The advice you need to set yourself up for success when immigrating to New Zealand.
Did you know that most people need a job offer to score enough points for a Skilled Migrant Visa?
Immigration New Zealand usually only invites migrants with a score of 160 or more to apply for a visa, despite the minimum required points score being 100.
That’s why it’s critical to know how to get a job in New Zealand if you want to immigrate to New Zealand as a skilled migrant.
1. Find out if you qualify for a Skilled Migrant visa
Your immigration journey must start with an immigration assessment. There are two reasons for this:
- You don’t want to find out after getting a job offer that you don’t qualify for a Skilled Migrant visa. It’ll be devastating!
- Recruiting from overseas is riskier for an employer than recruiting locally – and that’s why many employers would want to know that you qualify for a work visa before considering your CV.
2. Research the New Zealand job market
Go into this job search prepared!
Read up on your industry in New Zealand, research average salaries, compile a list of recruiters, find out how the recruitment process works, and look for companies that often hire overseas.
You’ll not only set yourself up for success , but also manage your expectations around what you can expect from working in New Zealand, what you’re liking to earn, and how long it could take to get a job.
3. Prepare your CV in the New Zealand style
Spend time formatting your CV in the New Zealand style.
Your efforts will pay off because employers will know you understand how to job hunt in New Zealand.
Not only that, but it’ll also show that you care enough to research how a New Zealand employer wants to receive an application.
4. Write a cover letter that makes an impact
You don’t want to send employers a generic cover letter! Make it specific to the job and clearly illustrate why the employer should consider your application.
You’ll find excellent examples of cover letters on The Muse, a career-focused website.
5. Make sure you have a strong LinkedIn profile
Recruiters and employers will search for you on LinkedIn, so it’s crucial to set up a profile that gets their attention.
What makes a strong LinkedIn profile? Everything in the checklist below. Download it, then continue reading for more tips.
6. Always have updated copies of your visas, references, and qualifications
You don’t want an expired passport or outdated documents to stand in the way of getting a job in New Zealand. Set reminders for when updates are needed and ensure they happen in time. You could ask your immigration advisor for guidance with this matter.
7. Improve your skills and knowledge
You may need to sharpen your skills to get a job in New Zealand. Don’t let it stand in your way! Yes, it’s hard to study and work. However, you might only need to do a short course or a certificate.
Trust us when we say the studying will pay off. You’ll make yourself more marketable and desirable to employers.
8. Become a Zoom expert
Test each one to know how it works and how to troubleshoot common errors. You can set up a quick session with a friend, but also remember to test the tech before every interview. You never know when an update is needed, which could cut into your interview time if you don’t do it beforehand.
9. Be available day and night
There might be a considerable time difference between New Zealand and your home country. That is no excuse not to attend an interview.
You could ask for a different time, which probably won’t be frowned upon, but stick with the suggested time if you can.
10. Prepare for the interview
It’s no secret that it’s critical to prepare for an job interview. The basics are researching the company, prepping and practising answers to common interview questions, and doing salary research.
The better you’re prepared, the better your interview will likely go.
Go into your New Zealand job hunt prepared. Ensure you know the industry, perfect your CV and cover letters, and sharpen your skills.
Don’t neglect to create a stellar LinkedIn profile – it’s one of the best ways to secure a job!
Finally, ensure you’re ready when an employer shows interest by prepping for the interview, becoming a Zoom expert and having updated documents.
That’s how you get a job in New Zealand.
Remember the last time you tried to get your toddler to eat something new? It didn’t necessarily go down well, did it?
Children don’t always take to change immediately.
Now imagine the moment you tell your child you’re moving to New Zealand. That’s a change so much bigger than a new menu item.
Don’t worry, though!
While moving overseas with kids is not easy, it’s not Mission: Impossible either. As parents, you can make it a pleasant (even enjoyable!) experience for children of all ages with these six tips:
1. Breaking the news
Tell your children you’re moving to New Zealand as soon as you’re confident it will happen. Don’t wait until it’s time to pack up the house! Your children will need time to process the news and get used to the idea.
Get them on board by explaining the reasons for the move and sharing information about New Zealand.
Focus on things that would get your children excited. Do you like going to the beach? Tell them about New Zealand’s beautiful beaches. Even better – show them using Instagram or YouTube videos.
Encourage your children to ask questions, too! Give them honest answers in return. You must create a safe space for your children to communicate their concerns, fears, and curiosity right from the start.
Finally, make it clear that the family is doing this as a team and that you’ll need to work together for a successful and happy move.
2. Continue to communicate
It’s vital to check in with your children throughout your emigration. Find out how they’re feeling. Your kids are going to experience a range of emotions!
You can keep it casual. For example, have conversations at breakfast. It might also be a good idea to have one-on-one conversations. Children often open up more when talking to dad or mom alone.
Whatever your children’s emotions, let them get it all out. Your job is to listen and let your kids know you are there for them throughout this adventure.
3. Let your kids explore New Zealand
Unless you’ve already been to New Zealand, your children won’t know what to expect. That could make the prospect of moving daunting!
Introduce them to your soon-to-be-home as soon as possible with online guides, YouTube videos and age-appropriate books. You’ll also find many articles online with facts about New Zealand specifically for kids.
Once you know where in New Zealand you’ll live, research the city and neighbourhood together. You can ‘walk’ through areas with Google Street View.
Let your children guide the research. Ask them what activities and fun places they’d like to visit. These include parks, libraries, museums, zoos, and swimming pools.
Once your children are familiar with the sights and sounds of the city, ask them where they’d like to visit first. Set a date for soon after you arrive. That’ll give your kids something to look forward to.
4. Make your children feel involved
Making your children part of the planning process as much as possible is essential! It helps them feel valued. It also gives them a connection to their new home.
For example, let your children decide how they want to decorate their bedroom. You can also let them decide which of their belongings they’d like to pack or leave behind. Give some input but don’t control the process.
