How to hire migrants

If you are looking at hiring migrants for the first time, the immigration process can seem overwhelming. You may be unsure of what to do and at what stage.

Video — Immigration basics for employers(1:28)

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We understand that the thought of hiring someone from overseas can seem overwhelming.

There are a few important things you need to know to make the process easier for you.

The first thing to know is that it’ll take time.

There’s finding candidates, the process of hiring them, time to secure a visa, and then to move to New Zealand.

Before hiring a migrant, some visas require you to complete a Labour Market Test, to make sure there aren’t New Zealanders who are able to do the job.

Some roles don’t require a labour market test, like those on one of Immigration New Zealand’s skills shortage lists.

How you go about finding a non-New Zealand candidate is up to you, but we may be able to help you to find them if you need help looking outside of New Zealand.

Our SkillFinder database can connect you with hundreds of thousands of people all throughout the world who are keen to bring their skills to New Zealand.

A job offer is usually key for migrants to secure a visa. Once you’ve found your ideal candidate, you can offer them the job - but they won’t be able to start working for you until their work visa has been approved.All visas require migrants to meet health and character requirements.

We’ve got plenty more information to help make immigration easier, so check out our website for more.

The recruitment process and securing a visa will take time. There are a few important things you need to know to make the process easier for you:

  • Before hiring a migrant, some visas may require you to complete a Labour Market Test to make sure there aren’t New Zealanders who are able to do the job
  • We have tools like SkillFinder that can connect you with offshore migrant candidates who are keen to bring their skills to New Zealand
  • For most visa applications a migrant will need a written job offer, and meet health and character requirements.
  • A migrant cannot start working for you until their visa has been approved.

The Finding and Hiring section of this website has more information to help you get started.

SkillFinder tool

Finding and Hiring

Health requirements 

Character requirements - for temporary visas

Character requirements - for resident visas