Work Visa FAQs
I am overseas at the moment, but would like to visit NZ and look for a job.
If your main reason for coming to New Zealand is to holiday, but you would also like to investigate opportunities for work, you may be able to travel to NZ as a visitor.
This will depend on the likelihood that you will be able to find work, and how prepared you are to return to your home country if you do not find work.
If you are from a visa waiver country, and meet certain requirements you can usually travel to NZ to holiday and investigate your options (“look and see”) without applying for a visa first.
However before you will be allowed to enter NZ, Immigration New Zealand staff at the border will need to be satisfied that you are unlikely to overstay or breach the conditions of your visa.
You can check to see if you need to apply for a visitor visa on our website.
How do I find a job in New Zealand?
There is helpful information on finding employment in New Zealand in finding a job section on the New Zealand Now website. This section will also provide you with a list of job websites, where you can browse for vacancies in NZ.
Can I travel to NZ as a visitor to attend a job interview?
Yes. In some cases, a NZ employer may require you to attend a job interview before an offer of employment is made.
In these cases, if you are from a visa waiver country, you may travel to NZ as a visitor, provided you declare your purpose as being ‘business’ on the arrival card. In addition, Immigration New Zealand staff at the border will need to be satisfied that you are unlikely to overstay or breach the conditions of your visa.
If you require a visa to travel to New Zealand, you should declare your intention in theapplication form.
Can I work in New Zealand while holding a visitor visa?
Generally, holders of visitor visa must obtain a work visa in order to work in New Zealand. We can help you in this situation.
Can I get a work visa without having a job offer?
Most of work visa categories require an offer of employment from a NZ employer first.
The only exception is if you meet the requirements for one of ‘open’ work visa categories.
What is an “open work visa”, and how do I get one?
‘Open’ work visa is one that does not require an offer of employment at the application stage and allows employment for any employer. These types of work visas are only available to specific applicants, who meet one of the following categories:
Working Holiday applicants
Partners and Spouses of NZ Citizens/residents, or of long-term work visa holders, or of certain student visa holders
New Graduates, who completed certain (not all) NZ qualifications
If you want to be self-employed in NZ, however, you may need to look at Entrepreneur Work Visa category.
Can I extend my Working Holiday visa?
If you are in NZ already on a Working Holiday visa, this cannot be extended, unless you meet the following criteria:
you are a UK citizen currently in NZ on a Working Holiday; and
your current Working Holiday visa was granted on or after 28 November 2005; and
your current Working Holiday visa was granted for 12 months only; and
you are currently in NZ
you are at least 18 and not more than 30 years old
If the above criteria applies to you, you may be able to extend your Working Holiday for up to another 11 months.
However, please note that you must not work for a period exceeding 12 months, which includes the time you have already spent in NZ on a Working Holiday visa.
If you do not meet the requirements for the above Working Holiday extension, you may be eligible for a Seasonal Work Extension instead.
Can I extend my working holiday visa if I haven’t yet travelled to NZ and the visa is about to expire?
If you have been granted a Working Holiday Visa (WHV) you must activate it by arriving in New Zealand within the timeframe provided (usually one year from the date it is granted).
You cannot delay/cancel a WHV that has been granted. If you cannot activate the visa, it will lapse.
Please note that you cannot apply again for a WHV if one was already granted to you.
I have a work visa, but my job details are changing
If you look at your work visa, there may be conditions placed on it.
On most work visas these conditions will state your job title, your employer’s details and your region of employment (e.g Wellington or Auckland).
If any of these details will change, your visa conditions must be changed as well in order for you to continue lawfully working in New Zealand.
Depending on what exactly has changed about your job, you may need to request either a variation of conditions on your existing visa OR apply for a whole new work visa