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Visas and qualifications

Visas to work in New Zealand are readily available and with different options to suit your needs. If you're an Australian citizen, you don't need to worry about getting a visa, just come on over!

Work to residence visas

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There are two main types of work to residence visas that you can apply for:

Work to Residence: Long term skill shortage

The long term skilled shortage visa is available if you have a permanent or long-term job offer in an occupation on the long term skill shortage list and your qualifications and experience match. 

Work to Residence: Accredited employer

If you have a long-term or permanent job offer from an Immigration New Zealand accredited employer you can apply for the accredited employer visa.

Residence visas

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Residence from work visa 

Once you’ve been in New Zealand for at least 24 months on a work to residence visa you may be eligible to upgrade your visa to residence status under the Residence from Work Category. Once granted, you can continue live and work in New Zealand permanently and come and go from New Zealand without travel conditions.

Skilled migrant visa 

If you have certain skills, qualifications or experience that are in demand in New Zealand, you may be able to apply for a resident visa under the skilled migrant category. This is a points system based on factors like your work experience and qualifications, age, and an offer of skilled employment. If successful, you'll be issued either a resident visa or job search visa.

Partner and children visas 

There are also a number of visas available for your partner and children to be able to join you here.

Other visas

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Working holiday visa 

New Zealand has working holiday scheme agreements with many countries. This option is is a great way to see if you like living and working in Wellington before deciding to move here permanently.

Working holiday visas are available to people, usually aged 18-30, but 18-35 in a select few countries. They let you travel and work in New Zealand for up to 12 months, or 23 months if you’re from the UK. 

More visas

There are a number of other New Zealand visas available for specific situations. Visit Immigration New Zealand's website for the full list.


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If you've gained a qualification in your home country, you may need to help employers in New Zealand understand what you have achieved.

In New Zealand, we use a national qualifications framework which ranks qualifications from 0 to 10. A doctoral degree is 10, a master’s degree is 8, bachelor’s degree is 7 and a diploma is 5 or 6. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority website has more information on understanding this framework.

You can then check Immigration New Zealand’s list of overseas qualifications and how they rank on New Zealand’s framework.

If your particular qualification isn’t listed, you can submit it to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority for an International Qualifications Assessment. This will show you what qualifications in New Zealand are similar to the one you have received, which can help prospective employers understand your achievements when applying for jobs here.

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