Getting a Head Start On Your Move to NZ: Start Your Job Search
Get advice on where to start job hunting and information about types of jobs, requirements, and salaries when you consider immigrating to New Zealand.
September 13, 2022
The key to a successful relocation to New Zealand is doing your research and getting to understand how your industry sits in New Zealand's economy and the job market.
It may be that you fit into an area of key skills, have a role vital to our economy, or work in a sector with global shortages like health care. You could also be hired by a particular company that wants to advance its in-house skill levels with your particular experience. By doing your research and knowing this type of information, you are guaranteed more success and less stress looking for a role on these shores.
If you want to get information about where to start job hunting, types of jobs, requirements, and salaries, we have created this guide as a way of explaining step by step the things you need to consider.
We are also more than happy to help you in the right direction so get in touch with our licensed immigration advisers.
Let’s answer some of the most common questions to get you started.
Will I Need a Job Offer to Immigrate to New Zealand?
Yes, most individuals looking to make New Zealand their long-term home will need to have an official job offer before securing work rights. There are many companies that are experienced with taking on overseas workers, so that’s where your research comes in handy. By talking to immigration advisers, you will gain confidence and knowledge of how to make this transition work.
How Do I Start Looking for a Job in New Zealand?
Finding job opportunities in New Zealand is always easier if you know how to look for them. For a person who is just starting out, it's worth talking to a licensed immigration adviser first. They will help guide you to relevant websites specifically for migrants looking for work in New Zealand. They also may be associated with employers who are more inclined to take migrants in your field.
If you want to start researching, you can find job opportunities on websites such as Workhere.
To get a feel of what the New Zealand job market is like for locals, there are other big websites like TradeMe and Seek, where New Zealand employers advertise. Also, talking to the specific recruitment agencies for your industry can help as they can provide invaluable information about employers and are incentivised to find you a role.
Another source of helpful information can come from fellow countrymen who have already successfully immigrated, asking them where they found roles, which they found helped, etc. This type of community exists on the web or on social media like Facebook, etc.
Eligibility Criteria for Getting a Job in New Zealand
There are some conditions and requirements that you have to meet to start a job in New Zealand. Some are:
You must be a citizen of New Zealand or countries like Australia, Tokelau, Niue, Cook Islands, etc.; OR
All employers will ask if you are eligible to work in NZ or hold a relevant visa and document verification from Immigration NZ before hiring you as a worker. You will need to be honest about where you are in the process. Otherwise, this can affect your stay in New Zealand. Hiring companies also face large fines if they are found to employ people without the relevant visas.
The Next Step - What Visa Do You Need?
Based on what country you live in, the industry you come from, and the role you hold will guide what type of visa you can apply for before considering how to find a job in New Zealand.
Having a skilled job offer is always the clearest route to getting your visa accepted. However, talking to an Immigration adviser can help refine your choices before you start looking, especially as priority is often given to people with essential skills that New Zealand is looking for. You also do not want to burn bridges with potential employers before you are fully prepared.
Once you have reviewed the options and understood the process, you will be ready for the next steps. Finding a job and for every job application, you have to submit your CV along with your experience.
Now, what is needed for a CV? Let's have a look.
Preparing a CV
Preparing an attractive CV is an essential step for getting any job. As you are seeking job opportunities in New Zealand, make sure it's relevant and appealing to employers in this country.
It may help to find a service in New Zealand that can help review and restructure your CV so you can be confident it is as strong as possible. Recruitment agents can also give you feedback as they see hundreds of CVs each year.
There are many types of CVs, but the two main types that are most commonly used in New Zealand are the following:
This type of CV is the most important one and focuses more on your work experience and career progress. This should include a summary of your key achievements within each role and be set out in chronological order with the most recent employment.
Also known as a “Functional CV” is a type of CV that concentrates mainly on your talents, skills, and credentials rather than your work experience. This type of CV is suggested for you if you are searching for a first-time job in New Zealand or if you are changing your career.
Required CV Documents
Irrespective of the type of CV, the documents required for your CV to be accepted are:
Your full name and authentic contact details.
Information about your personal or technical talents.
Details about your work experience with additional volunteer and social experience.
References (includes contacts of referees).
Other than the above-mentioned documents, you can also include:
Goal or a personal message.
Interests or hobbies.
Other than these, nothing else needs to be included in your CV to make it look attractive. Photos, marital status, age, and religion are not required.
Do I Send a Cover Letter With My CV?
Yes, It is definitely an advantage to attach a well-written, personalised cover letter with your CV to justify why you are eligible for this job and position. The suitable format for your cover letter should include the following stepwise:
Details about why your skills and/or work experience are relevant.
