As an American, can I work remotely in New Zealand for a US company?

Hi everyone!

I am trying to work remotely in New Zealand. I work for a company in the US.

My manager has agreed to let me work overseas. As a software engineer, I could really work just about anywhere. But our HR department are telling me it can’t be done – that we would have to pay New Zealand a lot of money to allow engineers to work there.

I want to work on an IEP Work Exchange visa. I am not looking to get a working visa, and I’m not going for residence. I would love to get advice on whether or not I could legally stay in NZ on a Work Exchange visa while still maintaining my US employment status.

And even if you don’t have experience with NZ in this area, if you have successfully done this abroad in any country I would love to hear about it.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give!

Have you called the New Zealand government? They are notoriously easy to deal with and will get you the exact answer you’re after.

I tried calling the embassy. I got transferred around quite a bit until I wound up getting someone’s voicemail. I left a message but never got a call back.

I haven’t made an international call to New Zealand yet.

Hmmm… since this is not a residency attempt, and you’re not exactly taking away any kiwi jobs, depending on the length of stay, why don’t you come in on a tourist visa and just work remotely for a while. You just don’t want to trigger tax residency status in NZ which will then subject you to the confines of a double tax treaty. Typically 183 days or less keeps you from being a NZ tax resident, but can be longer since you’re working for a company and not yourself… see below for more info

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