Migration's Catch 22: Which comes first, the visa or the job?

So you’d like to move to New Zealand, but if you apply for a job the employer requires you to have a work visa. And to apply for a visa, you need to have a job offer. Do you feel like you’re going around in circles?

Unfortunately there’s no simple answer to the scenario, but there is a solution.

The New Zealand immigration process is job led, therefore obtaining an offer of employment is critical to obtaining a work visa and meeting the requirements to apply for residency under the Skilled Migrant Category.

The problem that many people then face is attempting to get a job in New Zealand when they’re on the other side of the world, and convincing employers to give them the opportunity when they don’t yet have a visa in place. What you need to do is make yourself more appealing to a potential employer.

  1. Start your New Zealand Visa Application. By taking the Migration Associates’ free initial visa evaluation form our Licensed Immigration Adviser’s can assess your potential for gaining a New Zealand Visa. By simply getting and understanding of your visa eligibility you will be in a better position immediately, as you’ve taken proactive control of the visa and immigration process that is applicable to you. Once you understand your visa eligibility and time frames you can mention this to any potential employers.

  2. Update your CV into a New Zealand template. This helps your CV to stand out from potentially hundreds of other international candidates who have applied for the same job,. The template provided will allow you to consider details that are relevant to a New Zealand employer, and make it look more familiar to those who will be assessing it. Include in your personal statement that you are seriously committed to immigrating to New Zealand, and show the steps you have taken such as engaging with Migration Associates, or applying for a police certificate, or that you have previously visited New Zealand, for instance.

  3. Ensure you have the right qualifications and are registered with any registration bodies in New Zealand. For example, some trade skills require you to have NZ registration, such as electricians, and you’ll need to have undertaken this registration/training before you can apply. By gaining the relevant qualifications and registration you’ll have a much better chance of being considered as it shows your level of commitment.

  4. Check to see if your skill set is in demand by checking INZ’s Skill Shortage list. If your role is found on a shortage list then your skills are in high demand in New Zealand, and you’ll find it’ll be easier to apply as recruiters and employers have to seek talent from abroad to fill the gaps. Consider whether you would be willing to work in a slightly different industry field if you have previous skills in the area, or whether you need to gain more experience/qualifications to make your skills fit the shortage list.

  5. Ensure you are prepared for interviews. You may need to conduct interviews over Skype or telephone, you may even consider travelling to New Zealand for a face-to-face interview. Being open and accessible makes the hurdle of employing an international candidate seem less daunting for a recruiter, and may just see you get that job.

So the answer to the riddle is that in most cases both visa and job comes at the same time, and you must work on both in parallel. By working with a Licensed Immigration Adviser you can build yourself an immigration strategy that will allow you to take steps on both ladders simultaneously, and eventually achieve your dream of working and living in New Zealand.

Start your New Zealand Visa Application. By taking the Migration Associates’ free initial visa evaluation form our Licensed Immigration Adviser’s can assess your potential for gaining a New Zealand Visa.