You can get teenagers involved on a larger scale. Get their input on the neighbourhoods where they’d like to live, what schools they’d like to go to, or show them houses you’re considering.
You don’t have to let them make the final decision about any of these, but consulting teenagers on decisions that’ll affect them (and taking their feedback on board) will foster goodwill.
5. Make time to say goodbye
Let your child have plenty of play dates with their friends before making the big move. Let them see grannies, grandpas, and other beloved family members often.
It’s important also to let children understand that their friendships and relationships with family aren’t at an end. Explain that they can stay in touch and do so once you’re in New Zealand.
Before you go, organise a farewell party with friends and family. You could do one big farewell or separate ones for the adults and kids.
Farewells will allow everyone to say goodbye before you leave. It’ll create great memories too! Take lots of photos and put them up in your new home.
6. Make the big day exciting
Kick off your family’s adventure on a high note by making the moving day special! Here are some ideas:
- Camp out together as a family in the lounge the night before. Watch movies on a laptop and have everybody’s favourite snacks ready!
- Prepare a special breakfast or go out to your favourite café one last time.
- Take a family photo in front of your house and frame it.
- Let grandparents drive you to the airport to give everyone extra time together.
- Ask everyone to share what they love most about where you’ve lived and what they’re most excited about your new home on the way to the airport.
- Pack an activity pack for each child, and hand them to your kids at the airport.
When you’re moving overseas as a family, open and regular communication with children is critical to address their feelings and concerns. Listen more than you talk!
To get your kids on board and looking forward to what lies ahead, involve them in the process and let them explore their new home online or through books. It’s essential also to give your children the chance to say goodbye to their friends and family. Don’t leave without doing so, or you’ll have unhappy children!
The final step to success is making the moving day special. There’ll be no time for tears when everyone is excited about the family’s new adventure.
New Zealand is rebuilding its economy after the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason, New Zealand is in dire need of overseas professionals with engineering, IT, and construction skills.
New Zealand is also recruiting teachers from overseas as COVID-19 created a shortage of education professionals.
You can book your consultation call right away if you’re in one of these industries and you want to find out if you qualify for a work visa.
Once that’s done, continue reading to find more about working in New Zealand in each skills area.
Engineering skills are in short supply in New Zealand. According to New Zealand Now, it’s estimated that New Zealand needs 1,500 engineers more each year just to match economic growth.
And it’s an exciting time to be an engineer in New Zealand.
The Government pledged NZ$12 billion in 2020 to infrastructure upgrades as part of its Upgrade Programme. The Programme will focus on rails, roads, schools, and hospitals to future-proof New Zealand’s economy.
Engineering occupations on the Skills Shortage lists
New Zealand’s Skill Shortage lists include a wide range of engineering occupations, including engineers, draughting professionals, and technicians:
- Chemical Engineer (233111)
- Materials Engineer (233112)
- Civil Engineer (233211)
- Geotechnical Engineer (233212)
- Structural Engineer (233214)
- Electrical Engineer (233311)
- Electronics Engineer (233411)
- Industrial Engineer (233511)
- Mechanical Engineer (233512)
- Production or Plant Engineer (233513)
- Environmental Engineer (233915)
- Engineering Professionals nec (233999)
- Civil Engineering Technician (312212)
- Electrical Engineering Technician (312312)
- Electronic Engineering Technician (312412)
- Telecommunications Engineer (263311)
- Telecommunications Network Engineer (263312)
- Civil Engineering Draughtsperson (312211)
- Electrical Engineering Draughtsperson (312311)
How much do engineers get paid in New Zealand?
You’ll find salary information for engineers in New Zealand on PayScale. To get you started, we’ve listed the salaries for chemical, environmental and industrial engineers below:
Finding engineering jobs in New Zealand
Engineering New Zealand, the professional body for engineers in New Zealand, is your first port of call when job hunting. Their website has a job section with available positions across all New Zealand regions.
You can also explore these job websites:
2. IT specialists
New Zealand’s tech sector comprises over 20,000 firms that employ more than 100,000 people. And it is renowned globally for being a flexible, resilient, adaptable, and entrepreneurial environment.
Traditionally, most tech workers lived and worked in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, but that picture can look different in the future, thanks to more companies offering remote work.
IT occupations on the Skills Shortage lists
New Zealand needs various IT professionals, ranging from web developers to security specialists:
- Multimedia Specialist (Film Animator) (261211)
- ICT Project Manager (135112)
- Organisation and Methods Analyst (224712)
- ICT Business Analyst (261111)
- Systems Analyst (261112)
- Multimedia Specialist (261211)
- Web Developer (261212),
- Analyst Programmer (261311)
- Software Tester (261314)
- Developer Programmer (261312)
- Software Engineer (261313)
- Software and Applications Programmers nec (261399)
- Database Administrator (262111)
- ICT Security Specialist (262112)
- ICT Support Engineer (263212)
- Systems Administrator (262113)
- Computer Network and Systems Engineer (263111)
- Network Administrator (263112)
- ICT Quality Assurance Engineer (263211)
- ICT Systems Test Engineer (263213)
- Telecommunications Engineer (263311)
- ICT Support and Test Engineers nec (263299)
- Telecommunications Network Engineer (263312)
- ICT Customer Support Officer (313112)
How much do IT workers get paid in New Zealand?
IT professionals get paid well in New Zealand. However, your salary will still depend on your occupation, skills, and experience.
Here’s what web developers, security specialists, and system administrators earn annually on average:
Finding IT jobs in New Zealand
There are plenty of IT jobs in the market. You can use any of the websites below to look for suitable positions:
3. Construction workers
New Zealand’s Upgrade Programme will not only benefit the engineering industry, as discussed earlier, but also the construction sector. It’s estimated that around 4,800 construction jobs will be created each year until 2028.
