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All NZ employers who hire migrant workers from 1st November 2021 will have to be accredited.

Find out what you need to know with our free guide to employer accreditation.

New Zealand Shores Accreditation brochure

Work visa options for your migrant staff

Note: the information below is subject to major changes in 2021.

Your candidate does not need a visa to accept a position. However, they must have work rights in order to commence work

New Zealand resident visa holders

New Zealand resident visa holders can work for any employer in any occupation in New Zealand.

Visa holders with work rights

Your ideal candidate may already be allowed to work on their current visa. Note that some visas with work rights are limited to a certain amount of hours per week or may have a maximum duration that the visa holder can work for any single employer. Check this page to see if this may be the case. 

Applying for an employer-assisted work visa

If your candidate does not already have work rights, they need to apply for a relevant work visa.

If your candidate already has an employer-assisted work visa, they may be able to obtain a Variation of Conditions to change the employer on their visa, or apply for a whole new visa.

Visa categories available until 1st November 2021

The following categories will be no longer be available from 1st November, in favour of a unique employer-assisted work visa category.

Essential Skills Work visa

It is the most common work visa, based on a job offer. We will need to show that your candidate is deemed competent for the role offered, based on the requirements listed in ANZSCO. The currency of the visa (6 months to 3 years) depends on the salary offered.

In most cases, you will also need to show that your attempts to find a New Zealander to fill the role have been unsuccessful. This is referred to as the labour market test. In some cases, depending on the candidate background, and the role offered, this requirement may be waived.

Talent: Accredited Employer work visa

If you are an Accredited Employer with Immigration New Zealand the salary offered meets requirements, your candidate may seek a 30 months Talent: Accredited Employer work visa.

How to become accredited

Talent: Long Term Skill Shortage work visa

If the position offered is on the Long Term Skill Shortage list and the candidate meets the exact requirements of the list, your candidate can obtain a 30 months Talent: LTSSL work visa.

Specific Purpose work visa

If the role offered is for a set period of time, based on a specific project, or with a specific purpose in mind, your candidate may seek a Specific Purpose work visa for the duration of the project. Maximum durations apply depending on the nature of the role.

Other types of visas

There are several other less common types of visas that your candidate may seek. Most are subject to annual quotas and the vast majority of applicants fall under the four categories above.

What visa does your candidate require? How can you assist?


Contact our friendly team today to discuss your accreditation or visa requirements.