Immigration New Zealand (INZ)
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) offers several different paths to obtain a work permit and/or visa for New Zealand.
For large and/or multinational companies, specified businesspeople (senior or specialist business people on short term secondments, or executives, senior managers, or specialist personnel seconded to New Zealand as an intra-corporate transferee), can apply for a specific purpose work visa.
Additionally, the larger New Zealand companies are often INZ "Accredited Employers" allowing them to fast track work permit and visa applications for specialist and/or senior staff. Without the backing of a large or multinational company, the simplest way to obtain a work permit and/or visa is where the position being offered is in an occupation that is in demand in New Zealand (either on INZ's Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL) or on the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL). These lists change regularly and can be located on INZ's website – www.immigration.govt.nz
If the position is not on one of these two lists, an application for a work permit and/or visa can be made under General Work (Other) Policy where the employer will need to show that no New Zealand workers are available to do the job. This can be done in two ways:
- The employer can request an approval in principle from INZ to recruit overseas workers. This will have to be done before any application for a work permit and/or visa can be submitted; or
- The employer provides the proof as part of a work permit and/or visa application process.
To obtain an approval in principle or to show that there are no suitable New Zealand workers available, the employer has to show that they have genuinely searched for suitably qualified and trained New Zealand workers.
The employer also has to explain why:
- their particular job specifications are necessary for the work
- New Zealand applicants are not suitable
- New Zealand applicants cannot be readily trained.
INZ also needs to be satisfied that the employer has previously met – and will continue to meet – New Zealand employment and immigration laws (they will have to provide evidence of funds available to pay the wage offered, evidence of PAYE for existing employees paid and confirmation that the employer's standard employment agreement and policies conforms with NZ employment law). Additionally, INZ usually conducts a labour market test to confirm that no suitable New Zealand workers are available.