Most jobs will be in residential buildings in New Zealand’s largest cities and regions, mainly Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, the Waikato region, and Bay of Plenty.
The fastest-growing sector is projected to be infrastructure, specifically transport, water, and subdivision projects.
In short? It’s an excellent time to immigrate to New Zealand if you’re a construction worker.
Construction occupations on the Skills Shortage lists
New Zealand needs construction workers at all levels of the industry:
- Construction Project Manager (133111)
- Project Builder (including Building Project Manager and Site Foreman) (133112)
- Quantity Surveyor (233213)
- Surveyor (232212)
- Construction Project Manager (Foreman) (Roading and Infrastructure) (133111)
- Project Builder (including Building Project Manager and Site Foreman) (133112)
- Building Associate (312112)
- Surveying or Spatial Science Technician (Building Information Modelling Professional) (312116)
- Building Inspector / Building Surveyor (312113)
- Surveying Technician (Spatial Science Technician/Land Surveyor’s Technician) (312116)
- Surveying Technician (Spatial Science Technician/ Hydrographic Technician) (312116)
How much do construction workers get paid in New Zealand?
Construction workers are paid well in New Zealand. Here are the average annual salaries for quantity surveyors, building inspectors, and construction project managers:
Finding construction jobs in New Zealand
You can find opportunities in the construction industry on these job websites:
New Zealand has a great education system, and it’s one that’s well supported. The country has been spending one of the highest proportions of its GDP on primary to tertiary educational institutions among OECD countries.
New Zealand’s education system has also been recognised as one that prepares students for the future. Students aren’t only taught subject matter but also life skills such as critical thinking, creativity, communication, entrepreneurship, and digital skills.
You can thus expect to teach in an exciting environment and in a country that supports its schools and teachers.
Teaching occupations on the Skills Shortage lists
New Zealand’s Skill Shortage lists include these teaching occupations:
- Early Childhood (Preprimary School) Teacher (241111)
- Primary School Teacher (241213)
- Secondary School Teacher (241411)
How much do teachers get paid in New Zealand?
You can expect to earn these average annual salaries when teaching in New Zealand:
Finding teaching jobs in New Zealand
New Zealand’s Ministry of Education’s website has a vacancies section with public sector teaching jobs. You can search by region, sector, learning area, and position type. It’s an excellent place to start your job search!
What are the work visas for which skilled workers can apply?
As someone with an occupation on a Skills Shortage list, you could qualify for a Skilled Migrant visa, or an Essential Skills work visa.
1. Skilled Migrant visa
The Skilled Migrant Visa is a residency visa that allows you to stay in New Zealand indefinitely. In your residence application, you can include your partner and dependent children who are 24 and younger.
To apply for a Skilled Migrant visa, you must:
- Be 55 or younger
- Have an offer of skilled employment
- Get at least 160 points in your skills assessment
- Pass your English test
- Meet New Zealand’s health and character requirements
2. Essential Skills Work Visa
The Essential Skills Work Visa is a temporary visa that allows you to live and work in New Zealand for up to three years. Your partner or dependent children may be able to apply separately for visas based on their relation to you.
To apply for an Essential Skills work visa, you must meet these requirements:
- You must have a full-time job offer from a New Zealand employer.
- Immigration New Zealand must be satisfied that there are no suitable New Zealanders to fill the position.
- Your remuneration must be according to the ANZSCO level of your occupation.
- Your occupation must appear on a Skills Shortage list, and you must have the necessary skills and experience to carry out this occupation.
Please note that the Essential Skills work visa will get replaced by the Accredited Employer Work Visa from 4 July 2022.
Want to find out if you qualify for either work visa?
If you work in engineering, construction, or IT, or you’re a teacher, you can find out if you can apply for a work visa by completing an eligibility assessment.
Our licensed immigration advisor can do such an assessment with you. You’ll get personalised immigration recommendations based on the outcome.
Sound good? Then go ahead and book a consultation call. You’ll also get to ask any questions you might have during your consultation.
* All salaries derived from PayScale.
You’ve decided to give yourself and your family a better life in New Zealand. You can’t wait to pack your bags!
Hold on just a minute before grabbing your suitcases. There are some things that are important to know long before moving to New Zealand.
1. You’ll need patience (and lots of it)
Immigrating is not for the fainthearted.
You’re going to have to become familiar with complex immigration terms, compile mounds of paperwork, and deal with bureaucracy. You might also wait longer than you wish to on the outcome of your visa application.
And that’s all before you set foot in New Zealand!
When things test your patience, take a couple of deep breaths, go for a walk, listen to your favourite music or have a laugh with a friend. You’ll get back to organising your immigration with a clearer mind and more energy.
2. Culture shock is real – even if you’re moving from another English-speaking country
Every country in the world has different customs and traditions, and work in unique ways, making culture shock part and parcel of moving to another country.
You’ll find it in the big things, like how to buy a house, and the little things, like how to greet people.
The best way to adjust to life in New Zealand is to go easy on yourself. Give yourself time to get used to the new way of doing things. Rome wasn’t built in a day!
3. New Zealand might not meet all your expectations
It’s normal to daydream about your new life in New Zealand, and to imagine all the ways in which your life will be better.
And it’s highly likely that your life will improve. After all, New Zealand is one of the safest countries in the world, and it offers an exceptionally high quality of life.
But that doesn’t mean New Zealand will meet all your expectations. You might still be disappointed about some aspects of daily life in New Zealand.
That is okay, and it’s normal. No country is perfect.
4. You might find it tough to make new friends – but it is possible
Unless you already have friends and family in New Zealand, you’ll have to build a brand-new social circle once you’ve settled.
You might find this exercise hard. It’s not always easy to meet new people in a new country!
Here’s what you can do to make friends:
- Say ‘yes’ if colleagues invite you to lunch or drinks after work.
- Join expat groups like Internations to meet other people who are in the same boat as you are.
