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Working in New Zealand

  • A New Zealand work visa typically allows residents of other countries 12 months access to work in New Zealand. The visa is valid for 12 months from the date of issuance and permits travelers to stay in New Zealand for 12 months upon arrival. Many people may even fill out an online visa application with New Zealand. The New Zealand work visa permits full-time or part-time work with any one business for a maximum duration of six months at a time. Taxes operate on a pay-as-you-earn basis and should be deducted directly from pay by the employer.

    New Zealand operates a wide variety of work visa schemes with several foreign bodies, including Canada, France, Germany, Finland, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, the U.K., and the U.S., as well as several other countries. Travelers must obtain a valid passport from the country of origin, and the passport must not expire before the planned New Zealand departure date. Travelers must also maintain sufficient funds for a return trip once the visa expires or hold a return ticket upon arrival.

    The age limit for New Zealand work visa applicants typically falls between 18 and 30, though some older applicants may earn approval, depending on country of origin. In most cases, children cannot accompany adults on New Zealand work visa trips. New Zealand work visa travelers must hold sufficient funds for living expenses prior to approval. Holiday, not work, must represent the primary reason for work visa applicants to come to New Zealand. Applicants must prove no health risks and may need to provide either an X-Ray Certificate for Temporary Entry or a Medical and Chest X-Ray Certificate, if asked.

    The time required to process applications for work visas varies by permit. Some applications may take up to several weeks to process. Most visas incur a fee for service. The New Zealand Department of Labor provides an online guide to help applicants determine the amount of charges applicable to a particular visa. Applicants approved for residence, temporary or permanent, must pay a migrant levy in addition to standard fees. The New Zealand Department of Labor does not provide refunds for fees and may deny applications at any time.

    Applicants wishing to extend current stays may apply for permanent residence. New Zealand offers naturalization to internationals seeking permanent sanctuary in the country. Upon completing the naturalization process, newly appointed citizens reserve all of the rights and responsibilities of full New Zealand citizens. The government of New Zealand may deny applicants for citizenship at any time.

    To find current information about the New Zealand work visa program and eligible participants, visit Immigration New Zealand.

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