Essential Skills Work Visa

Do you have a full-time job offer from an employer in New Zealand to fill in a position no local can fit? You are a perfect fit for an Essential Skills Work Visa – you must have the qualifications and experience to satisfy the needs of the job.
Note that Immigration New Zealand (INZ) will require your employer to prove they could not find a New Zealander to fill the position. This visa category is tricky as a lot depends on your ANZSCO (Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations) skill band.
Read on as we cover some crucial aspects of New Zealand Essential Skills Work Visa.

How do you qualify for a New Zealand Essential Skills Work Visa?

Besides the Good health, character and other standard requirements that INZ places on all Visas for New Zealand, here are some additional conditions that apply to Essential Skills Work Visa:
  • Your employer must make an earnest attempt to hire New Zealanders fitting the job requirements
  • The salary offered must not be lesser than the current market rate, based on the ANZSCO band of your occupation
In addition to meeting the qualification requirements for an NZ Essential Skills Work Visa, you must be mindful of other conditions placed on you during your stay, such as:
  • This visa does not allow you to be self-employed.
  • You must only work in the specific location, occupation and for the particular employer listed on your New Zealand Essential Skills Work Visa.
On an Essential Skills Work Visa:
  • You may study for 3 months in any 12-month period – this also applies to any courses you may have to take to meet your work obligations
  • Based on their relationship to you, your dependent children can apply for NZ Visas for Dependent Children. Your spouse can also apply for a Partnership Based Visa based on your Essential Skills Work Visa conditions.
Do not risk your New Zealand Essential Skills Work Visa approval or immigration status if you are not sure about the corresponding visa requirements. You can contact our Auckland based immigration experts for a 100% free consultation. We also excel at providing visa services to help you with New Zealand Visas for family so your loved ones can join you.

How long can you stay in New Zealand on Essential Skills Work Visa?

The subject of the length of your Essential Skills Work Visa is an involved one, depending on various factors, such as:
  • What is the length of your employment contract?
  • What is your occupation’s ANZSCO skill band?
  • Is your employer an accredited labour-hire business, which means it is approved by the INZ to hire foreign workers for 3rd parties?
The ANZSCO skill band determines the upper limit of your stay on the Essential Skills Work Visa:
  • 5 years for the higher-skilled band
  • 3 years for the mid-skilled band
  • 12 months for the lower-skilled band. There is also a “stand down” requirement to be met if you have recently spent 36 months on this band.
You must obtain another New Zealand Essential Skills Work Visa if you want to extend your stay in the country. You are allowed to apply for an unlimited number of Essential Skills Work Visas with no limit on the length of your visit if you are employed under the mid- or higher-skilled ANZSCO bands.
Before you can apply for another Essential Skills Work Visa in the lower-skilled ANZSCO band, there is a mandatory 12 month “stand down period” which forces you to stay out of New Zealand if you have already been in the country on the lower-skilled band for 3 years. You may still apply for a New Zealand Essential Skills Work Visa to work in an occupation that falls in the mid- or higher-skilled band.
Do you want to apply for an extension for your New Zealand Essential Skills Work Visa or upgrade to an occupation with a better ANZSCO band? Contact Professional Visa Solutions immigration advisers for a 100% free consultation.

What is the time and cost to obtain a New Zealand Essential Skills Work Visa?

Immigration New Zealand takes around 22-84 days to process an Essential Skills Work Visa – the time taken may vary depending on the ANZSCO occupation band, your qualifications and the reputation of your employer.
This work visa category requires you to provide substantial proof to establish that you are qualified for the job and that the employer could not find any fitting New Zealanders for the position. Work with our licensed immigration consultants to put together a compelling NZ Essential Skills Work Visa application to avoid delays or rejection.
Our team of licensed immigration experts aims to get your Essential Skills Work Visa NZ at the best rate. We have the expertise to provide you with the most cost-effective solutions for all your New Zealand Visa needs. Book a 100% free consultation to seek our transparent advice.