Essential Employment Paperwork in New Zealand



New Zealand offers several types of work visas for foreign nationals who wish to seek employment in its land. Most of these visas are only for temporary stays while some can lead to a residence. 

Australian citizens are allowed to work and reside in New Zealand by only presenting their passports. Work visas can be obtained from the New Zealand Consulate/Embassy in the expatriate’s home country and it will also be handy if the applicant has a firm job offer before applying. Here, we will provide a helpful guideline that can assist expats in determining which type of permit and visa will allow them to work in this country. 

Work Permit 

Taking up legal employment in New Zealand will require a work permit. This permit is usually granted to foreign assignees that already have a job offer and a contract issued by a company based in this country. The application process normally includes a Labour Market Test to determine the possible availability of a resident or citizen who can take on the job. If the labour market test shows that there is no local or resident who can fill the vacancy, the employer can proceed to hire a foreign national. 

Work Visa Categories 

As mentioned above, New Zealand has an assortment of work visas and expats must ensure that they apply for the correct one before flying in because it will be quite impossible to change their visa status if they are already in the country. The two main classifications of work visas for New Zealand are as follows: 

Working Holiday Scheme 

This type of visa is issued to foreign nationals whose ages are between 18 and 30. The working holiday scheme visa grants its holder the legal right to stay and work in New Zealand for 12 months. It takes about five business days for this visa to be processed. 

Skilled Migrant Category 

The Skilled Migrant Category allows an expat to live and work in New Zealand permanently. It is usually granted to applicants that are no more than 55 years old, no criminal record, speak fluent English and passed the health screening. Eligibility for this type of visa is determined by a points system whereas the expat will receive points based on his age, employability, qualifications and work experience. Applicants should send an Expression of Interest and once it has been accepted, they will receive and Invitation to Apply. 


Below is a list of some of the documents that are required during the visa application. Up to date immigration procedures and requirements are also available in the website of the Government of New Zealand

  • Valid Passport
  • Several passport sized photos
  • Medical Certificate
  • Certificate of No Criminal Record
  • Educational and Professional Certificates