- Take a class in something you’re passionate about, like pottery, dance or cooking.
- Join a local hiking club or any other sports club.
Until you have a group of new friends, make an extra effort to stay in touch with loved ones back home. It’ll do wonders for your mental health.
5. It’s all going to be worth it!
You’re going to hit times of uncertainty when you wonder if you’ve made the right decision. Especially when things are testing your patience or taking longer than expected.
Here’s the good news – it’s going to be worth it.
You’ll get exposed to new experiences, make new memories, grow professionally, and get to see your children flourish. You’ll grow beyond your comfort zone, and you’ll be a fully-fledge New Zealander before you know it.
Immigration New Zealand had a plan to start reopening its borders in January. Unfortunately, a new COVID variant started spreading around the world in December.
New Zealand quickly decided to push back the start of its border plan to the end of February.
Today we’re happy to report that New Zealand is not delaying the reopening of its borders any further! The first stage of New Zealand’s new 5-staged plan kicks off at the end of this month.
Stage 1 – New Zealanders and eligible travellers in Australia, 27 February 2022
During the first stage, fully vaccinated New Zealanders and other travellers eligible under current border settings can enter New Zealand from Australia and self-isolate upon arrival.
Unvaccinated travellers, and those who do not meet New Zealand’s vaccination criteria but are eligible to enter New Zealand will continue to enter managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ).
Stage 2 – New Zealanders and eligible travellers around the world, 13 March 2022
During the second stage of the border reopening, fully vaccinated New Zealanders and other travellers eligible under current border settings will be allowed to travel to New Zealand.
The border will also reopen to skilled workers earning at least 1.5 times the median wage. At the moment, these workers must demonstrate that their skills aren’t readily obtained in New Zealand. New Zealand will remove this requirement from the 13th of March.
Furthermore, New Zealand will reopen its Working Holiday Scheme.
Stage 3 – Temporary visa holders and international students, 12 April 2022
In this stage, New Zealand’s borders will reopen to current offshore temporary visa holders who are fully vaccinated and still able to meet their visa requirements.
The borders will also reopen to up to 5,000 fully vaccinated international students. Furthermore, New Zealand will implement additional and expanded class exceptions for critical workers earning below 1.5 times the median wage.
Stage 4 – Borders open to travellers from Australia and visa waiver countries, July 2022
New Zealand will reopen to fully vaccinated visitors from Australia and visa waiver countries from July, allowing family members of more onshore temporary migrants to visit New Zealand.
At this point, New Zealand will also phase out the border exception pathway for critical workers because of the opening of the new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) category. The AEWV will be limited mainly to roles with pay above the median wage.
Stage 5 – Borders fully reopen, and most visa categories reopen, October 2022
Immigration New Zealand will resume the processing of most visa categories, including visitor and student visas, from October.
Self-isolation is only available for fully vaccinated travellers who are eligible to enter New Zealand.
Travellers will self-isolate for 10 days. If New Zealand’s self-isolation period changes, such as a drop to 7 days, the self-isolation period for travellers will also change.
Travellers will also get three rapid antigen tests at the airport – one for use on day 0/1, and one for use on day 5/6, with one extra for backup.
Anyone who tests positive will need to take a PCR test at a Community Testing Centre or GP.
Comment from Immigration New Zealand
COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi released a joint statement detailing New Zealand’s border reopening.
“This is a very carefully developed plan that replaces MIQ for the vast majority of travellers while ensuring we maintain ongoing measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community from recent arrivals,” Minister Hipkins said.
He added that the plan “…has built-in protections to help manage risks such as future variants. A phased approach to reopening reduces the risk of a surge of cases while prioritising the return of New Zealanders and the much-needed entry of skilled workers. Having MIQ for every traveller was a temporary setting for when none of us had protection. New Zealanders need to reconnect with one another. Families and friends need to reunite. Our businesses need skills to grow. Exporters need to travel to make new connections.”
Keep up with the reopening stages
After being unable to see each other in person for nearly two years, New Zealanders and their family overseas finally have a date for when the country’s borders will start to reopen.
The government’s phased plan was announced in a statement by the Minister for COVID-19 Response Chris Hipkins on 24 November:
Step 1: Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible international travellers – Travel to New Zealand from Australia
The first phase of the border reopening kicks off on Sunday, 16 January 2022.
During this phase, fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and residence-class visa holders and other travellers eligible under New Zealand’s current border settings will be able to travel to New Zealand from Australia. The requirement is that travellers must have been in Australia or New Zealand 14 days before travelling.
Step 2: Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible international travellers – Travel to New Zealand from all other countries
From 13 February 2022, fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and residence-class visa holders and other travellers eligible under New Zealand’s current border settings will be able to travel to New Zealand from all other countries except Very High-Risk countries.
Step 3: All fully vaccinated international travellers – Travel to New Zealand
All fully vaccinated international travellers will be able to travel to NZ from 30 April 2022 onwards, with the re-opening staged over time.
This phase of the plan is what New Zealanders and their families are looking forward to most!
“A phased approach is the safest approach”
“Closing our border was one of the first steps we took to keep our country safe from COVID-19 and it’ll be the last thing we open up, following our transition into the traffic light protection framework system and lifting of the Auckland boundary.”, Minister Hipkins said in his statement.
He continued, saying, “We always said we’d open in a controlled way, and this started with halving the time spent in MIQ to seven days.[…]In the end, we’ve done what we’ve always done, and that is to follow expert advice – which continues to show us the border is our biggest risk for new cases.”
“A phased approach to reconnecting with the world is the safest approach to ensure risk is carefully managed. This reduces any potential impacts on vulnerable communities and the New Zealand health system.” Minister Hipkins concluded.
MIQ requirements for travellers
Fully vaccinated New Zealanders and travellers no longer have to spend time in Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) from the 16th of January 2022.
