One of the challenges that migrants to New Zealand face is getting their first job. This is often the first essential step on the pathway to residency.
Many job advertisements say “only people who are entitled to work full-time in New Zealand should apply.” Often employers write this clause in their job advertisements because they are under-resourced and do not want the hassle of filling out forms for the Government so that they can employ someone.
Often, an ideally qualified candidate who would easily qualify for an Essential Skills Work Visa misses out because they cannot get that visa without an offer of employment. We call this the ‘Employment Catch 22’.
So if you are well qualified for the job, how do break the Employment Catch 22?
The short answer is that there is no sure-fire way to do so. If you are fortunate enough to have a Partnership Based Work Visa or an open Study to Work Visa, this is not a problem because you can apply for the job and tell the employer that you are already entitled to work full-time in New Zealand.
Otherwise you need a strategy to overcome the employer’s prejudice about helping someone get a work visa. My suggested strategy is:
- Apply anyway
If you don’t ask, you don’t get! If you are the best qualified candidate for the job, the employer may overlook the fact that you do not have a current work visa and support you in an application for an Essential Skills Work Visa;
- Get an Immigration Opinion
We can assess your circumstances and, if we believe you are a strong candidate for an Essential Skills Work Visa, we can provide you with an Immigration Opinion. The opinion we provide will tell the employer:
a. that you are a strong candidate for an Essential Skills Work Visa; and
b. that we will work with the employer to help him or her advertise the position
(if required) and prepare the employer’s documentation for your application.
The Immigration Opinion should give the employer comfort that you have competent advice and that supporting your application for an Essential Skills Work Visa will not involve him or her in a difficult and bureaucratic process. Hopefully it will also help distinguish your CV and job application from the others in the pile!
Contact us if you are interested in help breaking the ‘Employment Catch 22‘.