Learn all about the essential skills work visa and how to increase your chances of securing a job offer in New Zealand.

Essential Skills Work Visa

essential skills work visaThe essential skills work visa is designed to allow New Zealand employers to recruit needed foreign workers. This is because there are certain occupations in New Zealand that cannot be filled by New Zealand labour. Therefore the essential skills visa is ideal for anyone who has a job offer from a New Zealand employer.

Get expert help from our licensed immigration advisers.

Learn more about the essential skills work visa

This visa is reliant on you having a job offer from a New Zealand employer. But there are some conditions that go with this:

  1. You must be in possession of a written full time job offer from a New Zealand employer.
  2. Your occupation must be on the essential skills list and you must possess the required skills and experience to carry out this occupation. Additionally Immigration New Zealand must be satisfied that there is no suitable New Zealanders for the position.
  3. You must have the necessary skills and / or qualifications to perform the role you have been offered.
  4. Your remuneration must be according to the ANZSCO level of your occupation.

Both the employer and you need to make an application - let us help!

The employers role in applying for an essential skills work visa

The employer must make an application to Immigration New Zealand by completing an Employer Supplementary Form.

What the application includes

Immigration New Zealand wants to know that New Zealand employers first look for New Zealand citizens or residents to fill jobs. The purpose of the Employer Supplementary Form sis to prove this. Thus the form asks for the following information:

  • Reasons why the particular job specifications are necessary for the role.
  • Details of any New Zealand applicants who were considered for the role and who were not suitable and / or not available.
  • Reasons why New Zealand applicants could not be readily trained for the job.

Proving the New Zealand employer has tried to recruit locally

Firstly it must show that the New Zealand employer has tried to recruit a local New Zealand resident or citizen before employing a foreigner.

This requirement is waived where:

  • You will be working in an occupation that is featured on one of the essential skills in demand lists and you have the qualifications and/or work experience listed for that occupation.
  • You have recently been invited to apply for residence under the skilled migrant category.

Finding out if your occupation features on the essential skills in demand list and if you meet the required skill levels can therefore greatly increase your chances of securing a job offer.

If your occupation does not feature on the essential skills in demand list

Employers are still able to motivate the employment of a foreigner. They must though clearly show they have tried to recruit a local New Zealander. This claim may also be put to the test by Immigration New Zealand with a labour market test. The level of proof required depends on whether the position offered is deemed high or low skilled.

If the occupation is high skilled the employer will need to include:

  • Motivational statement.
  • The text for their advert.
  • Details of where and for how long their advert ran for.

If the occupation is low skilled the employer will need to include:

  • A Skills Match Report from Work and Income.
  • Proof of advertising the role.
  • Motivational statement.
  • Proof there are no New Zealanders available to do the work.
  • Proof there are no New Zealanders who they believe are suitable for the role.

Your role in the application process

Proving you have the required skill level for the occupation offered

Proving you have the required skills is not about your CV or interview. It is a formal process that looks at a combination of evidence such as qualifications, training and experience to determine your competence.

This evidence will then be compared to that specified on ANZSCO – the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations – to ensure the pre requisites are met. This part of the process is mandatory.

Increase your chances of obtaining a job offer by getting your qualifications assessed first.

Obtaining Professional or Trade Registrations

Certain occupations require trade or professional registrations in order for you to carry out your new role in New Zealand. Put simply, if you do not have this registration you cannot perform your job.

Increase your chances of obtaining a job offer by getting your professional registrations in place.

Are there any other requirements?

All applicants must also meet all the normal criteria including the required health and good character standards.

More information on the essential skills work visa

How long can the New Zealand essential skills work visa be issued for?

It can be issued for up to 5 years. However, the term does vary according to the skill level and skill band associated with the occupation.

Can you bring your dependents with you on an essential skills work visa?

The essential skills work visa does not allow further applicants. However, your spouse or partner can also make their own application on the fact that you are applying for an essential skills work visa, provided you fall within the High or Mid skill band.

Can an essential skills work visa lead to residency

Yes in some cases it can. If residency is your ultimate intent, ensure you get your chances assessed by one of licensed immigration advisers.

Do you have a job offer from a New Zealand employer? Then you should contact us for a free initial assessment and advice.

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