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There are many different kinds of NZ work visa available, but the most common ones that people apply for are the post-study work visa, Accredited Employer work visa, and partnership work visa.

Post-Study Work Visa

A visa for tertiary students who have completed their study in New Zealand. Also known as an 'open job search' visa, this work visa provides graduates with an opportunity to look for employment in New Zealand. Whether or not a student is eligible for a post-study work visa depends on the level of the qualification studied.

Accredited Employer Work Visa Christchurch NZ

This visa replaced the Essential Skills work visa along with some other work visa categories on 4 July 2022. It is the work visa that most migrant workers in New Zealand will now apply for and requires a job offer from an accredited employer in New Zealand. The application process involves three key steps:

1. Employer accreditation
2. Job check
3. Visa application

The employer accreditation and job check steps are up to the employer to handle. More can be read about these steps here.

Migrant employees usually only need to worry about the visa application stage, i.e., actually applying for an Accredited Employer work visa ('AEWV'). Accredited employers who have got a job check approved for a particular job can send any migrant that they wish to hire a link with a "job token" that the migrant can then use to apply for the AEWV. It is not possible to apply for an AEWV without a job token.

To get an AEWV application approved, migrants applying for an AEWV must have the qualifications and experience specified by the employer as requirements for the job in the job check application. The job on the basis of which the application is made must also pay at least the New Zealand median wage or higher, unless it is on Immigration New Zealand's (very limited) list of roles exempt from the median wage threshold, or is part of a sector agreement. Roles exempt from the median wage have their own wage thresholds (varies depending on the particular role) and the AEWV will only be granted for two years, whereas roles paying the median wage or higher will result in an AEWV for three years.

Another important list is the "Green List", which is Immigration New Zealand's list of jobs in high demand in New Zealand. If you get a job offer to work in an occupation on the Green List and you have the minimum qualifications/experience specified on the list for that occupation, you may be eligible to apply for residence in New Zealand immediately, depending on whether the occupation is listed as a "Tier 1" or "Tier 2" role. Please see our Residence page for more information about the Green List and pathways to residence.

Looking for a work visa for your partner?

For NZ partner visas, please see here: Partnership Category

Services: Services


Need guidance? Professional Immigration Services offers obligation-free initial assessments to help clients better understand their situation and prospects. Whether you've received a concern letter from Immigration New Zealand or just need help planning your future, we will facilitate your needs and help get you to where you need to be.


Based in Christchurch city, Professional Immigration Services provides high quality, reliable advice in relation to New Zealand visa applications and other immigration-related matters. Equipped with in-depth industry knowledge and experience, Evelyn Dyer is a Licensed Immigration Adviser who has special expertise in a range of complex immigration issues. She is renowned for her caring attitude towards clients, fast response times and high level of personalised service. If you're looking for an immigration adviser who takes the time to listen to you and understand your whole situation, Evelyn is the adviser for you.


Unlike other areas of law, the immigration industry in New Zealand is fast-moving and dynamic. Sometimes, policy changes are introduced quite literally overnight, so we are constantly updating our knowledge and clarifying grey areas with Immigration New Zealand's management team. If you're interested in keeping up to date with New Zealand immigration law and policy changes, keep an eye on our Blog page for the latest in immigration news, tips and articles.

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