Hire Migrant Workers Who Are Already in NZ

Some people with visas may already be permitted to work without applying for a new one.

A visa may not required by your candidate

A migrant's legal eligibility to work for you must be confirmed before you attempt to hire them. They might already have work privileges under their current visa, or they might need to apply for a visa in order to start working for your organisation.

Accepting a job offer doesn't require a visa. For employment to start, a visa is needed.

Working Holiday Visa holders

A reciprocal agreement between New Zealand and more than 35 other nations permits young people, ages 20 to 30 inclusive (with some restrictions, up to 35), to go to New Zealand and work there while they are there. However, the general allowance is a maximum stay of 12 months from the date of entry, though the UK scheme allows a stay of up to 23 months. Each nation or programme has its own set of rules.

Some programmes forbid permanent employment or employment that lasts longer than three months under one employer. If you hire someone on a working holiday visa and want to offer them a permanent position, they must apply for a work visa that permits that.

Work visa holders

According to their relationship, spouses or partners of people having a work visa, a student visa, a New Zealand resident or a New Zealand citizen may already have a visa with open employment rights. If so, they are free to work for any employer in New Zealand in any profession.

If you offer them a job, workers with visas that specify an employer may be allowed to modify the terms of their current visa to change employers, or they may need to apply for a new visa.

Student visa holders

The majority of students are able to work both during their studies and during breaks. To make sure they won't violate their visa requirements, you should go over their rights to work with them before they start.

If you want a student to work for you after they graduate, they must have a post-study work visa, which is another legitimate visa with employment privileges.

Post-study work visa holders

Many foreign students who successfully finish a postsecondary programme in New Zealand may be eligible to receive a 1, 2, or 3 year open post-study work visa. These recent New Zealand graduates are permitted to work in any occupation for any New Zealand employer.

Resident visa holders

Most people with residence visas are able to work in any field and for any business.

Interim visa

A temporary visa holder who is applying for a new work visa because their current one is about to expire or has already expired may or may not be permitted to work during the interim. Check the terms of their temporary visa by speaking with us.

What choices are there for your staff in terms of visas?

Your ideal applicant must apply for a work visa in a relevant category if they don't fit any of the aforementioned categories.