That doesn’t mean New Zealand is going to take any chances with its citizens’ safety. Fully vaccinated New Zealanders and travellers not required to go into MIQ will still need:
- a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test,
- proof of full vaccination,
- a passenger declaration about travel history,
- a day 0/1 test on arrival, and
- spend seven days in self-isolation and
- a final negative COVID-19 test before entering the community
Travellers who aren’t fully vaccinated, but still permitted to enter New Zealand under the current border setting, will continue to enter MIQ upon arrival for seven days, followed by three days of home isolation. This requirement will also apply to travellers from Very High-Risk countries.
Follow us on social media for reminders as the border reopens
Eager to reunite with your family in New Zealand? Follow us on either Facebook or LinkedIn where we’ll post reminders about the phases of the border reopening. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any immigration assistance.
Are you considering living and working in New Zealand? Then you probably have a lot of questions.
It’s normal too! After all, you’ll move yourself and perhaps even a family to a brand-new country. A country that maybe you haven’t even visited.
To help you get some clarity, we’ve answered eight common questions about working in New Zealand.
1. Is it easy to get a job in New Zealand?
New Zealand makes it possible for people with the right skills, qualifications, and experience to work in New Zealand. If you tick all the boxes, you could easily find a job.
You might also have an easier time getting a job offer if you work in a critical sector such as health care that is especially short of local New Zealand talent. from all over the world. That means your CV must still stand out, and your interview skills also have to be top-notch.
However, you can’t take either of these factors as a guarantee that you’ll get the first job for which you’ll apply.
Remember that you’ll compete with other job seekers – most likely people from all over the world. That means your CV must still stand out, and your interview skills also have to be top-notch.
But if you have everything in place, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t find a job quickly.
2. Is New Zealand a good place to work?
In our opinion? Absolutely! Here are four reasons why we say so:
You can’t beat the work-life balance!
New Zealanders firmly believe that life is for living, which sees them attach a lot of value to time spent with family and friends and enjoying New Zealand’s many leisure opportunities.
The proof? New Zealand ranked fourth in the world for work-life balance in the 2021 Expat Explorer Survey.
There is support available in the workplace for new migrants
Most New Zealand employers are sympathetic towards the struggles of migrants settling into a new country and a new job.
For this reason, you’ll find that many employers are happy to help you in the first couple of weeks by:
- Assigning you a ‘buddy’ – a colleague – to answer your questions and to help you through the first couple of days or weeks
- Giving you time off during the day to take care of appointments or paperwork related to your immigration
- Granting extra leave days or letting you work remotely to take care of something back in your home country
More opportunities for development
New Zealand’s population is small. At last count (July 2022), just over 5 million people called New Zealand home. That’s roughly how many people live in Sydney, Australia!
Due to this, you’ll find that companies and offices are often smaller than you’re used to. That could be just what you’re looking for, though.
In a small team, you’re likely to be more involved in the business activities, leading to more opportunities for professional development, and you stand a greater chance of getting noticed and promoted.
New Zealand’s labour laws protect you
As someone who works in New Zealand, your rights are protected by New Zealand’s labour laws. Your basic rights relate to:
- Pay and employment equity
- Employment agreements
- Employment relationship problems
- Fixed-term employees
- Flexible working arrangements
- Health and safety
- Keeping accurate records for holidays and leave, and wages and time
- Trial periods
Your rights also include a not-often-seen parental leave for up to 12 months. You’re also entitled to four months’ annual leave each year after you’ve been employed for 12 months.
You can read more about your rights on Employee New Zealand.
3. What is a livable salary in New Zealand?
Your situation would heavily influence what constitutes a livable salary.
Let us explain.
If you’re moving over with a partner, you’ll be able to live off less than a family of four. The family of four also has to factor schooling into their budget. Their rental would also be higher than yours. You could easily live in a 2-bedroomed place while the family would need at least three bedrooms.
The best advice we have for you is to find out what you could earn in your occupation and what the average living costs are in New Zealand. You’ll quickly get a sense of whether or not you can afford the life you want.
4. How can a foreigner work in New Zealand?
You must hold a valid visa to work in New Zealand. Your work visa options are as follows:
Skilled migrant visa:
The skilled migrant visa is a residency application, and it’s for individuals with an occupation that is in demand in New Zealand.
Accredited Employer Work Visa:
The accredited employer work visa is for migrants with a job offer from an accredited New Zealand employer. The migrant must have the necessary skills and qualifications for the job. Migrants in some occupations may also be able to fast-track to residence or gain it after two years.
New Zealand Partner visa:
If you want to join your spouse or life partner in New Zealand, you’ll apply for a partner visa. This visa lets you to live and work in New Zealand.
Visa for the partner of a New Zealand work visa holder:
When one partner in a relationship moves to New Zealand on a work visa, the other partner can apply for a visa to join their partner and work in New Zealand.
5. What jobs are in demand in New Zealand?
The jobs in demand in New Zealand range from civil engineers and marketing specialists to teachers and therapists.
These in-demand jobs are all captured in New Zealand’s three skills shortage lists, namely:
- Long Term Skill Shortage List
- Regional Skill Shortage List
- Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List
You can search for jobs on Immigration New Zealand’s website to see if your job appears on any of these lists.
Remember, though, that having your job on a skill shortage list is only the first step. You’ll also have to meet all the other immigration criteria to apply for a work visa.
6. What qualifications do I need to work in New Zealand?
New Zealand’s skill shortage lists and ANZSCO dictate the qualifications and experience you must have to work in New Zealand in your occupation. You can search for your occupation to see the criteria you’ll have to meet or speak with an advisor for advice.
7. Can I move to New Zealand without a job?
The skilled migrant visa does not require you to have a job offer, but it’s going to be extremely difficult to get enough points for the visa without a job.
In our experience, most people need a job offer to get to the required 160 points.
The accredited employer work visa does require a job offer. You cannot apply for it without a job.
