Are you thinking about hiring overseas people? Or do you currently
hire immigrant workers? This information is relevant to you.
New Zealand's population is becoming more and more culturally
diverse. Overseas residents come to New Zealand to look for work
and set up a new life, and bring with them a range of unique skills
and expertise. Skilled migrant workers can be invaluable to
business- however some employers might be concerned of the legal
An employer must check that the migrant is legally able to work in
New Zealand before hiring them, or agreeing to hire them. Citizens
and residents of New Zealand and Australia do not need a work visa
to legally work in New Zealand. Citizens from other nations will
normally have a work visa label or stamp in their passport, which
verifies that they have correctly applied to work in New
If the person you wish to employ does not have a valid visa for
the work you wish them to perform, you can assist them in making an
application for a visa or to alter their current visa.
It is an offence to employ a migrant who is not legally entitled
to work in New Zealand.
What does this mean for HR Managers?
1. Check all entitlements to work in NZ of every staff member in
2. Keep proof of this on file: e.g. a copy of the NZ passport,
birth certificate or citizenship certificate with photo ID;
residence class visa or endorsement in a foreign passport
indicating NZ citizenship; Australian passport or Australian
permanent residence visa.
4. Check people working in your organisation even if they have
been referred by a third party such as a recruitment agency.
5. Do not offer an employment contract to anyone until you see
proof that they can work in NZ.
Immigration New Zealand has released a helpful guide for employers
who are currently or seeking to employ migrant workers. This
booklet can be accessed via the link below: