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I have a new job, can I update my work visa?

“I have a new job, but I still have a lot of time left before my current visa expires, can I update my work visa using a variation of conditions?”

Things do not always go to plan, sometimes you can find yourself in a situation where you have finally gained a work visa but your employment situation has not worked out or you have found an even better opportunity.  If you hold a work visa that states your position, the company you are working for and the region where you are currently working, you will have to update this before you can begin working at your new job.  The good news is, you may not have to start all over again!  A variation of conditions is a worthwhile option if you still have a lot of time left on your current visa.  To do so, you will first need to see if you qualify for this option.


A Variation of conditions will usually be granted for most work visa categories if your new job will also meet the objectives of your current work visa category. For example: if you are on your 2 year post-study employer assisted work visa and have a new job offer then you would need to ensure that your new job is relevant to your recently gained qualification.

If you are on an Essential Skills work visa it is a bit trickier because the focus is on the fact that your job is skilled and there are no other suitable New Zealand residents or citizens that can fill your role.  You will be able to vary your current Essential Skills work visa if:

1. You are changing companies but you are remaining in the same region and your position remains the same.  For example: you are a carpenter wanting with a job offer to move from Company A to Company B and both companies are in Auckland; or

2. You are changing to a different role or region of employment and you new job is on one of the Essential Skills in Demand Lists – Long Term Skill Shortage List, Immediate Skill Shortage List or the Canterbury Skill Shortage List.


If you find that you do not qualify for a variation of conditions on your current work visa then you will have to make a new work visa application.  It is important to note that a variation of conditions only enables you to work at your new job, it does not change the duration of your work visa.


We have taken care to ensure that the information given is accurate, however it is intended for general guidance only and it should not be relied upon in individual cases.  Professional advice should always be sought before any decision or action is taken as Immigration New Zealand’s Instructions change on a regular basis.