Eligibility to the job and position.
Your cover letter shouldn't exceed a couple of paragraphs. Ensure your cover letter is formal and convincing, and refrain from boasting too much.
Make an All-Star Profile on LinkedIn
LinkedIn has more than 750 million users worldwide, and most recruiters and hiring managers search for interviewees first on LinkedIn before they meet.
So, it is an advantage for you to make a well-structured and professional profile on this platform.
Salaries in New Zealand
Salary depends on the person's qualifications, studies, experience, and many other things. Looking at New Zealand job sites for the roles you are interested in will give you a good idea of the range. Otherwise, talk to a recruitment agent who manages your field of expertise.
As a highly skilled worker with years of experience, the salary band can be around $100,000 to $400,000 NZ per year.
For a low-skilled worker or in a training phase, the adult minimum wage is $22.10 per hour.
But, every company and employer has different ways to award their workers. So, salaries can vary from company to company and region to region.
Labour Shortage in New Zealand
With labour shortages due to border closures during the pandemic, many industries in New Zealand are lacking workers. However, some jobs as well are in high demand like:
Health Professionals (doctors, nurses etc.).
If you have essential skills missing in New Zealand, this can help fast-track your immigration process.
Tips to Get a Job in New Zealand
Talking to recruitment agents and immigration advisers is the first step, as they are the ones in the know about your industry and how to make your application smooth as possible.
Here are some tips that may help you to get a job easily:
Always be positive and know how to promote your skills and experience effectively.
Keep your CV updated and make it attractive.
Always submit original documents quickly to ensure your job offer and visa application can run as smoothly as possible.
New Zealand is no different from any other country in the case of an interview, your behaviour matters, so:
Do your research on the company, look at their website, and read the reviews to get a feeling of who they are.
Talk to interviewers in a professional and friendly way.
Be confident while describing your qualifications, skills, and abilities.
Don't be immodest or arrogant while talking to interviewers.
A Few Takeaways
This is only a bite-size summary of how to get into the New Zealand job market, where to learn about your industry, and how to hunt for a job.
As any immigration process will be stressful and full of unknowns, we suggest you keep up to date by reading immigration NZ news newsletters and getting in touch with top-notch immigration advisers with any questions.
Our highly experienced licensed Immigration team will take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of New Zealand Immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our team is on standby, ready to help.
Our highly experienced licensed Immigration team will take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of New Zealand Immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our employer team is on standby, ready to help.
Today the government announced a pathway to residence for migrant workers who are living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave who are eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else they will miss out on this one off opportunity.
July 8, 2022
Skilled Migrants Opportunity
Today the government announced a pathway to residence for people living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else you miss the boat.
July 8, 2022
New Employer Accreditation Process
The government has moved the introduction of the new employer accreditation process across to mid-2022. At the same time, the Minister of Immigration announced new work visa rules for migrant workers who are already in New Zealand and working full time.
July 8, 2022
Skilled Migrant Changes
The government has increased the median wage to $27 per hour from 19 July. Any Skilled Migrant residence application lodged after this date will need to include a skilled job offer that pays at least $27 per hour. For some lower-skilled occupations, the minimum pay rate increases to $40.50 per hour.
Employers of migrant workers must become accredited from 1 November 2021 before work visa applications can be processed. Most employers are not accredited. Those that are accredited will have to roll into the new system when it goes live in late September.
July 8, 2022
Work Visa Rules
From mid-2020 (delayed)
Government to negotiate and introduce Industry Sector agreements setting minimum conditions for industries that heavily rely on overseas workers. Sectors include; residential care, meat processing, dairy, forestry, road freight transport, tourism, and hospitality. Construction, horticulture, and viticulture may also be included.
Skilled occupation "Dairy Cattle Farmer" spilt into three occupations. New occupations are: "Dairy Farm Manager", "Assistant Dairy Farm Manager" and "Dairy Herd Manager". Each sit at different skill levels, therefore, the award of points will depend on pay rates, job tasks and other requirements.
Dairy Cattle Farmer job offers are now assessed by three new occupation descriptions: Dairy Farm Manager, Assistant Dairy Farm Manager and Dairy Herd Manager. Pay rates and job tasks will determine how long a work visa is valid. Take advice.
The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool for six months (to be reviewed in April 2021). Invitations to Apply for Residence remain suspended. The last selection from the Skilled Migrant pool took place on 18/03/2020.
Introduction of "Oversupply" and "Undersupply" occupation lists used to assess Essential Skills Work Visa applications when a job offer pays less than the median wage.
