Work visa options for your migrant staff

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.

From 4 July 2022, many of the current work visa options are being replaced by the Accredited Employer Work visa.


Accredited Employer Work Visa - from 4 July 2022

This visa allows the holder to work for an accredited employer, if you have a job offer from an accredited employer.

The applicant must:

    • hold an offer of employment in New Zealand from an accredited employer
    • meet the health and character requirements
    • be deemed competent for the role offer either via a relevant qualification or previous work experience

Essential Skills Work visa - until 4 July 2022

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.

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.