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How Easy is it to Work in New Zealand?

Auckland, where you could be working in New Zealand

International relocations are stressful life events, though they can be hugely rewarding. Figuring out visas and entry documentation can be a lot easier once you have found a job in your new destination. And luckily for you, New Zealand is a great place to work.

The laid-back culture in this incredible country could mean that you are happier working here than you have been in the UK. With an enviable work-life balance, New Zealanders are free to enjoy their lives outside of work without carrying the burdens of the office around with them. The natural welcoming attitude of New Zealanders is sure to make you feel right at home in a new career.

But just how easy is it to be allowed to work in New Zealand? Let’s take a look at how you can live and work in what could be your new home.

Milford sound, fiordland, new zealand

Finding Work in New Zealand

The relatively small native population of New Zealand means that there are plenty of openings in a wide range of sectors. With the right skills and work experience, you’re sure to find a new job that you love. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t healthy competition for job roles that you do find.

Engineering, IT, and medicine are constantly seeing job vacancies, meaning that with these specific skills you’ll be hugely sought after in the New Zealand job market. But if you don’t have these skills, don’t worry, there might still be work for you. HR and recruitment, trades and services, community services and development are just a few of the sectors seeing growth in employment at the moment in New Zealand. You can find an up-to-date list of skills shortages in New Zealand on the government website.

Note that competition for more senior, higher-paying positions is likely to be more fierce. Because of this, many expats looking for work tend to accept more junior positions than they have left behind in order to learn more about the New Zealand markets and ways of working. If you are struggling to find permanent work, why not try out part-time or contract work? This is a great way to gain experience and get your foot in the door of what could be a future permanent employer.

Searching for jobs in New Zealand is typically done over the internet. There are numerous websites to visit for the latest job listings, including New Kiwis, SEEK, WorkHere, and Trade Me.

Auckland, where you could be working in New Zealand

Visas for Working in New Zealand

Options for working visas in New Zealand will depend entirely on your unique situation. You’ll need to take into account your age, whether you have a job offer or not, your sector, skills and experience, and other factors. You can explore your working visa options on the government website with a handy form tool.

Applying for New Zealand visas can be done online, which saves time and money, after which you’ll receive an electronic visa for your visit. When applying, you’ll need to have a credit card handy, along with any evidence for your application, like a copy of your passport and employer confirmation (if you have one). But what are the most common ways of entering the country to work?

Skilled Migrant Visa

Like other nations, this category includes a points system which will score you on a range of factors, including age, work experience, qualifications, and skilled employment offer. To apply for this visa, you need to be aged 55 or under and meet the requirements for English language skills, health, and character.

This visa requires you to assess yourself and calculate your score on the New Zealand immigration points system. You can then submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) should you qualify (160 points or more), which can be done online. You’ll be entered into a pool, from which a random selection of people is invited to apply for the resident application.

Working holiday visa

This visa is designed for young people who wish to travel and work in New Zealand for up to 23 months if they are from the UK. Individuals aged 18 to 30/35 can apply for this visa type. Under this visa type, you may not accept a permanent job role. You can, however, study one or various educational or training courses lasting up to 6 months. Note that work and study should be a secondary priority to travel when applying for this visa type.

Long Term Skill Shortage work visa

This is a great way to start working in New Zealand with the intention of applying for residency to stay longer. For the Long Term Skill Shortage visa, you must meet certain requirements concerned with your age, health, skills, and job offer. After 24 months in your New Zealand job, you can then apply for residency. You can apply for this visa if:

  • You have a long-term job offer in New Zealand.
  • Your occupation is included on the Long Term Skill Shortage List.
  • Your qualifications and experience matched the requirements.
  • You meet age, health, and character requirements.
Group of friends having fun on the lake in New Zealand

New Zealand Work-Life Balance

New Zealand has a lot to offer prospective workers. Though New Zealanders encourage hard work during work hours, people are also encouraged to enjoy their lives outside of work. With excellent weather, spending time out in nature and hanging with friends at barbecues are popular ways to unwind after a workday. Expats from the UK find that working too much is not praised here, meaning that workaholics might get a chance to kick the habit when they move to New Zealand.

So now that you know just how simple and rewarding work in New Zealand can be, are you ready to make your move? Get a quote with Gerson to see how we could help with your international move to New Zealand.

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