Hiring overseas workers from the Philippines

The requirements that employers need to meet when wanting to hire an overseas worker from the Philippines.


If you want to hire workers from the Philippines, you need to know about:

  • meeting New Zealand and Philippines legal and accreditation requirements
  • using a Philippines recruitment agent, if required
  • using a New Zealand recruitment agent, immigration lawyer or advisor (optional)
  • contacting the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) before recruiting
  • providing pre-departure and arrival, workplace on-boarding and wellbeing support
  • visa costs
  • travel costs
  • support for employers (optional).

Meeting legal requirements

New Zealand requirements

New Zealand government agencies administer the requirements including employment conditions, wages and tax, accommodation, and workplace health and safety.

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is responsible for:

  • assessing employee applications for Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)
  • assessing Philippines Special Work Visas
  • assessing employers for AEWV accreditation and Job Checks
  • ensuring employers provide wellbeing (pastoral) support of workers.

Before hiring workers from overseas, AEWV employers must have completed INZ's required Job Check.
How to apply for a Job Check

Visa options for hiring migrants

Legal responsibilities and obligations

Philippines requirements

New Zealand employers wanting to hire overseas Filipino workers must:

  • meet the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) rules and regulations
  • check that the worker has approval to leave the Philippines
  • use a DMW licensed recruitment agent (if required).

Applying for accreditation

New Zealand requirements

Employers who want to hire migrants on an AEWV must apply to become an accredited employer.
Accreditation for the AEWV

Philippines requirements

The following Philippines government agencies deal with hiring Filipino workers:

Department Of Migrant Workers (DMW)

Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO)

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Philippine Overseas Labor Office

The DMW has a New Zealand-based branch called the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO). It is at the Philippines Embassy in Wellington.

Before you start overseas recruitment, you or your agent must contact the POLO about:

  • the Philippines requirements for hiring overseas Filipino workers
  • how to apply for Foreign Employer accreditation.
  • the documents and evidence required
  • how to submit a Job Order.

POLO New Zealand office Embassy of the Philippines

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration

The POEA is a government body responsible for monitoring and regulating private recruitment agencies in the Philippines.

Employer costs

An overview of what employers are required to pay to meet legal requirements of each country.

Costs to meet New Zealand's legal requirements include:

  • the worker's visa application fee
  • recruitment and placement fees
  • worker membership with the Overseas Workers Administration
  • full orientation including Worksafe and site-safe briefings
  • practical support to settle in New Zealand.

Costs to meet the Philippines' legal requirements include:

  • airfares
  • help find worker accommodation
  • pay any required fees or 1-way travel to the Philippines, if required
  • POEA's processing fee for a worker's trade or skills testing. (Optional. See 'Employee costs').

Costs such as transport from the airport to their accommodation in New Zealand depend on the employment agreement with the worker.

Information about cost requirements is in the section 'Recruitment and employment costs' on 'How to apply for AEWV accreditation'.

How to apply for AEWV employer accreditation

Employee costs

An overview of what employees are required to pay to meet legal requirements of each country.

Costs to meet New Zealand's legal requirements include the authentication of the worker's documents obtained in the Philippines.

Other costs depend on the conditions in the employment contract.

It is recommended that the employee budgets for:

  • living expenses (for example, electricity, telephone, internet)
  • work expenses (for example, safety gear and tools).

Costs to meet the Philippines' legal requirements include:

  • passport
  • police and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance
  • medical examination
  • inoculation (when required by New Zealand regulations
  • POEA's processing fee for trade or skills testing.

The New Zealand employer can pay POEA the processing fee on the worker's behalf to ensure testing meets their requirements.

Appoint an agent on your behalf

Use a DMW licensed agent when required

If you are hiring 6 or more Filipino workers you must use a DMW licensed agent.

Licensed Recruitment Agencies — Department of Migrant Workers


You do not need to use a DMW licensed agent if you are hiring up to 5 workers. You still need to comply with the DMW rules and regulations, use due diligence and experts as required.

Use a New Zealand agent (optional)

If you want to hire an agent to manage the recruitment process. You can hire:

  • a New Zealand agent to engage a licensed DMW recruitment agent in the Philippines
  • an approved DMW-licensed New Zealand agent
  • a Philippines-based DMW licensed recruitment agent.

List of POEA accredited agencies — POEA Jobs Abroad

Hiring process

One Job Order can be for many applicants.

The DMW registered agent completes the following:

  • a preliminary screening and selection from which you pick the desired candidate
  • interviews candidates
  • assess their trade skills, English language competency, and other skills required (for example, driving competency)
  • background checks including referees and police checks.

You may choose to:

  • do a teleconference with the candidates
  • visit the Philippines for face-to-face interviews.

Letter of confirmation

You or your agent:

  • send a letter of job offer to the worker
  • draft an employment contract in keeping with New Zealand and Philippine employment laws (including paying equivalent wages to actual hours worked).

The Filipino worker:

  • receives the contract from the DMW agent
  • gets the relevant visa
  • attends a pre-departure orientation
  • gets an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC)
  • prepares to leave the Philippines.

Arrival and settlement: employer requirements

Arriving in New Zealand

You must organise the following for your workers:

  • a pick-up at the airport and transportation to suitable accommodation
  • an orientation period when they arrive
  • a WorkSafe and occupational safety and health (OSH) site-safe briefings.

Workers should be able to start their job within 5 working days of their arrival.

Preparing for your migrant staff

Health and well-being support

You and your business must provide well-being (pastoral) support, including on-going support outside of work, for the duration of the worker's contract.

How to help workers on AEWVs settle in NZ

Settle migrant staff

Information about the requirement to provide support is in the section 'Supporting workers to settle' on 'How to apply for AEWV accreditation'.

How to apply for AEWV employer accreditation

Employer help and support

Government agencies

Immigration New Zealand

Accredited Employer Work Visa resources

Employer freephone from NZ landlines from 08:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday.

0508 967 569

Check if a person can legally work for you in New Zealand on Visaview.

How to check on Visaview

Use the Worktalk online tool to improve communication across cultures between employers and new migrant staff.


Employment New Zealand

Information about employment relations, pay and leave, and disputes resolution.

Employment New Zealand

Worksafe New Zealand

Information about health and safety.


Ministry for Ethnic Communities

Information, advice and services for ethnic communities.

Ministry for Ethnic Communities

Other organisations

Industry sector

Talk with other New Zealand employers who have recruited from the Philippines. They can share their experiences with you and help you decide if your business is ready to recruit.

Chambers of Commerce

The Chambers of Commerce promote, support and encourage sustainable, profitable business growth.

New Zealand Chamber of Commerce

Interpreting New Zealand

Interpreting or ‘spoken translation’.

Interpreting New Zealand