work visa nz


Longer Essential Skills Visas

From 19 July, Essential Skills Visa holders will be able to apply for a longer visa to remain in their current role.

The Government has decided to extend the maximum duration of an Essential Skills Visa for a job paid below the median wage from 12 to 24 months.

The duration of Essential Skills visas for roles paid the median wage or above will still be up to three years.


Application process simplified 

From 19 July 2021 until 28 August 2021, applicants need to apply using a paper-based form on the INZ website. From 30 August 2021 applicants will be able to apply online instead.

Employers who are retaining migrant workers in the same roles will not have to prove there are no New Zealanders available. Employers will still need to undergo a labour market test for vacant roles or where your worker will change the region they work for you in.

Applicants remaining in the same role will not need to include an employment agreement with their new Essential Skills visa application. Applicants will not be required to provide medical and police certificates, if these were previously supplied with a visa application.

These measures will make it easier for employers to retain their current migrant workforce.


Accredited Employer Work Visa temporarily deferred

The introduction of the AEWV, previously scheduled for 1 November 2021, will be temporarily deferred to the middle of next year.

We will keep stakeholders updated on the progress of the AEWV.