Your Job Search in New Zealand and the Catch 22

Can you find a job in New Zealand if you don't have a visa yet?  

- As a new migrant to New Zealand you will need to find a job.
- Will New Zealand employers be hesitant to give you an offer of employment?
- How can you get a job offer if you do not have a visa yet?
be 56 years or under

"Only applicants with the right to work in New Zealand may apply" or "Unfortunately, we are not able to consider your application if you do not possess a valid work visa"

graphic of recruiters searching for applicants

"Please get back in contact with us once you have obtained either residency or a work permit and we would be only too happy to assist. Good luck with your job search."

be 56 years or under

"Your chances of obtaining a visa are good, once you have secured a job offer. Good luck with your job hunt and we see you when you have secured a job."

The challenge of finding a job in New Zealand if you do not have the right visa yet.

The Catch 22 dilemma does not only affect your visa application process (you need a job to get a visa), but it also makes your job search in New Zealand a lot more complex.

Right at the start of your migration process you don't have a job, or a work visa.

As soon as you start looking for a job, you will most certainly come across feedback along the lines of:

"Only applicants who hold a visa that allows them to work in New Zealand may apply."

Online job portals might not even accept your job application, and your application might be filtered out by the system before it can even be evaluated by a human eye.  

At this very early stage your job search efforts are basically hitting a wall. Breaking through that wall will require a work visa, but you need a job offer to obtain a work visa.

Once again your are caught up in the vicious cycle of the Catch 22 dilemma.

image of catch 22 dillemma in practice

The implications of the Catch 22 on your job search are huge.

It will affect you in many ways. Take a look at the Catch 22 dilemma from a migrant's, recruiter's and employer's perspective:

A Migrant Perspective

'Hi Anna, My husband Paul and I have been exploring the possibility of emigrating to New Zealand. We have already been advised that we would require job offers to secure visas. The biggest challenge we are encountering is in applying for vacancies in New Zealand. Do you offer assistance in this regard?'

A Recruiters Perspective

'Dear S. Thank you for your recent application for work in New Zealand. While the New Zealand market is currently seeking skilled candidates, most employers prefer to interview candidates face to face rather than conduct phone or video conference interviews. It is also preferred that you already are eligible to work in New Zealand and be available within four weeks. Please get back in contact with us once you have obtained either residency or a work permit and we would be only too happy to assist. Good luck with your job search. Regards, RG, Recruiter, Wellington'

An Employers Perspective

Employers are not permitted to employ anybody who does not have the legal right to work in New Zealand. The prospect of offering a job to a migrant is daunting and the visa application process highly bureaucratic.
This might make it difficult for you to convince a potential employer that you are the best candidate for the role.

Why New Zealand employers can sometimes be hesitant to offer a job to a migrant:

While there has allways been a high demand for Skilled Professionals from overseas, the implications of offering a role to a migrant who is not yet officially permitted to work in New Zealand yet are huge and employers often do not have the time to take care of the required formalities while running their day-to-day business. For these practical reasons they often prefer job candidates who are readily available to start working for them.

Having said that, skilled migrants are highly respected and their skills are needed and appreciated in New Zealand.

The process of employing a migrant is complicated

For employers who are looking at hiring migrants for the first time, the immigration process can seem overwhelming. They may be unsure of what to do and at what stage.

Employer responsibilities:

Check migrant's visa status:

Employers have an obligation under the Immigration Act 2009 to check if a potential employee has the legal right to work for them in New Zealand before they commence employment.

The Immigration Act is clear that employers must not hire migrants who are not entitled to work for them. The onus and obligation is placed on the employer.

Before a migrant can begin working, the employer must check that the conditions of their visa allow them to work in New Zealand.

They need to ensure that their prospective employee is able to settle here and work for them.

The Labour Market Test:

Before hiring a migrant, some visas may require the employer to complete a Labour Market Test.

The New Zealand employer has to prove that they have made genuine attempts to find a New Zealander who can fill the position before offering the job to a migrant. This is a lengthy and quite challenging process which might deter the employer from offering a job to a migrant.

