Paste your Google Webmaster Tools verification code here

Many talented people are coming to New Zealand on a Working Holiday Visa, securing a job and deciding to stay here. The problem is many assume that this will be as easy as it was to secure the working holiday visa which is a BIG mistake.

If you are on a working holiday visa – This blog will tell you what you need to do to get another visa

In fact getting a further work visa beyond your initial one year stay is much more difficult than getting a working holiday visa and there are very few realistic options. The main option of relevance to most people in this situation is the Essential Skills category. This visa is great as it usually puts you on a pretty well defined pathway to residence as a skilled migrant in the near future if that is what you want. In fact you can actually apply for both at the same time (or at least very close together.) The Objectives of Essential Skills work visas are to contribute to developing New Zealand’s human capability base by:

  • incentivising the development of a highly skilled workforce, high quality jobs and workplaces, and high value industries;
  • helping New Zealand firms maintain capacity and supporting the provision of services meeting important social needs; while
  • not displacing New Zealanders from employment opportunities or hindering improvements to wages or working conditions; and
  • managing fiscal risks, settlement risks and public perceptions of migration; and
  • ensuring the integrity of the immigration system and promoting the international reputation of New Zealand.

Note: Self-employment does not usually meet the objectives of Essential Skills work instructions. However if you are a contractor then we can still assist you.

However, difficulties often arise when applying for a visa under this category as Immigration New Zealand regards workers in this category as competing with New Zealanders for scarce jobs. Things can be very tricky unless your job is on the Skills shortage list and you have the experience and qualifications required by that list (a pretty select few people). For everyone else it is necessary to show that you met these above objectives but most importantly INZ will assess to make sure you are ‘not displacing New Zealanders’ from the job you are in or have been offered. The way INZ does this is called a Labour Market Check. This sounds pretty scary but essentially it is them assessing your job and whether there are New Zealanders available who could do this work. Most times in the current financial climate the answer will be yes and the visa will be declined.

We specialise in dealing with this situation and can provide advice on what you need to do to satisfy INZ that there are no New Zealanders available to do the work you can do. This will require us to work closely with you and your employer to show how valuable your skills and experience are to New Zealand and that adequate steps have been taken to find suitable New Zealanders. If you are considering applying for a work visa it is well worth contacting us before you do so as by the time INZ come back to you with their concerns it may already be too late to salvage the application.

Based on our extensive experience, we can give you a good indication of what type of job you should be looking for and can advise on how best to prepare this type of application to ensure it goes smoothly. For more info or to contact us please visit our site at:

Jig Patel | Director | Immigration Centre