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Hiring someone from overseas

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

Overseas candidates don’t need a visa to apply for or be offered a job.

Overseas candidates don’t need a visa to apply for or be offered a job.

But in many cases, candidates must have a job offer to support their visa application.

Supporting a 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

 

Hiring someone already in New Zealand

If you plan to hire a migrant who’s in New Zealand, you must check their visa lets them work here before offering the job.
Use Immigration New Zealand’s VisaView tool to see a candidate’s visa status.

Check a candidate’s visa status (external link) — Immigration New Zealand

There are ways you can help people to get a work visa.

There are ways you can help people to get a work visa.

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)

Only licensed immigration advisors, Citizens Advice Bureau staff and lawyers can give immigration advice.

Only licensed immigration advisors, Citizens Advice Bureau staff and lawyers can give immigration advice.

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

Finding and hiring workers overseas

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:

  • a written employment agreement
  • minimum wage
  • minimum leave entitlements
  • a safe workplace.

Complying with immigration and employment law (external link) — Immigration New Zealand

Settling migrant staff

It’s in your long-term interest to quickly settle migrant staff and their families. There are plenty of free resources and services to help you and them adjust.

How to settle migrant staff (external link) — Immigration New Zealand 

Create a welcome kit (external link) — Immigration New Zealand

Have you hired someone from overseas in the last two years?

We would like to know more about the people who use our site. This will help us develop useful tools and content to save our customers time and money.