Employers offering jobs to migrant workers where an occupation is on the "Oversupply" list will not get Skill Match reports issued by Work & Income. Solid evidence of genuine attempts to find a local to fill the job will be critical for approval.
Anyone invited by Immigration NZ to apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category where their invitation is dated between 1 November 2019 and 15 April 2020 (inclusive) has now been granted an additional six months to lodge their residence application.
Regional Skill Shortage List goes live. 15 regions around New Zealand list occupations reflecting local skill shortages in each region. The labour market test is not mandatory provided the job offer matches the occupation and region plus the visa applicant has qualifications and/or work experience set out on the list.
The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool. This means Invitations to Apply for Residence are also suspended. Malcolm Pacific Immigration does not anticipate selections to resume until after the general election held on 17 October 2020.
Immigration NZ is now prioritising Skilled Migrant Residence applications where the main (principal) applicant meets the criteria:
Has employment paying double the median wage which is currently NZD $51 per hour OR NZD $106,800 per annum; OR Has New Zealand occupational registration and is required to hold valid registration to lawfully carry out their job.
The government recently added more occupations that are now to be regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. In order to qualify for points, the job must be paying at least the current median wage (or higher for certain occupations) at the time the residence application is lodged.
From 1 November 2021 anyone who is not a NZ citizen must be fully vaccinated (unless exempt) before travelling to New Zealand. Fully vaccinated means your last dose of vaccine was given at least 14 days before travelling and it was an approved vaccine.
July 8, 2022
Applications for employer accreditation closed at the end of June 2021. Applications lodged before the closure date are still being processed. New applications for accreditation open on 9 May 2022. The process will be quite different to what employers have experienced in the past. Businesses will need to meet minimum standards.
July 26, 2022
2021 Resident Visa
Wednesday, 1 December is fast approaching and it is estimated that around 16,000 individuals and families can apply in the first wave for the 2021 Resident Visa opening next month. It is exciting for the thousands of people who have been waiting patiently to become residents that finally the finish line is in sight.
The first wave of applicants can apply from 1 December 2021. Around 16,000 applications are expected in this first wave. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. In total, the government expects approximately 110,000 applications that will include about 165,000 people.
The second group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 March 2022 are those who hold an eligible work visa and either meet "Settled", "Skilled" or "Scarce" as set out above. In total Immigration NZ estimate around 110,000 people will qualify to apply for this visa.
The first group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 December 2021 are those that on 29/09/2021:
Had lodged a residence application under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) or Residence from Work category; OR Had lodged an SMC Expression of Interest (EOI) in the SMC pool that included at least one dependent child aged 17 or above.
People who were lawfully in NZ (or in Australia when the travel bubble closed between April and July 2021) on 29/09/2021 need to meet the visa eligibility criteria:
Workers in NZ who held an eligible work visa on or before 29/9/2021 and on the day they apply for residence; OR Applied for an eligible work visa on or before 29/9/2021 and the work visa application is subsequently approved and still hold an eligible work visa on the day they apply for residence.
The government has introduced a limited pathway to residence for people who are already living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave of people eligible to apply. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. The deadline to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa is 31 July 2022.
A small number of critical health workers (taking up jobs for six months or longer) or specialist workers (taking up jobs that are for longer than six months) who were granted border exemptions may also have eligibility for the 2021 Resident Visa. They will need to have arrived in NZ and lodge a 2021 Resident Visa application.
July 4. Applications open for the new Accredited Employer Work Visa.
July 31. Applications for the 2021 Resident Visa close.
August. Skilled Migrant Residence category scheduled to reopen.
August. A new pathway to residence for people earning 200% or more of the median wage.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
July 8, 2022
Policy Decision Key Dates in 2022
February 13. Fully vaccinated Kiwis plus certain other travellers entering NZ from the rest of the world* can skip MIQ.
April 30. The border starts a phased reopen to fully vaccinated foreign nationals.
April 30. The Productivity Commission reports back to the government on immigration settings.
May 9. Applications open for mandatory Employer Accreditation.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
July 8, 2022
Work Visa Categories Closing
The work visa categories set to close are:
Essential Skills Work Visa
Essential Skills Work Visa – approval in principle
Work to Residence (Talent – Accredited Employer)
Work to Residence (Long Term Skills Shortage)
Silver Fern Job Search Work Visa (closed October 2019)
Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa.
July 8, 2022
The Green List
From September 2022 people holding job offers in a small number of occupations may apply for residence. Some occupations are a direct pathway to residence and others require a period of two years or longer before applying.
There are qualification and/or occupational registration requirements to meet. Establishing if an overseas qualification matches the NZ equivalent qualification before applying is paramount for success.