Essential Skills Work Visa

You have landed a full-time job offer for a position that your employer tried filling with a local New Zealander but could not find anyone. You may be the right candidate for Immigration New Zealand’s Essential Skills Work Visa – you must have the experience and qualifications to fill the position.

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Do you have an offer for full-time employment from a New Zealand employer? Was your employer unable to find a local New Zealand citizen or resident for the job? Do you have the experience and credentials to satisfy the job requirements? The Essential Skills Work Visa NZ offers may be the right vehicle for you to work in New Zealand.
Read on to know more about Essential Skills Work Visa requirements and application process.

What are Essential Skills work Visa requirements?

You must satisfy the following Essential Skills Work Visa requirements to be eligible for this visa:
  • The wages offered should not be lagging the current market rate for a similar job, as dictated by the ANZSCO (Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations) band for the occupation
  • The employer must prove that they were not able to find a New Zealand citizen or resident to do the job
Here are some of the conditions placed on the Essential Skills Work Visa NZ offers:
  • You cannot work for yourself
  • You are confined to work in the exact location, position and employer listed on the Essential Skills Work Visa NZ provides you with
Essential Skills Work Visa permits you to do the following; you may:
  • Undertake studies for 3 months in a 12-month span – any courses needed for you to perform your job are also covered by this
  • Based on the conditions of your work visa, your partner can avail a Partnership Based Visa, and your dependent children can get a Dependent Child Visa
Some other terms may apply based on your situation. Do not take any risks with your visa application and end up losing the opportunity to work in New Zealand. Our qualified immigration advisers are based in Auckland, so you can visit our office to have a face-to-face discussion – they know the Essential Skills Work Visa process inside out. Book a complimentary consultation session to speak with our immigration consultants – 100% free.

How long is Essential Skills Work Visa valid for?

INZ allows different periods of stay on this work visa based on various factors. The things that go into deciding the validity period are:
  • Length of job agreement
  • Your occupation’s ANZSCO skill band
  • If the employer is an accredited labour-hire company
Here is how the ANZSCO band impacts the validity period for the Essential Skills Work Visa NZ provides:
Skill BandANZSCO Skill LevelWageVisa Validity
Higher-skilledAny> $38.25/hour5 years
Mid-skilled1-3$21.68 – $38.24/hour3 years
Lower-skilled4-5< $38.25/hour12 months
Note: Some ANZSCO skill level 4 or 5 occupations are exceptions. They are treated as mid-skilled if the wages are in the range $25.50 – $38.24/hour
Lower-skilledAny< $21.68/hour12 months
You need to get another Essential Skills Work Visa to stay in the country for longer. There is no limit on the number of visas or total length of stay in mid and high-skilled ANZSCO bands.
Applicants in the lower-skilled ANZSCO band have to go through a 12-month “stand-down period” which means they have to live outside New Zealand after they have spent 3 years in the country. You may, however, make an application for another Essential Skills Work Visa for the mid- or higher-skilled band.
Are you confused about the extension norms of your work visa? Do you want to upgrade to a job with a higher ANZSCO band, or have any other questions related to Essential Skills Work Visa? Qualified Immigration Advisers NZ consultants have the experience to help you with all your Essential Skills Work Visa questions. Book an absolutely free consultation to discuss your case.

What is the Essential Skills Work Visa processing time and cost?

Typical Essential Skills Work Visa processing time is around 64 days – however, it may vary based on the ANZSCO band the occupation falls under and the immigration history of the employer.
This visa category has unique requirements that necessitate meticulous creation of supporting documentation to establish that no locals could be found to fill the position despite the employer doing their best. Even a minor mistake or oversight may trigger Potentially Prejudicial Information (PPI) letters from the INZ and the resulting back/forth communication can lead to an increase in the Essential Skills Work Visa processing time.
Our highly qualified and experienced immigration team is dedicated to getting your New Zealand visa at the best rate and shortest time possible. We pride ourselves in having one of the best track records in the industry and are confident of the results we can bring to the table. Book a completely free consultation to see how we can help.