Finding work in New Zealand before having a visa approved?
May 17, 2016 9:51 AM   Subscribe

Having filled out an Expression of Interest to work in New Zealand I am 10 points shy of automatic acceptance. However, on receipt of a job offer I qualify easily. What I don't understand is the Chicken/Egg situation of looking for a job without a visa but needing a visa to find a job. Has anyone been through this? I can't help but feel it will be off putting to employers, although as far as I understand they need only to assist with the application for a temporary work visa; however I may be being naive here.

If it helps – I am looking to enter as a Skilled Migrant in a creative role.
posted by stackhaus23 to Travel & Transportation around Auckland, New Zealand (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Are you under 30? If so, maybe look into a year-long working holiday visa? Get over there first and work for an employer who will love you so much they sponsor your for the temporary work visa.
posted by aniola at 10:59 AM on May 17, 2016

Hi Aniola, unfortunately not. It's something that I had looked into previously but a little too late.
posted by stackhaus23 at 11:23 AM on May 17, 2016

Yes, I've been through this--my wife and I immigrated to New Zealand and went through the EOI process, etc. For a while I also assisted people with visa applications in my professional role, although these were people who were working for the same company as I was, not people without roles hoping to find them.

The solution in our case was a combination of networking through a professional organization and the circumstances (for us) that there was high demand in my wife's field. We may have had enough points to qualify even without a job offer, but she received three job offers several months before we got our visas.

If you belong to any professional networks or organizations in your home country, find the equivalent in New Zealand and contact them and ask them if they have any particular advice for people seeking jobs. It helps especially if you can be introduced to them from someone in your own organization, but it wasn't necessary in our case. It was enough just to contact the head of that professional organization, who was very enthusiastic about helping my wife find a role. I think it helped that she approached him very enthusiastically and genuinely without any expectation that he'd be able to do anything for her other than offer advice.

You could also check out the online community, which was a great resource when we moved.

I met and interacted with many, many migrants and would-be migrants and my experience was that people who succeeded in the EOI process had some sort of connection already or forged one through networking (or came over first on a working holiday visa, which doesn't sound feasible for you). I can't think of anyone I knew who found a job by interviewing during a 2 or 3 week holiday and securing a job offer that way.

Another way people wound up moving to NZ was via a secondment from their current job, so if it's an option for you to work for a firm that could second you to NZ you could do that (unlikely given what you say about 'creative role,' but wanted to mention it).

If there are other ways to raise your score for the EOI process you might want to consider them, too, although as I recall many not very feasible.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:59 PM on May 17, 2016

Have a look at the Accredited Employers visa. As far as I know, companies that are accredited employers don't have to employ New Zealanders preferentially, and can offer jobs to overseas applicants in your position. There are bound to be some design companies on the list, and if they have vacancies, go for it! (Good luck!)
posted by superfish at 12:40 AM on May 18, 2016

When you were researching working holiday visas, did you look into the IEP visa which is only available through BUNAC's Work New Zealand programme? You can apply for that over 30 if you're under 36 .
posted by boudicca at 6:29 AM on May 18, 2016

I went to New Zealand in the late 2000s without a visa - I'm an American, and so was able to go for a 3-month window for travel without getting a visa beforehand. I had lined up job interviews ahead of time from overseas but was finding that employers were unwilling to make job offers to migrants until they arrived in NZ. At the time, something like 40% of migrants who accepted job offers from overseas would have second thoughts and back out of the move. I flew to NZ with a refundable round-trip ticket, went to the interviews and accepted a position with the understanding that it would take about a month for my visa to come through. This is a very common practice in NZ under the skilled migrant category; in this scenario, the employer is sponsoring your application and so it goes through more quickly than if you applied on your own without a sponsor. My profession is on the skills shortage list, and I got a work-to-residency permit in about a month.
posted by hootenatty at 4:10 PM on May 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

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