Other than that, if you’re moving over as the partner of a New Zealander or a work visa holder, you won’t need a job before you move.
8. How do I find a job in New Zealand?
You have three main ways in which to find a job in New Zealand:
Job search websites:
A good recruiter is a fantastic asset if you want to increase your chances of getting a job. That’s especially true if you’re job hunting from overseas! A recruiter in New Zealand can share information about the New Zealand job market and give you tips on what employers want.
The other advantage of working with a recruiter is that recruiters often know about jobs not advertised on job search websites or social media. That’s usually because industry-specific recruiters have relationships with employers.
And, let’s not forget – working with a recruiter is free! You won’t have to add to your already extensive list of immigration-related expenses.
Here’s a list of recruiters to get you started:
- 6am Recruitment Ltd: Engineering, construction, transport, manufacturing, and logistics
- Greenlight Recruitment: Information technology and communications
- Education Personnel: Education and social sciences
- Frontline Health New Zealand: Health and community
- Seven Animal Health: Animal care and conservation
- Alpha Recruitment: Business, executive and professional
LinkedIn is a powerful job search tool. You can use it to build your profile, network, approach companies you’d like to work for and find and apply for jobs.
For further information about how to get a job in New Zealand, read this article on our blog. We’ve included a checklist for building a strong LinkedIn profile.
Go here for more information about working in New Zealand
There are many expat forums and groups online that you can join to get insider info about living and working in New Zealand. We suggest starting with Expat Arrivals, and InterNations. New Zealand Now is also a fantastic resource!
Immigration to New Zealand is an adventure countless families from around the world undertake each year in search of a better life.
It’s no simple task though, this immigration business. Many hopeful immigrants don’t even know where to start!
The process isn’t made any simpler by the foreign terms and phrases found in immigration material.
That’s why we compiled this New Zealand immigration glossary, to help you understand various terminologies associated with emigrating to Australia’s neighbour.
Absolute skills shortage
Skilled occupations that New Zealand hasn’t had enough people to do for a long time. These occupations are listed on the Long Term Skills Shortage List.
An ‘acceptable’ investment is one that:
- is able to make a commercial return
- is not for your own personal use (such as a boat or personal residence)
- is invested in New Zealand in New Zealand currency
- is invested in lawful enterprises or managed funds that comply with all relevant laws in force in New Zealand
- has the potential to contribute to New Zealand’s economy
- is invested in any of the following:
- bonds issued by the New Zealand government or local authorities
- bonds issued by New Zealand firms traded on the New Zealand Debt Securities Market (NZDX)
- bonds issued by New Zealand organisations with a BBB- rating or better (or equivalent) from an internationally recognised credit rating agency, eg Standard and Poor’s
- equity in New Zealand firms (public or private including managed funds)
- bonds issued by New Zealand registered banks
- equities in New Zealand registered banks, as defined by the New Zealand Reserve Bank Act 1989
- venture capital funds that are managed by a fund manager or broker and meet all the criteria for an acceptable investment
- residential property development
- bonds in finance companies
An acceptable qualification for a post-study work visa:
- Is a New Zealand qualification listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).
- Involves 60 weeks of study at Levels 4 to 6, or 30 weeks or more of study at Level 7 and above.
This is a New Zealand employer, who has accreditation to employ people under the New Zealand Work Policy, approved by the NZIS.
This refers to a child who is 17 years of age or older.
The Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations. It is published on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website and it is the system Immigration New Zealand use for skilled migration to check:
- The skill levels of occupations
- The qualifications and/or experience needed to work in occupations
Biometrics is a means of identifying and authenticating a person through features of that person’s body. The most common examples of this are:
- Face structure (photos).
A photocopy stamped or signed by a person as a true copy of the original. The certifier must be authorized by law to take statutory declarations in your home country or in New Zealand. Examples of such persons are lawyers, Justice of the Peace, and court officials.
Civil unions may be between partners of the same or opposite sex. A civil union has the same property and civil rights as a marriage.
You or your partner’s adult brothers or sisters, adult children or parents are considered close family members.
De facto partner
A person who is living in a genuine and stable relationship with their partner, for a minimum of 12 consecutive months.
EOI – Expression of Interest
When you are looking to immigrate to New Zealand, everything is dependent on your points score. This is obtained by an assessment in order to determine your eligibility.
The Expression of Interest (EOI) is the initial application stage for New Zealand immigration. Applicants under the skilled migration category will need to complete an Expression of Interest.
If you meet the criteria for the points score, you’ll be able to submit an Expression of Interest.
Essential Skills in Demand Lists
The Essential Skills in Demand Lists details the occupations in New Zealand in need of qualified and experienced talent. There are three lists:
- Long Term Skills Shortage List
- Immediate Skills Shortage List
- Construction and Infrastructure Skills Shortage List
Full birth certificate
A full birth certificate includes your full name, you date and place of birth, and your parents’ full names.
A job where you work at least 30 hours a week.
Full-time study is where you either:
- attend a course at a private training establishment for at least 20 hours a week; or
- enroll for at least three papers, or equivalent, each semester at a University or Polytechnic, or a level 7 or higher qualification at a private training establishment.
Genuine and stable partnership
A relationship that has been entered into on a long term and exclusive basis, and that is likely to last.
To be eligible for immigration to New Zealand, you must be in good health which means you must meet certain health requirements as determined by Immigration New Zealand. You’ll be considered in good health if you’re:
- Unlikely to be a danger to the health of the people already in New Zealand
- Unlikely to be a financial burden on the New Zealand health or special education services
- Able to work or study if this is the reason for your visa
The International English Language Testing System. You may be required to do this English language test to demonstrate that you can speak, read, write and listen in English.
Immigration Advisers Authority
People who give New Zealand immigration advice must be licensed with The Immigration Advisers Authority unless they are exempt. This is a requirement by law.
