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New Zealand Work Visas & Permits

Is your company planning a move to New Zealand? If so, you’ll most likely need to bring part of your valued workforce along to help with the expansion, and for this, you’ll require a New Zealand work visa for each employee.

New Zealand’s immigration process is complex and can be difficult to understand. There are dozens of different kinds of work visas, and processing times can be long, so it’s important that you fully understand the system and are prepared. If you don’t follow the proper procedures, your application will be rejected and you could experience expensive delays to your expansion.

At Horizons, our global expansion team offers extensive New Zealand work visa support, immigration advice, and tailored outsourcing. Our services offer your organization and your employees everything needed to start trading in New Zealand quickly and compliantly.

Hire and pay talents
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Standard requirements for New Zealand work visas

With different requirements for every one of the dozens of work visas in New Zealand, it is crucial that you understand exactly which one you need before preparing your application. However, there are some general requirements for most/all work visas for New Zealand:

  • A valid travel document such as a passport
  • Demonstrable good health, which may require a medical certificate or chest x-ray
  • Criminal record checks
  • Details of previous residencies
  • An application form and associated fees

Some, but not all New Zealand work visas work on a points system, where an individual must meet a certain threshold. This threshold can be reached in a number of ways, but examples of things that gain points are being under 30, having certain qualifications, having family in New Zealand, having a job offer, and so on.

Types of work visas in New Zealand

There are many different types of visa, but some of the most applicable categories for employees are:

  • Essential skills work visas
  • Work visas
  • Student visas
  • Working holiday visas
  • Silver fern job search visas
  • Dependent child resident visas

For most organizations expanding to New Zealand, a work visa will be the most suitable type of visa for their foreign employees.

How to get a New Zealand work visa

Much of the visa process for New Zealand is now digital and available online. For most work visas, you can lodge your application and submit any supporting documents via New Zealand’s immigration website. You can still lodge a paper application if you prefer, although waiting times may be longer if you do.

Visas are generally issued in the form of an eVisa so you will not need a physical copy of it and it will be linked to the individual’s passport, although it is good practice to have a physical record.

Additional considerations for New Zealand work visas

For residents of some countries, and for some types of visas, New Zealand has limits to the number of visas it will issue. If you fail to obtain a visa in one cycle, you’ll have to wait for the next to apply again. For this reason, you should always prepare well in advance of needing the visa and ensure that you submit your applications as early as possible.

Australians can generally travel and work freely in New Zealand, so the process is far simpler if your employees are citizens or permanent residents of Australia.

How can Horizons help your employees work in New Zealand?

At Horizons, we offer support for employers of all kinds throughout their expansion into New Zealand, and we are experts in obtaining valid New Zealand work visas. Our New Zealand work visa specialists can offer tailored outsourcing services to help your organization navigate New Zealand’s difficult work visa process quickly and cost-effectively. We will ensure that you and your workforce are fully compliant with New Zealand’s unique immigration process. In addition to our visa services, we also provide extensive outsourcing services covering HR, recruitment, payroll, administration, employer of record, and more to help your business start trading in New Zealand as quickly and effectively as possible, even if you haven’t established an in-country subsidiary.