Visa News
December 13, 2022

Is It Difficult to Get a Job as a Migrant Worker in NZ?

New Zealand offers work and residence visas for migrant workers. Improve your chances of getting a job in NZ with the help of a licensed immigration adviser.
Is It Difficult to Get a Job as a Migrant Worker in NZ?

If you're a migrant wanting to work and live in New Zealand, you can find jobs through online job websites and recruitment companies. As a migrant, you usually need a job offer before applying for a working visa unless you are planning to arrive on a working holiday visa. 

All Work Visas have strict conditions, as specified on the documentation provided by INZ. This often includes restrictions to work in a specific occupation, for a certain employer and in a particular region of New Zealand. 

However before you make any decisions it is important to talk to a NZ licensed immigration advisers. The decisions you make now may impact any residency applications you may make in the future. But don't let the process overwhelm you, talk to Malcolm Pacific Immigration. 

What Are the Benefits of Working in New Zealand?

There are many positives to living and working in New Zealand, and here are just a few things that will convince you to make the move.

Work-Life Balance

New Zealanders believe life is for living, which is evident in the job balance. Much time is spent with family and friends, which is something you can experience for yourself when you gain a work visa in NZ. New Zealanders value harmony between working and enjoying New Zealand's many leisure opportunities.

Migrant Support

New Zealand employers support migrants settling into a new country and a new job. While it has been common for most employers to assist their migrant employees with the transition, INZ has made it a core part of the new NZ work visa regulations. As part of this support, your new employers will provide you with resources and training on adapting to life in NZ. 

Professional Development

New Zealand's population is small, but professional growth isn't limited. Migrants often encounter companies and teams smaller than they're used to, allowing them the opportunity to progress in their careers. Overseas skills and experience are welcomed, new ideas and better ways of working are often championed. 


More Opportunities

A small team increases the likelihood of being more involved in the business and presents more opportunities for migrants in the workplace to upskill and be promoted. Migrant workers considering NZ as their new place of work and life should remember that they have more chances of getting noticed in their profession than in many other places around the world.

What Are the NZ Work Visa Options for Migrant Workers?

INZ has a range of visas that allow you to work in New Zealand.

Work Visas

Foreigner workers must hold a valid visa to work in New Zealand. The work visa options are listed below.

Find out more about other available working pathways not listed below on our NZ work visa page here.

Skilled Migrant Resident Visa

The skilled migrant visa is a residency pathway for individuals with an occupation that is in demand in New Zealand. Migrants with high skills and the expertise to qualify for skilled migrant visas aren't limited to working but can apply for residence from the get-go.

Applicants must send INZ an expression of interest (EOI) that details their work experience and qualifications before applying. Selections of EOIs resume on 9 November 2022.

Accredited Employer Work Visa

The accredited employer work visa is for migrants who have been offered a job by an accredited New Zealand employer. The migrant is required to have the skills and qualifications for the job. 

AEWV holders on Immigration’s green list can potentially apply for the Straight to Residence Visa or residency after two years depending on what role they have filled, these are called the Work to Residence or Highly Paid Residence Visa.

For futher information on how to apply for work visas on the NZ Green list read our article

Talent (Arts, Culture, Sports) Work Visa

This talent visa is for migrants with exceptional talent in art, sport or culture. Migrants will also need a sponsor and the support of an NZ organisation recognised for its excellence in their field. 

Talent Work Visa holders can start their pathway to residence in New Zealand by actively engaging in their field of talent within NZ for up to 30 months.

Partner of a Worker Work Visa

When one partner moves to New Zealand on a work visa, the other can apply for a visa to join their partner and work in New Zealand.

Read more about the new Partner of a Worker Work visa here.

For more details about work to residency visas and other pathways to NZ residence, read more on our Work-to-Residence visa category page.

How Can Migrant Workers Increase Their Chances of Getting a Job In New Zealand?

New Zealand's labour shortage is not a new issue for the country, but it has worsened following the global pandemic. Worker shortages in NZ are impacting many sections, from healthcare to hospitality.

While NZ employers need overseas workers, they must first meet INZ rules and become accredited to promote job vacancies overseas and employ migrants. 

This is where migrant workers can increase their chances of employment in New Zealand.

INZ continues to implement changes that make working in New Zealand easier for people with suitable skills, qualifications, and expertise. If you tick all the boxes, you can easily find a job. However, still ensure your CV stands out and your interview skills are top-notch.

You will also have an easier time finding a job if your profession is categorised under a critical sector, like healthcare, where skilled workers are in high demand within the country. Still, don't take these factors as a guarantee that you'll get the first job you want. 

Get everything in place and start your search. For the best chances of finding the right employment in NZ, talk to a licensed adviser today for professional advice and help with your work visa application.

Work In an Occupation from the Green List

From September 2022, some occupations can fast-track application processing. Some occupations are a direct pathway to residence, while others require two years or longer before applying.

The jobs in demand in New Zealand differ significantly, from engineers to doctors to teachers. These in-demand jobs are all captured in the New Zealand Green List Jobs

Apply for Jobs with Accredited Employers

Employer Accreditation is mandatory for every employer wanting to hire migrant workers, it is accompanied by the new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). Employers that wish to employ a migrant worker must be accredited by INZ. 

Looking for a company with employer accreditation will help you streamline the application process and the likelihood of being granted a valid NZ work visa from INZ. It will increase your chances of getting hired by an NZ employer as they have already committed to actively seeking migrant workers. The new accreditation process introduces three checks before an employer can hire a migrant worker:

  • The employer check (applying for and becoming an accredited employer)
  • The job check
  • The migrant worker check (which is the Accredited Employer Work Visa application).

When you apply for a job with an accredited employer, you can feel secure knowing that you are entering into a role with a financially stable company that is committed to helping your transition. 

Even more so, an accredited employer would've passed the employer check and likely possess an approved job check.

Meet Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) Requirements

Even when applying for a job with an accredited employer, there are still requirements for migrant workers. To be eligible for a work visa under the accredited employer scheme, migrant workers must:

  • Have an offer of employment from an accredited employer
  • Meet the requirements for the role that they have been offered
  • Have a clean criminal history
  • Meet the health requirements
  • Have the required qualifications and experience

Earn Within the Pay Range

With a few industry sector exemptions Migrant workers must be paid at least the median wage of NZ$27.76 per hour or more to qualify for an NZ work visa.

If you need help, contact Malcolm Pacific Immigration and speak to a licensed immigration adviser who can help ensure you're searching for a job that aligns with the median wage requirements.

Our Immigration Advisers Help Secure Your NZ Work Visa

Applying for a New Zealand visa doesn't have to be overwhelming. Reach out to our experienced immigration advisers for advice and guidance on the process to decrease stress and increase your chances!

Get started with a free assessment today

We are New Zealand’s largest and most experienced team of licensed immigration advisers. Our experts take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our team is on standby, ready to help.