Essential Skills Visa

A person who has a full-time job and the required qualifications & experience in that particular field of work is eligible to apply for a visa to work in New Zealand for a temporary period of time.

However, this visa will be granted only if the employer has made sure that there are no New Zealanders available to work in that particular field.

Duration: validity is up to 5 years (depending on the skill level of the work).

Benefits: Once this visa is granted you can even pursue studies up to 3 months in the 12-month period. You also might be able to support the visas of your spouse or children.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • A proof of identity
  • A proof of good character
  • A proof of good health
  • A bona-fide showing that your intentions of acquiring the visa are honest and genuine.
  • An offer to work full time in New Zealand
  • Non-availability of New Zealanders in that particular field of work
  • Necessary qualifications and experience to perform the job.
  • Registration of occupation (if applicable)
  • If applicant has a 'stand down period' clause (Lower skilled jobs)The applicant will have to go outside New Zealand consecutively for 12 months before reapplying for a work visa


The application process can be done via paper submission or an online application. The paper submission will cost approximately 318 NZD will take around 25 working days to process, while the online application will cost approximately 298 NZD and will take around 20 working days.

Step 1: To apply for this particular visa, you have to provide an employment agreement form and an Employer Supplementary Form (INZ1113), which has to be filled by the employer. A genuine proof has to be provided by your employer that efforts were made to hire a New Zealander for the required field of work, however the exceptions are-

  • The work that you are looking for is in the Essential Skills in Demand list and that you possess the required qualifications and experience to perform the job.
  • You have already been working in that particular field of job that you presently have and have been given an invitation to work under the Skilled Migrant Category.

Note: For those whose occupation falls under the "Low-skilled category", the employer has to acquire a skills match report.

Step 2: Submit the visa application once all the conditions have been met and satisfied and wait for result.

Documents Checklist-

  • Work visa application form (INZ 1015)
  • Original passport including two additional photographs.
  • Police Clearance Certificate*
  • Medical Certificate*
  • Job offer of full time work
    • 1. A copy of the employment agreement.
    • 2. Keep in mind that your employer should not be included in the list of non- compliant employers.
  • Labour Market Test (Non-Availability of New Zealanders for the required job):

    1. Employer Supplementary Form (INZ1113)

    2. Employer's Evidence include-

    (i) Website and newspaper advertisements.

    (ii) Records showing that contact have been made with a recruitment company.

    (iii) A skilled match report from work and income (not applicable if the job is in the ANZCO skill level 1 category, only applicable for those whose occupation falls under ANZCO level 4 or 5.

    (iv) The result of all the recruitment efforts made.

  • Qualifications and experience should match the ANZSCO requirements that have been set-

    1. Original/Certified copy of the qualification.

    2. NZQA recognised qualification/ degree.

  • For experience the requirements are:

    1. The work you have performed

    2. The duration of your work

    3. Hours a week you performed your work

    4. Contact details of your employer/employers

    5. The relation of your work to the one you have been offered in New Zealand

  • Registration of occupation- May or may not be required depending on your work If Mandatory-

    1. Provide a certified copy of your full or provisional New Zealand registration

    2. Confirmation of your eligibility for New Zealand registration from an appropriate registration body


  • * The Police Clearance Certificate should not be more than 6 months old. For those who are aged 17 or above and are planning to Stay in New Zealand for a duration of 24 months or more will require to provide Police Clearance Certificates
    (i) From the country(s) of citizenship.
    (ii) From any country, where you have spent a duration of more than five years since turning 17.
  • *Medical Certificate should be provided along with a Chest X-ray. Chest X-ray is mandatory for those who will be residing in New Zealand for duration of 6 months or more. Applies to those:-
    (i) Who belong to a country that does not have a low occurrence of Tuberculosis.
    (ii) Who have spent a duration of 3 months or more in the past five years in a country that has a high occurrence of tuberculosis.
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