A practical guide to the documents and resources you will need to employ a skilled migrant.

We know that many businesses are unfamiliar with employing a skilled migrant and have concerns about the process and the legalities. But in order to get the best global talent, we think the only way forward is for companies to be prepared to recruit from the overseas talent pool – possibly even employing someone they won’t meet in person until they begin work.

We have created this free resource to help you navigate the issues of employing candidates to ensure you meet the correct criteria outlined by Immigration New Zealand when recruiting for your role.

Step 1: Clarify the job role

Identify the details of the role such as the tasks, qualifications, and experience required, as well as the pay and conditions.

Access the Immigration New Zealand (INZ) website to ascertain the ANZSCO occupation that most closely matches the role. Also note the associated skill level.

Step 2: Check whether your role is on a skills shortage list

Use the INZ skills shortage checker to find out whether the ANZSCO occupation your role matches is on a skills shortage list.

If it is, you can hire an overseas candidate without needing to prove you have tried to hire from the local market.

Ensure that your candidate has the required skills and experience listed in the skills shortage list.

If the role is not on the skills shortage list, continue to step 3.

Step 3: Advertise for the vacancy

If the role is ANZSCO skill level 4 or 5, you must contact Work and Income to lodge the vacancy.

  • You should also advertise the role yourself locally.
  • Any advertising for ANZSCO skill level 4 or 5 roles must be for a minimum duration of one week.

If the role is ANZSCO skill level 1-3, you don’t have to contact Work and Income.

  • Advertise the role yourself locally.
  • Any advertising for ANZSCO skill level 1-3 roles must be for a minimum duration of two weeks.

The advertising must accurately describe the role and the skills required.

Make sure you keep a copy of any advertising (and any invoices for placing that advertising). Note where and for how long you placed the advertisements.

This evidence can later be used to support a work visa application and is valid for up to three months from when the advertisement was first posted. The same evidence can be used to support more than one visa application for the same position within that three-month period.

Step 4: Assess the candidates

Make sure you consider all of the candidates who apply for the job, including any referred by Work and Income.

If you interview local candidates, keep a record of why they were not suitably experienced or qualified for the role.

If no local candidates are suitable, you can offer the job to a non-New Zealand worker and support a work visa application (step 6).

Step 5: Draft proposed employment agreement

If you are using an employment agreement that is a template your business has used for a while, make sure it is still compliant with current legislation.

Ensure that your agreement includes clear information about pay rates and hours to demonstrate that the role sits within a particular remuneration skill-band.

If you are unsure what to cite as the start date of employment in such contracts, you can simply write “subject to the issue of the work visa”.

Step 6: Support a work visa application

Download and complete the employer supplementary form (Note: this is NOT a sponsorship form.)

On this form outline the details about your business, the terms of the employment agreement including details on pay rate and hours, the qualifications and experience needed for the job, and the local labour market research that was undertaken.

You will need to include the following evidence with your application:

  • Evidence of advertising
  • Any evidence of training (your engagement with education/training providers and any courses you run)
  • Signed job offer
  • Employment agreement
  • Job description
  • Details of your assessment of candidates, particularly of any local candidates
  • Work and Income advice (only if job level ANZSCO 4 or 5).

Step 7: Check your candidate is job ready

Ensure the candidate can document their qualifications and experience to the level that has been stipulated in the advertising.

Check the candidate has a clear criminal record and obtained the necessary police checks.

A successful candidate will have to pass a medical exam, so check that they have submitted a recent medical check-up meeting the INZ standards.

If in doubt, seek advice from our team to review the documentation before applications are made to INZ.
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