Video — Visa basics for employers

This video is an overview of the most common visas you should be aware of when employing overseas workers, as it is up to you to make sure your staff have the right to work in New Zealand.

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As an employer, it’s up to you to make sure your staff have the right to work in New Zealand.

Before a migrant can work in New Zealand, they need a valid visa.

Generally speaking, migrants in higher skilled and higher paid roles will usually have access to more visa options, with fewer restrictions.
Visa processing times do vary, so it pays to check our website and use this information to plan your recruitment. There are two main types of visa available to people wanting to live and work in New Zealand: Temporary and Resident visas.

Temporary visas can be either Open or Employer supported. An Open visa allows the holder to work for any employer.

Examples of Open work visas are working holiday visas, study or post-study visas, and  partner of a worker work visas.

The most common employer supported temporary visa is Essential Skills.

To be eligible for this visa, the role needs to be for 30 hours or more.

The duration of the visa depends on the skill level and salary of the job.

A Labour Market Test is usually required to prove that you have been unsuccessful in finding New Zealanders able to do the job
If the role is listed on one of Immigration New Zealand’s Skill Shortage lists a Labour Market Test may not be required.

Another type of employer supported visa is Work to Residence.

It starts as a temporary visa, but it provides a resident pathway after two years, making it attractive to candidates wanting to make a long-term move to New Zealand.

Employers who have become accredited with Immigration New Zealand may be able to use one of these pathway visas.
The final main types of visa are Resident Visas.

A common resident visa it the Skilled Migrant Category.

It uses a points-based system that takes into account factors such as job offer, salary, academic qualifications, age and job location.
Many people come to New Zealand on an Essential Skills visa, then transfer to a Skilled Migrant visa later.

If you want to take a more detailed look at the types of visas available, and the differences between them, take a look at our website.