Duration Of Work Permit In New Zealand

Are you a professional relocating to New Zealand and need a visa to stay in the country?  Do you have a job offer in New Zealand but lack time to get your work permit?  The good news is that there are ways around this problem. I hope the information below will help make your experience easier.Duration of work permit in New Zealand is usually valid for one year. The employer, who needs this permit, must be an international organization, has been registered with the Immigration New Zealand or set up a moving office, medical practice or call centre in New Zealand.

The following is a brief summary of the requirements to obtain a Work Permit in New Zealand:

Duration Of Work Permit In New Zealand

How long you can stay on an Essential Skills Work Visa

How long you can spend in New Zealand on an Essential Skills Work Visa depends on your situation.

The Essential Skills Work Visa closed to new applications on 4 July 2022. If you have an existing visa, your individual conditions will remain until the visa expires.

Find out how long you can stay

The length of your visa depended on:

  • how long you have been offered employment for
  • how much you earn
  • when you applied for your visa
  • whether your employer is an accredited labour hire company.


Check the table for the situation that applies to you. The durations listed are the maximum you can stay on each Essential Skills Work Visa.


If your employment contract is shorter than the maximum duration of the visa, we grant your visa only for the length of your employment contract. If you will be subject to a stand-down, we only grant you a visa until the stand-down period starts. 

If your visa was granted on or after 19 July 2021

How long you can stay depends on if you will be paid below the median wage, or the median wage and above.

WageMaximum duration of visa
At or above the NZ median wage of $27 an hour3 years
Below the NZ median wage of $27 an hour2 years

Previous pay rate information

Skill-bands and visa duration for Essential Skills applications submitted before 24 February 2020.

If you applied between 27 July 2020 and 18 July 2021

If you applied for your visa between 10 and 26 July 2020

If you applied for your visa on or after 24 February 2020 to 9 July 2020

If you applied between 28 August 2017 and 14 January 2018

If you applied between 15 January 2018 and 25 November 2018

If you applied between 26 November 2018 and 24 February 2020

Applying for another temporary work visa

The Accredited Employer Work Visa has replaced the Essential Skills Work Visa for new applications.

Accredited Employer Work Visa

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