Essential Skills Work Visa

Essential Skills Work Visa – What You Need to Know

An Essential Skills Work Visa lets you come to New Zealand to work for up to five years. It can also lead to permanent residence in some circumstances. You can apply for it if you have been offered a job which you are qualified to do, and which you have experience in.

There are, of course, criteria for this visa. For example, the job must be full-time, and you can’t use this visa if you want to be self-employed. Also, the employer offering you the job must make genuine attempt by way of advertisements to recruit a New Zealander. They may also have to explain why New Zealand applicants or residents are not suitable or readily trainable.

It is now mandatory for all low-skilled (skill level four and five) Essential Skills work visa applications to include a Skills Match Report (SMR) from Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) at the time they are lodged.

The process has not changed, however, for the Canterbury region. Employers in this region must work with the Canterbury Skills and Employment Hub rather than WINZ. The Canterbury region includes the Christchurch, Waimakariri, and Selwyn council areas.

The other location where special rules apply is if the job is in Queenstown. If the job is classified at level four or five, employers must work with WINZ. The exception to this is if the job is on the occupation exemption list from the Queenstown Lakes District.

Other Things to Remember

  • The Essential Skills Work Visa is time limited. There are upper limits depending on the category you fall into, but if the job you have been offered is for a fixed term, the visa you get will only be for that period.
  • Once your visa runs out you can apply for another. There is no limit to the number of times you can do this, although you must meet the criteria on each application.
  • The maximum duration of this visa ranges from one to five years. This is decided by the skill level of the occupation as determined by the ANZSCO as well as whether you have had an Essential Skills Work Visa before, and the salary you will earn.
  • Separate applications can be made on behalf of your partner and dependent children if you want them to join you in New Zealand. If you want your children to live in New Zealand while you work here, however, you will need to earn at least NZ $36,850.44.

To find out more about the Essential Skills Work Visa and your eligibility, please call us today on 09 3790219.