Have you received a work offer for New Zealand, but are unsure what you need to do before you can travel to the beautiful country to begin your new job? Do not fear, you have found the right place for step-by-step, easy-to-follow instructions on how to get a work visa in New Zealand!

The complicated process for acquiring a Verified International Stay Approval (visa) often is confusing and convoluted, making it difficult to know what you need to do and what you need to have in order to get one. Below is all information you require to eliminate a large portion of the headache involved.

Are There Exceptions To a New Zealand Visa Requirement?

Unless you have residency in New Zealand, the only other option to enter the country visa free is to be a resident of Australia. If you do not meet either of these requirements, you will need to complete the procedure to apply and acquire a New Zealand work visa in order to legally stay in the country for work purposes.

What Paperwork Should I Have For the New Zealand Work Visa?

Here are the items that you will need:

  • An up-to-date passport
  • Any previous visas
  • Two color photos
  • An offer of employment from your job
  • A cover letter
  • An itinerary for your stay
  • Your flight documentation
  • Accommodation documentation
  • Civil documents
  • Travel insurance verification
  • Means of financial stability
  • Receipts to show that your fees are paid

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

New Zealand Work Visa Application Procedure

Visa applicants go thru a rigorous process when applying for a New Zealand work visa. Here are the steps to follow to acquire your New Zealand work visa.

1. Determine Which Variety of Visa You Need

There are over eighty different types of visas based on what type of work situation or occupation that applies to you. You can go here to determine which visa is best applicable to your situation and review it to make sure there are no special requirements involved with your type of work visa. Once you have this knowledge, it will ensure that you know everything that will help you in conjunction with these instructions.

2. Online Application

Once you know which visa is appropriate for your situation, it’s time to begin filling out the New Zealand work visa application itself. Answer all the personal information to the best of your ability, and have any documents nearby that you may need in relation to your personal identification in case you need them. Once you have the information compiled, you need to upload a series of documents, which are listed below.

3. Two Recent Photographs

There are very specific requirements for these photographs. If you deviate from the guidelines, officials will ask you for a new one, which can cause more delays as you prepare your visa paperwork. Using a professional photographer can give you a better chance of success, and abiding by the following rules.

The images must be in color and saved as a .jpg file, and you must be looking straight ahead with a neutral expression, your head filling 70-75% of the space in the photo. Make sure the background is plain (typically gray is preferred) and that there is proper lighting. Ensure that you do not have red-eye or any obstructive clothing. The guidelines are in-depth, so you can peek here for all of the specifics.

4. A Valid Passport

The main features for your passport approval is that it is valid for at least three months after your expected arrival date for New Zealand. Make sure you photocopy all of the pages and that you have at least one blank page, which the officials will use for an entry stamp.

5. Affidavit of Good Character

Proving that you are a person of good character is important because if you do not have what is required, your application for residence will be declined. If you get close, you might receive a character waiver as long as all of your other documentation is complete, which will grant you permission. There is a variety of information that officials will want to be verified for approval, and another long list of situations that are eligible for the waiver. The entire list of what you need to succeed can be found here.

6. Health Verification

New Zealand work visa require you to have a medical examination and chest x-ray as part of the requirements. You will need to get a copy of the results and provide it for health approval. Make sure that the physician you use is approved for visa verifications.

7. Family Requirements

If you need to bring your children or spouse alone while you work, there are support visas available for New Zealand. Some options available are a work visa for your spouse, student visas for your children, or visitor visas which any of your family members are eligible for.

8. Means of Stable Living

To meet the approval of the visa committee, they are going to need proof that you are going to be stable during your time in the country. This means that you will need to have health insurance for the duration of the visit in case there’s an emergency, all flight plans for traveling both to and from the country, a confirmed residence to ensure you have a place to stay, and bank statements or other information to show that you have a steady income and will be able to handle your finances while working in New Zealand.

9. Proof of Payment

Finally, once all information is collected and prepared, you can submit your application. There will be a series of payments along the way in order to complete the process, so always keep your receipts handy so that you will be able to verify that you have covered all expenses for your New Zealand work visa and travel.


We hope that this article on how to get a work visa in New Zealand was helpful. If you’re interested in studying abroad, make sure to check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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