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  Immigration Options.

Immigration is a specialist area that changes on a regular basis.  We would suggest you refer, in the first instance to for a comprehensive overview of New Zealand immigration requirements.

In general, New Zealand is keen to attract skilled individuals who will add to the growth and prosperity of the country.  The key ways to enter New Zealand are: 

Skilled Migrant:

The skilled migrant programme works on a point system, with points earned on the basis of qualifications, work experience, age, family connections to NZ etc.  There is a 4 stage process, once sufficient points can be established.  Different weighting can be attributed to different aspects and the points "threshold" also changes depending on the economy, unemployment levels and other influencing factors.

Talent Work Visa:

These are awarded to individuals:

  • seeking to work for an accredited employer; or
  • are offered a job on the Long Term Skills Shortage List (LTSSL); or
  • have a specific talent in arts, sports or culture.

Work to Residence:

People who receive a work permit under the Talent category may apply for residence after two years in NZ. 

General Work Visas and Permits:

If an employer can prove a case that they have been unable to source appropriate staff from the New Zealand market, they may be able to assist an individual to obtain a General Work visa or permit.  Whilst recruitment is not on the LTSSL, it is hard to fill recruitment roles. We have supported a number of candidate applications under this category, based on being able to demonstrate the impact on revenue for the recruitment company. This is where we can assist many of our experienced overseas recruiters.

Working Holiday:

If you are between 18 and 30 you may travel to New Zealand and apply for a Working Holiday permit.  Specific arrangements differ from country to country, with some requiring individuals to work in short term (up to three months) roles, whilst others allow work up to the limit of their permit.  You will need to check what applies to your specific situation.  In recruitment, clients may entertain the idea of a 12 month contract, or shorter term if your skills are highly specialized (i.e. Projects / in house).

The difference between a Visa and a Permit:

A Visa allows a person to travel to the New Zealand Border and a permit allows them to remain in the country.  Permits are usually issued at the border.  Special conditions apply if you wish to leave and return to New Zealand and an additional visa may be required. 

Whilst there are some recruitment companies who are accredited employers, recruitment (as a skill) has not yet made the LTSSL.

For people thinking about emigrating to New Zealand, refer to:

For information about all aspects of the New Zealand work environment, refer to


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