Overseas workers can be a great asset for your business, adding new contacts, skills and viewpoints. But there are rules you’ll need to follow when looking to hire a migrant.
Any worker who isn’t a New Zealand citizen or resident needs a valid visa with work rights. They need to apply for the visa but you may also need to provide some paperwork.
Some visas need you to show that there are no suitable New Zealanders available.
Things to consider before hiring migrants (external link) —Immigration New Zealand
Attempts to hire New Zealanders (external link) — Immigration New Zealand
Hiring in Canterbury and Queenstown
If you’re looking to hire overseas workers for a role in Canterbury and Queenstown, the recruitment process is different. To learn more go to
Hiring in Canterbury and Queenstown (external link) — Immigration New Zealand
But in many cases, candidates must have a job offer to support their visa application.
If the person you want to hire doesn’t have a visa that allows them to work in New Zealand, they’ll need to apply for a work or resident visa — will need a visa that allows them to work before they begin their employment. You can find details about how to support someone you want to hire on the New Zealand Immigration Website.
Support a visa application (external link) — New Zealand Immigration
You can’t advise people how to get a visa but you can guide them to useful public information, eg on the Immigration New Zealand website (external link) .
That means you can’t tell people the best visa to apply for, or documents they’ll need for their application.
Immigration advice rules (external link) — Immigration New Zealand
Hiring migrants from overseas presents unique challenges, including how to advertise your job, screening and interviewing candidates, and dealing with cultural differences.
SkillFinder is a free online tool to connect you with skilled workers overseas interested in living and working in New Zealand.
Skillfinder (external link) — Immigration New Zealand
Finding and hiring workers overseas (external link) — Immigration New Zealand
You must comply with New Zealand employment rules when you hire a migrant. This includes minimum employment rights, eg providing:
Complying with immigration and employment law (external link) — Immigration New Zealand