Support a candidate's work visa Essential Skills Work Visa

If you’ve made genuine attempts to recruit New Zealanders to fill a position and you haven’t been able to find anyone, you may be able to support an overseas worker’s visa application. If your position is in an occupation on one of our Essential Skills in Demand Lists, you don’t have to check if there are any New Zealanders available before you recruit overseas.

What an employer needs to do

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Genuine attempt to recruit

You must have tried to recruit New Zealanders for the positions

You must try to recruit a New Zealander for your vacancy unless:

  • the work is in an occupation on one of our essential skills in demand lists and your candidate has the qualifications and/or work experienced listed for that occupation
  • your candidate is already working in the role and has recently applied or been invited to apply for residence under our Skilled Migrant Category
  • you already employ the worker full-time in the same role and in the same region that they will be working in.

You must provide evidence to show you have made genuine attempts to recruit a New Zealander for the vacancy. The evidence you provide will depend on if the work is paid below, at or above the New Zealand median wage.

If the occupation is paid at or above the median wage, you must provide evidence you advertised the vacancy, including:

  • the text for your advert
  • where and how long your advert ran for (should be for at least two weeks)
  • an explanation why any applicants from New Zealand were not hired.

If the occupation is paid below the median wage, you must provide evidence you advertised the vacancy for at least one week, as well as a Skills Match Report from Work and Income.

Skill shortage list check

Job offer

You must provide a written employment agreement, which your candidate will need to support their application

Your job offer must:

  • be current at the time your candidate applies for their visa
  • be for full-time work.

You must provide a written  employment agreement as evidence of your job offer, which must include:

  • your  name and contact details
  • your candidate’s name and contact details
  • your candidate’s job title
  • the address for your workplace
  • the kind of work your candidate will be doing and their responsibilities at work
  • details of any qualifications or work experience your candidate will need
  • information about whether your candidate will need New Zealand registration to do the work
  • how long the work is for
  • how long your candidate has to take up your offer
  • pay and work conditions that comply with New Zealand employment law.


Employment agreements and rights

Employer supplementary form

You must complete a Supplementary Form (Section J) 

Give your completed form to your candidate and tell them to include it with their work visa application together with their employment agreement.

Employer Supplementary Form (INZ 1113) PDF 388KB


We may update this form often. Check you are using the latest version downloaded from this page.

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