This is the acronym for Immigration New Zealand. INZ is part of the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and is responsible for border control, issuing travel visas and managing immigration to New Zealand.
Invitation to Apply
This simply refers to a stage of the skilled migration visa application process. If you meet certain criteria, you will receive an Invitation to Apply for a visa.
Labour market test
The labour market test is a test to establish whether:
- an employer has made a genuine attempt to attract and recruit suitable New Zealanders for a job; and
- if there are any suitable New Zealanders to do a job, or who can be trained to do a job.
When INZ carries out a labour market test, they’ll look at things like:
- The employer’s reasons for not employing a New Zealander to do a job
- Evidence of the employer’s recruitment attempts, like newspaper and internet advertising
- Advice from Work and Income
- Advice from industry groups, like unions
Licensed immigration adviser
Licensed immigration advisers for New Zealand have specialised expertise. They have met competency standards and they follow a professional code of conduct.
Advisers are able to help you in the following ways:
- Explore your visa options
- Prepare your visa application
- Settle into New Zealand
- Determine if you can appeal a declined visa
- Determine your options if you are in New Zealand unlawfully
Funds that are invested in one of the following:
- A managed fund investment product offered by a financial institution
- Equities that are managed by a fund manager or broker
For INZ to accept managed funds as an investment, managed funds must be invested only in New Zealand companies. Managed funds with international exposure are acceptable only for the part of the investment that is invested in New Zealand companies.
This is a document you get from a medical practitioner after you have completed a medical examination. The certificate tells INZ the results of that examination which INZ then use to determine whether you have an acceptable standard of health for immigration to New Zealand.
The majority of visa options will require you to be assessed against a point’s criterion in order to determine if you qualify or not.
The minimum threshold is the lowest number of points you need to score for your Expression of Interest to enter the Expression of Interest pool. This threshold is currently set at 100 points.
New Zealand qualifications
Under the Skilled Migrant Category, you can qualify for bonus points for a recognised qualification that you have studied for and gained through a New Zealand institution such as a university or polytechnic. You can also qualify for bonus points for two years of full-time study in New Zealand towards a recognised qualification.
New Zealand Qualifications Authority
The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is a government agency responsible for:
- Setting the standards for New Zealand qualifications and recognising overseas qualifications
- Administering the New Zealand Qualifications Framework and assessing overseas qualifications against it
Non-principal applicants are anyone included in a visa application that is not the principal applicant. For example, the applicant’s partner or dependent children.
Registration with a New Zealand registration authority that allows you to work in a particular occupation in New Zealand.
Offer of employment
An offer of employment is a genuine and sustainable opportunity. The physical offer must include the following:
- Name, address, telephone and/or fax number of the employer
- Name and address of the person to whom the job offer is extended
- A full job description including details such as the job title, the type of work, duties and responsibilities involved, and details pay and conditions of employment. Please note this is not the full set of criteria for the job description
A person you are legally married to, or in a civil union or de facto relationship with, and who you live with in a genuine and stable partnership. Partners can be of the same or opposite sex.
This is the primary person who will be assessed against the criteria for a resident visa.
A certificate, degree or diploma that is officially sanctioned based on:
- an assessment by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority that relates to the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF); and
- its level on the NZQF as set out in the ‘List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment’; and
- its level on the NZQF based on the applicant’s job registration in New Zealand (if that registration involves an assessment equal to a qualification on the ‘List of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment’)
This refers to a person who holds a current New Zealand residence permit or alternatively a New Zealand returning resident’s visa.
Employment that you need specialist, technical or management expertise and relevant qualifications and/or work experience to do, and which meets a minimum pay threshold.
New Zealand requires a certain amount of skilled workers that it needs to attract from overseas. Individuals will need to meet a certain set of criteria in terms of their profession, experience, skills and qualifications. If these criteria are met, the applicant is classified as a skilled migrant.
Skilled work experience
Work experience that you can claim points for by showing you were suitably qualified before you started that work. You can read more about skilled work experience on INZ’s website.
A guarantee from a person, organisation or government agency to look after you while you visit, study, work or settle in New Zealand. If your stay is temporary, your sponsor must also guarantee the cost of your return home.
Sufficient funds for students
Full fee paying students must provide evidence they have enough money to live on while they are in New Zealand.
Evidence can include:
- Bank statements showing funds held by or on behalf of the student that showing the equivalent of NZ $15,000 for a full year of study, or NZ $1,250 per month in New Zealand
- A ‘Sponsorship Form for Temporary Entry’ completed by an acceptable sponsor
- A completed ‘Financial Undertaking for a Student’ form.
Funds held by or on behalf of the student must be from a genuine source (such as the salary of the student’s parents) and be available to the student throughout their stay in New Zealand.
If you wish to study in New Zealand as a foreign student, you will need to obtain a student visa for New Zealand.
Your New Zealand visa shows that you’re able to travel to, enter and stay in New Zealand temporarily or indefinitely.
Visa waiver country
If you are coming from a visa waiver country to New Zealand, you will not need to obtain a visitor’s visa before you travel.
An activity you perform for which you are remunerated either in salary or wagers, or another benefit like accommodation, food or transport. There are certain activities which are not considered as ‘work’ – please consult with our advisers if you’d like to find out what these activities are.
Work to Residence
You may have outstanding talent in a certain area, such as sports, art or culture. You could then apply to work in New Zealand under the Work to Residence programme.
This will help you gain access to being able to work on a temporary basis in New Zealand. The work visa obtained in this regard can be used as a tool to gain permanent residency.
Pearson PTE has announced three changes to their PTE Academic English test. The English language test provider says its making the changes to ensure that the PTE Academic the most convenient, stress-free English test available.
In our opinion, the planned changes coming into effect on the 16th of November are certainly positive.
You can read more about the changes below:
1. A shorter test
The PTE Academic is reducing in length from three hours to a more convenient two hours.
The format of the test is not changing!