The only exceptions:

The formalities the New Zealand employer has to complete are relatively complicated and time consuming.

Involving a Licensed Immigration Adviser will make a deciding difference.

The Licensed Immigration Adviser will advise and support the New Zealand employer to make their proportion of the visa application process a lot less daunting and the whole visa application process as smooth as possible.

Is the migrant really committed?

The decision to move to a new country is a life changing step for any migrant on many levels. It is not uncommon, and entirely understandable, for migrants to have a change of mind about leaving their home country.

For the employer however this change of mind will be a frustrating experience, if they have supported the visa application process in support of a migrant and will then have to start their recruitment process all over again.

By engaging the help of a Licensed Immigration Adviser you can demonstrate your full commitment to your job search process and convince your future employer that you are serious about working for them.

How can you break through the job search wall and solve the Catch 22?

Working with us will give you the tools to overcome the Catch 22 that is hindering your successful job search.

Working with us will help you lower employer resistance, as we will alleviate their pressure of complying with visa requirements considerably and make the process of employing you as smooth and fast as possible.

While our team of Job Search Professionals will provide expert advice on navigating the New Zealand employment market as well as the job application process, our Licensed Immigration Advisers will take care of all visa formalities for you and assist your New Zealand employer with their part in the visa application process, including Labourmarket Testing if necessary.

The solution:

Our Fusion Service:

At NZIC we look at the full picture when approaching your migration process.

our fusion service combining visa and job search teams

Our Fusion Service in practice, a success story:

Our Client

Our Licensed
Immigration Adviser

The Employer

Our Client

"Good evening! This morning I phoned Ruth W. from X. I have let her know that we are in daily contact. I also told her that from my perspective, all is in excellent shape, and I am confident we will receive an answer to the work visa application very soon.She mentioned that she wants me to start next week. I have a feeling that they are not willing to wait any longer. Ruth is very keen to know in which phase we are and how things are looking. Could you please give her a quick update on the current situation? Thank you very much.Kind regards, Christopher."

"Hello Carsten! Yeah! A dream has come true and I am so happy!
I cannot wait to join the X. team. :-) Thank you very much for your help and support in this challenging time. I really appreciate all you have done for me. Kind regards, Christopher"

"Good morning Christopher. Sorry to have woken you this morning!!  As discussed,  your work visa has been approved - congratulations!  Attached is the confirmation we have received from Immigration New Zealand.  Please print this document and keep with your passport at all times.  We wish you luck on your first day! Kind regards, Carsten Hallwass, Licensed New Zealand Immigration Adviser."

"WOW, Totally awesome Christopher. So thrilled for you that you get to have your dream to come true and you get to work in New Zealand.  And for us here at X, we are thrilled that you will be working for us now. Thank you so much for all you have done to achieve this great result. Please thank Maj and the other members of the team who have all done their part in achieving a work permit for such a fine young man as Christopher is.This is certainly a wonderful day! Have a great one too and kindest regards, Ruth W. | Director."

Read more about job searching in NZ:

Job Searching in NZ

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NZIC was a great help in getting my family and I to New Zealand.  Anna was worth her weight in gold. In the end, I got a great job in a great city.  Carsten and his team were very thorough and helpful when it came time to apply for and get our visas. They are now helping us with our resident visas, and I'm certain that the process will be the same.  I'd recommend them highly.

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At first, Maj kindly explained the whole process and what to expect. I was coached and introduced to New Zealand job market by their Job Search team, and getting assistance until I got a job in the country. The Visa team would also follow me up on my pending documents, so I never felt left out. Truly recommended for those seeking out an option to live in New Zealand. Big thanks from me and my whole family for things NZIC did for us..!

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NZIC helped me in my way to get a Visa and job search. They were always available to talk to and were open to all sorts of questions. No matter how random they were. Very friendly staff. And even when they had changes in employee and advisors, they always stayed professional and up to date. I can only say good things and recommend them highly.

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Very pleased and satisfied with the service we received from NZIC. They assisted me and my family from start to finish. Always willing to assist, and communicated our progress every step of the way. With their assistance we managed to obtain permanent resident visa status.

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