Trying to find a job in New Zealand can be tricky if you’re not already there. Ideally, it helps to have a visa to allow you into the country to look for a job. But it can be difficult to get a visa that allows you to work in New Zealand without a job offer, or without the right qualifications – especially proficiency in English.
If you want to be free to look for a job in New Zealand, the ideal solution could be to come with a Visitor’s Visa and, if and when a job offer is obtained, work on changing your visa status while in Auckland. However, many employers will only interview people who are legally allowed to work in New Zealand and it will state this on the advert. Having a job offer can definitely increase your chances of being accepted, especially if you meet all other requirements.
Work visa applications are usually processed in 7-15 days, but it is always a good idea to start the process as soon as you decide to apply. If you visit the immigration office in person, they may be able to arrange a work visa the same day; you would need extenuating circumstances for this, but the immigration officers are very helpful and it never hurts to ask them politely if something can be done sooner.
If you have experience working in horticulture or viticulture, you can apply to come to New Zealand for seasonal work, and if you are 18-30 years old, the Working Holiday Scheme is a great choice of visa. New Zealand has working holiday exchanges set up with the following countries:
Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, USA, Uruguay.
Applicants must meet requirements similar to those under the Visitor’s Visa category. For more information, go to http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/stream/work/workingholiday/ and click on the link for your country.
You can apply using the online system for many of the working holiday schemes, the link to apply online will be available at the site above if it is applicable for your country of origin.
The Work to Residence visa is a useful stepping stone to gaining full New Zealand residency, especially if you don't currently meet all the requirements to apply for permanent residency. There are various different categories of Work to Residency and each has its own different requirements, along with a set of standard requirements that all applicants need to meet. The standard requirements are: