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Work Exchange Scheme

Work Exchange Scheme is for the individuals who have been pre-approved or fall under government-to-government exchange scheme.

Disclaimer – Visas Avenue does not provide any guidance or assistance on NZ Employment/Work Visa. This page is only for information purpose. Visas Avenue provide documentation assistance related to the different government programs.


  • You must be outside New Zealand.
  • You hold health and dental insurance for the entire period of your stay.
  • You have made arrangement to go back once your visa expires or about to expire.
  • You hold good moral conduct and health.
  • You provide evidence that you have been accepted into an approved work exchange scheme from the scheme organizer.
  • You must have written employment contract that contains the terms and conditions and meets holiday and special leave requirements and occupational safety and health obligations.

In order to get approval for Work Exchange Scheme, a proposal must be sent to Immigration New Zealand by any individual or organization.

There are two classes of exchange schemes:

  1. Approved exchange schemes: INZ formally approves the terms and conditions of these schemes. This again can be classified into two:-

Approved work exchange schemes-It allows participants to undertake employment for gain or reward during all or part of their stay. It has 1000 places annually.

Approved student exchange schemes-It allow participants to attend a school or other educational or training institution in New Zealand.

  1. Government-to-government exchange agreements: formal agreements signed by New Zealand and other   countries.

Requirements of the Work Exchange Scheme :-

  • Reciprocity:-It must have reciprocity i.e. equal number of New Zealand citizens must be granted the permission to visit other countries for equivalent periods, under similar terms and conditions and total number of incoming exchange participants in any 24-month period should be approximately equal to the number of outgoing New Zealand participants.
  • Guarantors-There must always be a guarantor who can be person or organization and if the scheme is organized from New Zealand, the people who propose the scheme are usually the New Zealand guarantors or If the scheme is organized from outside New Zealand, the organizers must nominate a guarantor who will act on their behalf in New Zealand.
  • Obligations of guarantors-New Zealand guarantors must obey the obligations as:-
  1. They must agree to be the contact point for any communication between the organisers, the participants and INZ; and
  2. They must sign an undertaking that suitable accommodation will be arranged before each inbound participant and any accompanying dependents arrive; and
  3. They must be responsible for ensuring that inbound participants (and any accompanying dependants) will be adequately maintained during the period of the exchange; and
  4. They must sign an undertaking that suitable jobs will be arranged before each inbound participant arrives.
  1. They must assist in selecting New Zealand participants, and agree to provide INZ with details of the number of inbound foreign and outbound New Zealand participants who have participated in the scheme in the preceding 24 months.
  • Length of exchange-The length can be maximum of 12 months.
  • Terms and conditions of employment under the exchange-The organizers must make sure that the conditions of work for participants must comply with the minimum employment requirements as provided for under New Zealand employment law.

People who want to send the proposal for Approved exchange schemes must provide information regarding Organizations and scheme guarantors, Participating countries, Eligible participants, Accommodation, Maintenance and employment, Medical insurance, Length of the exchange, Expected annual numbers, Travel arrangements,  Selection of participants and other information.

Requirements for participants

  • You must get visa for the length of the approved program.
  • You must meet the requirements under Generic Temporary Entry instructions for lodging an application for a temporary entry visa.
  • You must be bona fide applicants.
  • You must meet health and character requirements.
  • You must provide evidence of acceptance to an approved work exchange scheme from the scheme organizer, medical and dental insurance cover for the length of the exchange, they meet outward travel requirements i.e. actual travel tickets, a written guarantee from the New Zealand guarantor that they will ensure that participants (and any dependants) will have outward bookings at the end of their stay in New Zealand, regardless of whether they complete the full term of the exchange.
  • If participants arrive in New Zealand without a work visa, immigration officers may grant a work visa for the maximum period of stay for their scheme, provided that there are special reasons why they have not obtained a visa.


  1. Band A New Zealand (GST inclusive)-270 NZ$/230 NZ$.
  2. Band B Australia-230 NZ$
  3. Band C Rest of the world-270/230 NZ$.

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