How I applied for an Essential Skills Visa

DISCLAIMER: I am not affiliated in any way with Immigration New Zealand. Everything written on this blog are personal anecdotes.


I was offered a job in Auckland late July 2018 and since I hold a Philippine passport, I needed to apply for a work permit. You can only apply for an Essential Skills Work Visa if you have the necessary qualifications and experience to work in the job you are offered and your employer has checked if any New Zealanders were available to do the work. I did this application online for convenience and I believe the whole process is pretty straightforward.


How was I eligible for the Essential Skills Work Visa?

Short answer: I had an extra technical skill set that they were unable to find in the local pool of candidates at that time and it became a fair reason to hire  overseas manpower. My occupation type is a ANZSCO  skill level 1 if that helps.

How I started

Upon receiving my Letter of Offer and Employment Agreement from the HR department, I e-mailed them the INZ 1113: Employer Supplementary form to fill out and sign. It took me about 2 weeks to gather other required documents (will be listed at the end of this entry) before I did an online visa submission.
This is what the Realme dashboard looks like when you register and log in. Click on “Work Visa” button and start your application process from there.


The Waiting Game

According to the INZ website, 90% of applications are completed within 79 days. This gives them ample time to assess your credentials and ability to meet other requirements. My application took roughly a month from the date of submission to approval. Please please DO NOT worry / be anxious if yours takes longer. It doesn’t help to compare your situation with others–INZ is just doing their due diligence. Just make sure your HR / Hiring manager is aware of the timeline set by INZ.


I’ve scanned and uploaded these documents:

– Passport Photo
– Passport data page
– Offer Letter
– Employment Agreement w/ Job description
– INZ 1113- Employer Supplementary form
– e-Medical info sheet (results will be sent by your panel clinic to Immigration, usually a week or two after you’ve done your medical exam)
– Philippine Police Clearance (NBI)
– Singapore Police Clearance*
– Online job advertisement (you can either get the link URL of the advertisement yourself or ask your HR/Hiring Manager for it. I did the former and downloaded the web page into a PDF.)
– Tertiary Diploma
– Certificate of Employment w/ Job Description from all my previous employers (evidence of experience)


Once you’re done uploading your documents and paying for your application, you will receive a system-generated e-mail from INZ a few days later as a confirmation.


How much I spent (in New Zealand dollars)

$210 eMedical (I didn’t take the required x-ray since I submitted one in my previous NZ visa application)
$293 Visa application fee. It’s $495 effective Nov 2018
$7 Philippine Police Clearance (NBI) fee
$55 Singapore COC fee*
$50 NZpost FingerPrint impressions (Singapore COC)*


*NOTE: Since I spent 5 years in Singapore, I had to submit a COC. Same ruling applies if you have lived more than 5 years in a country you don’t hold a citizenship in.


Approvals are sent via e-mail too. Here’s the one I got:

Leave a Comment