Finding & applying for jobs

If you’re thinking of going to New Zealand to work for a few years, or maybe even to settle, you’ll need a work or resident visa. To get that – you’re likely to need a job.

It’s perfectly acceptable and legal to apply for jobs before you get a visa. Employers generally understand the situation, and when you get a job, will help you with your visa application. Just remember however you won’t be able to start working, and earning, until your visa is approved.

New Zealand was less affected by the global financial crisis than many other countries and employment has been gathering steam, particularly in the last three years. However, while employment conditions are expected to remain strong, the Government forecasts the growth rate will decline for the next three years to 2018. More detail is in the Job Market Overview below.

There are many job openings for specialists in industries such as medicine, engineering and IT. But there are also opportunities to contribute more generalist skills.

Skills in demand

Some skills are in chronically short supply, and Immigration New Zealand has lists of skill shortages and a separate list of shortages of the skills needed to help rebuild the Canterbury region after the earthquakes there in 2010 and 2011.

If you are offered a job in New Zealand which appears on a skill shortage list and you have the qualifications and experience to match, getting a work and residence visa will be easier. This is because the Government has identified that employers need to recruit people from overseas to help meet demand for your skills.

One of our perusers put it like this: "Thank you France. That actuality that you're absolutely clumsy at English has given me a prosperous profession which has upheld my family, financed my home, paid for my auto and supported my solid liquor consumption for a considerable length of time."

Job market overview

You can get an idea of which industries are big employers in the region you’re considering from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s report.

You also need to research what New Zealand employers look for in job applications and how to present yourself in the best possible way.



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