Employers

Recruiting from overseas?

Many businesses are frustrated when they are knocked back for a border exemption when overseas talent is needed, or future growth depends on having the right people on the ground. The border remains closed to about everyone apart from a select group the government is prepared to approve travel for.

16/09/20202 min read
Recruiting from overseas?


Many businesses are very frustrated when they are knocked back for a border exemption when overseas talent is desperately needed, or future growth depends on having the right people on the ground.

The border remains closed to just about everyone apart from a select group the government is prepared to approve travel for. New Zealand citizens or residents along with their families have a reasonably clear pathway.

For overseas workers critical to your business the pathway is not so clear. They need to lodge an Expression of Interest to be considered and then be invited to apply for a critical purpose visa. Only those who have unique skills not readily obtainable in New Zealand” or “undertaking a time critical role” will be invited.

What does not readily obtainable” mean? When an overseas worker has unique experience and technical or specialist skills gained in a specialist training institution or working in a highly specialized firm, demonstrated by global experience and inherent to the person applying. Consideration is given as to whether there are no workers onshore who could perform the role or if there is limited pool of workers in New Zealand who could perform the role and are not available to the employer.

What does “undertaking a time critical role” mean? The work needs to bring significant benefit to the national or regional economy (not just the employer) and if the person does not come to New Zealand the project, work or event will not proceed or stop altogether or be severely compromised or significant costs incurred.

Most border exemption requests are declined. The most common reason is the lack of evidence to support claims of unique skills or time critical. There is no discretion around border exemptions; it will either meet the rules or get declined. Careful planning and management are required to maximize approval.

Take advice.

Get started with a FREE consultation today

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.

Latest Updates

Our team keep ahead of all the latest employment and immigration law developments and post updates regularly. Stay up to date by signing up to our newsletter and get these updates directly to your inbox.

Update

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.

Read more here.

16 May 22
Update

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.
10 Feb 22
Update

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.

16 Dec 21