How Long Can You Stay In NZ With Your Essential Skills Work Visa?

Length of Stay in NZ on an Essential Skills Work Permit
The NZ government and the immigration authorities have been trying to bring several reforms in the recent past to help its citizens and expats safely navigate their lives and careers. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic impact worldwide. Amidst such a deadly pandemic of unprecedented magnitude, New Zealand has cemented its position as one of the safest nations to stay and work. Though there have been job losses and casualties, they have been contained to a minimum.
The government and immigration authorities have centralized the managed isolation and quarantine system so that you can allocate your seat online if you are entering New Zealand from any other country. Apart from this, the government, immigration, and employment authorities have also brought necessary reforms in the employment law, extended several temporary work and visitor visas in NZ, and proactively tried to give a breather to its countrymen regarding jobs, studies and lives while keeping them safe.

What is the Essential Skills Work Visa?

The Essential Skills Work Visa NZ is a type of visa offered to individuals who have compulsory qualifications and years of experience to work in that particular field. If you think you are eligible for Essential Work Visa permission, you can apply for a temporary visa to get an NZ job. Before providing a job to any overseas person, New Zealand’s employer will initially verify if there is any New Zealand citizen available for the particular job position. If yes, they will provide the job opening to the New Zealander; else, an overseas individual can be offered the following job offer under an Essential Skills Work Visa NZ.

The stay period of a temporary work visa holder can vary depending upon the employer’s pay rate in NZ. Different rules and regulations related to visa applications are discussed below. Book a consultation with our immigration experts if you want more information on Essential Skills Work Visa NZ. They are friendly and have helped several people with their NZ visa concerns.

How long can you stay with an Essential Skills Work Visa in NZ?

Most of the work visas offered by the New Zealand government and the INZ come with the provision of temporary stay in the country. But the length of the stay might vary. Before deciding the length of an individual’s stay with a temporary visa, the NZ government focuses on different criteria listed below.
  • The stay period depends on the period of employment offered by the NZ employer to the applicant.
  • Further, the stay duration is also influenced by the pay rate the company offers him/her.
  • The stay’s rules and regulations also depend on the application date, if it is before or on 27 July 2020.
  • The NZ government also decides the stay time based on the accreditation of the company. The length of the stay may differ if the hiring company is an accredited labor company in NZ.

Visa application before 27 July 2020

If an employee or an individual has applied for an Essential Skills Work visa on or before 27 July 2020, then the length of stay will be decided according to the company’s wage.
  • A person offered employment at or above the NZ median wage of $25.50 an hour can be granted a maximum of 3 years of visa for working in NZ.
  • Further, if the employee is offered a job with less than the NZ median wage of $25.50 an hour, they are permitted for a stay of a maximum of 6 months only.
  • Based on the NZ government’s rules, the maximum amount of time that you can spend in NZ on multiple visas is 36 months only.

Visa application between 10 and 26 July 2020

If a visa applicant has applied for an essential work visa between 10 and 26 July 2020, then the length of stay will depend on a combination of ANZSCO skill level and the employer’s pay rate in NZ. Book a consultation with our NZ immigration and employment advisors to know more about ANZSCO skill levels. They will guide you and walk you through the entire procedure.

  • If a person has a higher-skilled band with any ANZSCO skill level, they can be offered a wage of $38.25 per hour or higher. In this case, the maximum duration of the visa could be 5 years.
  • A mid-skilled employee applying for a temporary visa NZ can be offered a pay rate of $21.68 – $38.24 per hour with a maximum visa duration of 3 years.
  • A pay rate of less than $38.25 per hour is offered to a lower-skilled individual with 4 or 5 levels of ANZSCO skills. Further, they can stay in NZ for 6 months, extending up to a maximum period of 3 years.
  • The last category of skills bands is the lower-skilled bands with any level of ANZSCO skills in NZ. These types of people are offered a pay rate of Less than $21.68 per hour and a stay of 6 months which can last up to a maximum period of 36 months.
  • The NZ governments have considered jobs at ANZSCO skill level 4 or 5 as exceptions. These levels can be regarded as mid-skilled levels if the employee is offered a pay rate of $25.50 to $38.24 an hour.

Visa application on or before 24 February 2020 to 9 July 2020

Concerning visa applications between 10 July and 26 July 2020, specific differences are noticed in applications filed from 24 February 2020 to 9 July 2020.
  • Higher skilled workers with any ANZSCO skill level can be offered an essential skills work visa for a maximum period of 5 years. The pay rate for highly qualified employees in New Zealand is $38.25 per hour or higher.
  • The second category of workers is the mid-skilled workers with 1, 2, or 3 ANZSCO skill levels. Such type of visa applicants can be granted a maximum of 3 years of visa. The pay rate for these individuals lies somewhere from $21.68 – $38.24 per hour.
  • A stay period of 12 months and a maximum stay time of 3 years were offered to lower-skilled laborers with level 4 or 5 ANZSCO skills. The pay rate was Less than $38.25 per hour for them.
  • The last category of employees were lower-skilled people who were offered a pay rate of less than $21.68 per hour with a length of stay ranging from 1-3 years.

Summing up

With various provisions of the stay duration depending on the pay rates and the dates of applications filed, an Essential Skills Work Visa holder can stay for quite some time in New Zealand. He or she can even bring their partners and families to New Zealand. The decision of the government and INZ to automatically increase their duration of stay has been received positively by the Essential Skills Work Visa holders in the country.