You’ll still get tested on the same English skills, and you’ll still get asked the same types of questions. Pearson PTE will also continue to use the same scoring scale. You’ll just have fewer questions to answer.
Why is Pearson PTE changing the test length?
Pearson PTE wants to make their PTE Academic the most convenient choice for test-takers. Through extensive testing, Pearson PTE found that reducing the number of questions could improve the efficiency of PTE Academic with no impact on test scores or quality.
2. Enhanced score report feedback
You’ll get a new personalized “skills profile” alongside your PTE Academic score report with additional feedback on your performance. This feedback will also include suggestions for how to improve.
3. At-home English tests
PTE Academic will offer an Online test option that you can do at home. However, PTE Academic Online is unfortunately not recognised for visa and immigration purposes.
When would you take an English test?
English tests assess your English language skills for some New Zealand visas. Where the test applies, Immigration New Zealand requires you to attain a satisfactory score to prove that your English skills meet their requirements.
How do I prepare for an English test?
There are four ways in which you can ensure you do your best in an English test:
- Understand the test format
- You’ll get tested on your listening, reading, writing and speaking skills.
- Practice with sample tests
- You’ll be able to familiarise yourself with the test format, experience the types of tasks you’ll have to do, test yourself under timed conditions, and review your answers and compare them with model answers.
- Work with an English language teacher
- English language teachers will introduce you to the test format, take you through sample tests, give feedback, and focus on your developmental areas.
- Know what to expect on test day
- Find out how long your test will be and what you’ll need to take with you to the testing centre.
You can read more about these strategies on our blog.
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New Zealand closed their borders to just about anyone when COVID-19 first struck in 2020, but the country has since created several border exceptions for people in critical occupations and visa categories.
There is thus no reason to put off your emigration if you qualify for one of the border exceptions listed below.
Even if none of these border exceptions apply to you, there are still good reasons to start your emigration (you can skip to numbers 6 and 7 on our list to see why).
1. New Zealand IS ACCEPTING visa applications under some categories
Immigration New Zealand announced in September that it’s now again accepting visa applications under four categories:
- Parent Retirement
- Migrant Investor (Investor 1 and 2), including Expressions of Interest for Investor 2
- Refugee Family Support (Tiers 1 and 2)
The rationale behind accepting Investor and Entrepreneur visas is that these visas brings investment into New Zealand and add jobs to the economy. This is much-needed in a post-COVID-19 world.
2. You might qualify for an ‘other critical worker’ border exception
In September 2020, INZ relaxed the criteria for some overseas workers to allow migrants with critical skills through the border.
The New Zealand employer will apply for the exception. The overseas worker must fall into one of two categories and then meet the criteria associated with the category under which the employer wants to apply for the border exception.
3. New Zealand announced a border exception for 300 teachers in July!
Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced on 3 July that 300 overseas qualified teachers will be able to enter New Zealand under a new class border exception.N
“This will give principals and services additional support, especially for 2022 recruitment, and complement existing teacher supply initiatives”, said Minister Hipkins.
The exception may also be open to teachers who worked in New Zealand but who had to leave the country and were unable to return to their job due to border closures.
Furthermore, Immigration New Zealand is creating a family reunification border exception for the partners and dependent children of teachers who are already in New Zealand on temporary visas. These teachers will be able to request for their family to join them for the duration of their visa.
4. INZ is creating a border exception for dairy farm workers
Immigration New Zealand is introducing a border exception for up to 150 dairy herd managers, up to 50 dairy farm workers and up to 50 veterinarians.
“It is clear from conversations with the dairy and veterinarian sectors that they are facing workforce pressures. These border exceptions will go a long way towards relieving those pressures,” Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said.
To apply for the exception, you must have between three to five 5 years’ experience and meet the remuneration threshold of NZD85,000 per year.
5. The border exception for critical healthcare workers is indefinite!
Up to March 2021, the border exception for critical healthcare workers had a start date of 31 March 2021. This start date meant that new, approved employees had to start working for their New Zealand employer on or before 31 March 2021.
Much to the delight of visa holders and New Zealand employers, INZ decided to remove the start date. This move meant that the border exception for critical healthcare workers became indefinite!
Eligible healthcare workers can thus enter New Zealand at any stage to take up employment in the country.
6. You can complete critical parts of your skilled migrant visa application despite the border closures
Let’s first explain why you’d want to do that. It’s simple. If you complete the critical parts now, you’ll be ready to submit your visa application as soon as the restrictions are lifted. You’ll be streets ahead of migrants who chose to wait and see what happens first.
Our advisors always tell our clients that their focus should be on the long term not the short term!
Let’s now look at some examples of those critical parts that you can tick off your to-do list.
It is, for instance, your personal documents such as birth certificates and police clearances. Keep in mind also that if you’re applying as a skilled worker you may need occupational registration and a qualification assessment. These are known to take long and may take even longer now. It’s therefore much better to start your emigration process sooner rather than later!
7. INZ could change immigration regulations which could mean that you don’t qualify to apply for a visa at all
We do not say this to scare you. This has happened all too often in the past.
Take for example the big changes that were made to Essential Skills visas earlier this year, including that your median wage would determine the family members you can support and in what manner.
Let’s not forget about when INZ closed the Parent Resident visa in October 2019 until February of this year. At the same time, INZ made a number of changes to the visa. One of these changes was capping the number of visas at 1,000 annually.
These changes scuppered many people’s plans!
Remember that generally you’re safe from any changes if your visa application is already in the system when it happens. This is another good reason to start your emigration sooner rather than later.
Ready to get going with your visa application?
Contact us if you want to find out if you qualify for any of New Zealand’s border exceptions, or if you simply want to start putting together your visa application.
Our advisors can assess your immigration eligibility and work out a personalized immigration plan. Our administrative team can then help you get all the parts together.
We want to see you realise your dream of living in New Zealand as much as you do, so we’re looking forward to working with you!