work visa without a job offer?

In general cases, most of the visa categories for New Zealand work permit require to show an offer of employment issued by the New Zealand employer. 

However, the exception stands for people who are eligible for the ‘open’ work visa categories like Working Holiday visas, a Partner of a Worker Work Visa, or a Post Study Work visa.

Can I work in New Zealand while holding a visitor visa?

No. The requirement for working in New Zealand is that the employee must hold a work visa along with a visitor visa.

Who is eligible to work in New Zealand?

Any of the following criteria should be met to work in New Zealand: 

  • Must have the allowance to live in New Zealand
  • Must be a holder of work visas, who meet the conditions of their specific work visa
  • Must be a holder of working holiday New Zealand visas
  • Must be a holder of visitor visas and have their visa state that they are eligible to be employed in New Zealand
  • Must be a holder of student visas and have their visa state that they are eligible to be employed in New Zealand

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