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.

You must try to recruit a New Zealander for your position

Unless one of the following apply, you must try to recruit a New Zealander for your position:

  • the work is in an occupation on one of our essential skills in demand lists and your candidate has the qualifications and/or work experience listed for that occupation
  • you are supporting an applicant who currently works for you and has been invited to apply, or has submitted an application which remains undecided, under the Skilled Migrant Category based on their current employment.

The evidence you provide to show your genuine attempts will depend on whether your position is high or low-skilled.

If the job is high-skilled, you must provide evidence you advertised the role including:

  • the text for your advert
  • where and how long your advert ran for.

If the job is low-skilled, you  must provide a Skills Match Report from Work and Income (in addition to advertising the role) showing either:

  • there are no New Zealanders available to do the work
  • there are no New Zealanders who you believe are suitable for the work.

Skills Shortage List check

You must provide a written employment agreement

 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.

You must complete an Employer Supplementary Form

You must complete an ‘Employer Supplementary Form’, which must include evidence of your genuine attempts to recruit New Zealanders for your position (if this applies). You’ll need to give your completed form to your candidate, who will need to include it with their work visa application together with their employment agreement.

Employer Supplementary Form (INZ1113) PDF 264KB

Essential Skills employer guide (MB13235) PDF 346KB