A work visa is a work visa, right? Not quite. All work visas will allow you to temporarily work in New Zealand. There are over 15 different subtypes of work visa.
There are 3 main types of work visa
Open work visaAn open work visa allows you to work for any employer in almost any occupation. This visa is granted to people with
Job search work visaJob search visa are granted in a variety of circumstances.
A person who is applying and qualify for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category can be given a 9 month job search visa if an Immigration Officer is not completely satisfied the person can successfully settle in New Zealand. Once the person has found a job that is relevant to his skills, work experience and/or qualifications a resident visa is granted.
You also have the Silver Fern Job Search Visa. A 9 month visa is given out to 300 talented young people who have specific skills (read qualifications) that New Zealand needs. Once employment is found a 2 year Practical Experience work visa is available. People who qualify under this category are usually able to apply for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category when they have found work.
The third subtype of job search visa is available for graduates. They can apply for a 12 month job search visa after they graduate with a level 7 or higher New Zealand qualification.
Employer Assisted work visaThe one thing all Employer Assisted visa have in common is that you need a job offer from a New Zealand employer to qualify. The 2 most common subtypes are:
Employer Assisted work visa
The one thing all Employer Assisted visa have in common is that you need a job offer from a New Zealand employer to qualify. The 2 most common sub-types are:
Work to Residence work visa
The work visa sub-type has six sub types again! The two most popular are Long Terms Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) and Talent (Accredited Employer).
To apply for a visa under the Work to Residence – LTSSL you need to have an occupation that is listed on the LTSSL, meet the exact requirements on the list and have a job offer of at least 24 months.
To apply for a Work to Residence – Talent (Accredited Employer) you also need a job offer for 24 months or longer . This job offer should be from an Accredited Employer. This is an employer who has been ‘pre-approved’ by Immigration New Zealand to hire immigrants for certain positions.
Two other subtypes are Skilled Migrant Category Job Search Visa and Entrepreneur Work Visa.
Essential Skills Work visa
For an Essential Skills work visa you need employment that is considered skilled. There are 5 skill levels, level 1 to 5, with level one being the least skilled and level 5 being the most skilled. Essential Skills work visa applications may be subject to a Labour Market Test. A test where Immigration New Zealand will check if there are no suitable New Zealand citizens or residents to do the job the applicant was offered. If there are, no visa will we granted.
Is your occupation listed on one of the Skills in Demand Lists AND do you meet the exact criteria mentioned then no Labour Market Test is done. Usually if you have a level 1 or 2 occupation a Labour Market Test is not performed.
Essential Skills vs Work to Residence
The main, and slightly simplified, difference between an Essential Skills Work Visa and a Work to Residence visa is that the Work to Residence visa sub-types have an easier pathway to a resident visa. You only have to proof you have worked and are still working in employment your visa was granted for, for a certain period of time (most sub-types 24 months). You also need to meet general requirements, such as requirements for health and character.
If you have an Essential Skills work visa you will have to apply under The Skilled Migrant Category. You have to prove your skills, qualifications and work experience.