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  • January 23, 2016

What is a Temporary Work Visa?

New Zealand offers several types of visas allowing non-residents to take on temporary work in New Zealand. The most common, and sought-after, type of Temporary Work Visa is the Essential Skills Work Visa.

What is it?

The Essential Skills Work Visa is intended to allow non-residents to temporarily take on employment in New Zealand in areas which are suffering from employee shortages.

Time Frame

The Essential Skills Work Visa may be granted for up to two years, and it is possible to obtain further Essential Skills Work Visas for selected migrants who continue to meet all necessary requirements.

Skill Shortages

The Essential Skills Work Visa is intended primarily for potential employees who have been offered roles which cannot be filled by local employees.

The availability of local employees is monitored by Immigration New Zealand, who maintains a list of jobs which are suffering from long-term skill shortages and short-term skill shortages. Further, in some cases, regional skill shortage lists are maintained to help address region-specific roles (e.g. construction jobs in Christchurch following the Christchurch earthquake).

Applicants applying for an Essential Skills Work Visa are required to demonstrate that they are suitably qualified and experienced to undertake the employment.

Non-Shortage Jobs

Essential Skills Work Visas may also be granted for positions which are not on any Long-Term Skill Shortage List, Short-Term Skill Shortage List, or any regional Skill Shortage List. The visa may only be granted if the proposed employer can adequately show that no suitable local candidates could be found and that the proposed non-resident employee is the most appropriate choice.

Next Steps

AMG Immigration assists with all matters concerning Essential Skills Visas for clients located in Wellington, across New Zealand, or overseas. We can help determine eligibility for Shortage List positions, organise Essential Skills Visa applications, determine qualification and experience criteria, and work alongside employers to prepare applications for positions not listed on a Skill Shortage List. To launch your Essential Skill Work Visa application, contact our advisers, or make a booking to for an immigration consultation at our Wellington Office.

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