New Zealand Essential Skills Working Visa

Information about New Zealand Essential Skills Working Visa and how to apply

A New Zealand essential skills working visa allows employment is an essential skills area for up to 5 years, depending on the skill level.

Application Fee


New Zealand Essential Skills Working Visa

If you’ve been offered a full-time job, and you have the necessary qualifications and experience to work in that job, you can apply for a temporary visa to work in New Zealand. Your employer must have checked if any New Zealanders were available to do the work, before offering you the job. If you’re granted this visa, you may be able to support visa applications for your partner and dependent children.

New Zealand Essential Skills Overview

Duration: up to 5 year depending on the skill level of the job offered.

With the Essential Skills Working Visa you can:

  • Work in New Zealand for an employer who has offered you a full time position
  • Study for up to 3 months in any 12 month period

Essential Skills Working Visa: Things to Note:

  • Your potential employer will be required to prove they have attempted to recruit suitable New Zealanders prior to advertising and offering the job to you.
  • Your other family members may be able to apply separately for appropriate visas based on their relationship with you.
  • This visa doesn’t allow for self-employment if you want self-employed status you would require a New Zealand Entrepreneur work visa.

Visas your family can apply for

With your work visa, you can normally support the following visas for your partner and dependent children:

  • an open work visa for your partner
  • a visitor visa for your partner or your children
  • a student visa for your children.

Visas for your partner and children expire at the same time as your work visa.

Who cannot support visas for family

You cannot support a work, visitor or student visa for your partner or dependent child if you have any of the following visas:

  • a Fishing Crew work visa
  • a working holiday visa
  • a limited visa under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) or Supplementary Seasonal Employer (SSE) schemes
  • a Silver Fern Job Search visa
  • a Domestic Staff of a Diplomat work visa
  • an Essential Skills work visa — if your employment is lower skilled

Long Term Skill Shortage List  

If you have an Essential Skills visa for lower-skilled work

If your job is lower-skilled, you can only support visas for your family if one of the following applies to you.

  • Your partner or dependent child held a visa on 28 August 2017 that is based on their relationship to you.
  • You completed study in New Zealand and your student visa let you support your partner for a work visa and your children for student visas. You then worked here on a post-study work visa and supported them for visas based on your relationship with them.

How family members can apply for a visa If you cannot support your partner or dependent children to apply, they can apply for a visa in their own right.

New Zealand Essential Skills Working Visa Costs

For the costs and for further information regarding this visa application please contact our offices: Contact Us

Visa Details

Country to which the visa applies

New Zealand


holiday / tourism / visiting, study, employment /work

Study / Training Permitted

up to 3 months

Work / Employment Permitted

part time, full time

New Zealand Essential Skills Working Visa

Ready to start your visa application?


Other Visas to Consider

  • Australian Working Holiday Visa

    Australian Working Holiday Visa

    An Australian Working Holiday is a popular way for young people to see the country, whilst doing temporary work to fund their travel. 

    With an Australian working holiday visa, people aged 18 – 30 (35 for French, Danish, Irish & Canadian Passport holders) can travel, study and work around Australia for up to 12 months at a time.

    The application process for an Australian Working Holiday Visa can get complicated. Our experts are here to help make the process as quick and painless as possible!

  • New Zealand Seasonal Working Visa

    A New Zealand Seasonal Working Visa is for people aged over 18, to travel and work around New Zealand for up to 7 months in horticulture and viticulture industries

  • New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

    A New Zealand Working Holiday Visa is for people aged between 18 and 30 to travel and work around New Zealand for up to 23 months

Do you need assistance in selecting the right visa for you?

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