Situated in the southwestern part of the Pacific Ocean, near Australia, is a beautiful island country called New Zealand. It consists of two main islands, the North Island and the South Island, plus around 700 smaller islands. The capital is Wellington.
Featuring breathtaking landscapes, a strong economy, and high quality of living, New Zealand is a top choice among expats, including overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). It has an active agriculture and tourism industry, with plenty of job opportunities.
In this article, we will discuss the different ways in which Filipinos can apply for work, and eventually — permanent residency — in New Zealand. Well will talk about the qualifications, requirements, and the necessary steps towards becoming an OFW in this country.
Types of Work Visas
There are various “pathways” that you can take if you want to work in New Zealand. Here is an overview of the different types of visas that are available to foreign jobseekers, including OFWs:
1. Care Workforce Work to Residence Visa
If you are currently working for, or if you have an employment offer from an accredited employer, you can apply for this type of visa. You must be 55 years old or below, and you must have worked in a “care workforce” role for at least 2 years.
The great thing about this visa is that you can include your spouse/partner and dependent children in your visa application.
2. Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa
If you are currently working for, or if you have an employment offer from an accredited employer, you may apply for this type of visa. You must be 55 years old or below, and you need to qualify for 6 points for your skills and work in New Zealand. You may also include your spouse/partner and children in your visa application.
Before anything else, you need to submit an expression of interest (EOI) to the official website of New Zealand Immigration. Once your EOI is accepted, you will be invited to apply for this type of visa.
3. Straight to Residence Visa
If you are currently working for, or if you have an employment offer from an accredited employer, you may apply for this type of visa. You must be 55 years old or below, and your role must be on Tier 1 of the Green List in-demand. You may include your spouse/partner and dependent children in your visa application.
Check out the Green List to find out the in-demand roles in New Zealand. If your role is in the list, and you have the qualifications and experience required, you may be able to acquire residence immediately or after 2 years of working in the country.
4. Work to Residence Visa
If you are currently working for, or if you have an employment offer from an accredited employer, you may apply for this type of visa. You must be 55 years old or below, and your role must be on Tier 2 of the Green List in-demand. You may also include your spouse/partner and dependent children in your visa application.
Once again, check out the Green List to determine if your role is included and if you qualify for this type of visa.
5. Philippines Working Holiday Visa
Every year, the New Zealand government sets a quota of 100 Philippines Working Holiday Visas. If you are a 18-30 years old and a Filipino citizen, you can apply for this type of visa, which allows you to work and study in New Zealand for up to 12 months.
With this type of visa, you cannot accept a permanent job or work for the same employer for more than 3 months. If you have a spouse/partner who wants to come to New Zealand, he/she needs to apply for their own visa. Meanwhile, you cannot bring your children with you using this type of visa.
6. Accredited Employer Work Visa
If you have an employment offer from an accredited employer, you can apply for this temporary visa, which allows you to work in New Zealand for up to 5 years. If you are eligible, you can eventually apply for a Straight to Residence Visa, Work to Residence Visa, or Care Workforce Work to Residence Visa.
7. Philippines Special Work Visa
New Zealand can have 20 Filipino engineering professionals, 20 Filipino farm managers, and 100 Filipino nurses… at any given time. So if you are an engineering professional, farm manager, or registered nurse, you can apply for this visa, which allows you to work in the country for up to 3 years — provided that you have an employment offer, as well as the qualifications and experience.
With this visa, you cannot include a spouse/partner or dependent children in your visa application. However, they can apply for a New Zealand visa based on their relationship to you.
The qualifications for New Zealand work visas would depend on the type of job you are applying for. Most of the criteria (e.g. age requirements, job role, etc.) are already mentioned above. For more details about the required qualifications for each visa type, please visit the official website of New Zealand Immigration.
Similarly, the requirements for getting a work visa would depend on the specific type of work, as well. Nevertheless, here are some of the most basic requirements:
- Employment Offer. This should include your job description, salary details, terms and conditions, and other relevant information.
- Qualifications and Skills. You should have the necessary skills and qualifications for the job. This includes submitting proof of educational attainment and training (e.g. school records, diploma, certificates, etc.).
- Health Requirements. You need to meet the health requirements set by New Zealand Immigration.
- Character Requirements. You should be able to submit proof of a clear criminal record.
- English Language Proficiency. You must be proficient in English. This may involve taking and passing a standardized language test.
Most Popular Jobs in New Zealand for Overseas Filipino Workers
Among the most popular industries in New Zealand are agriculture, construction and trades, customer service and call centers, education, healthcare, hospitality and tourism, information technology, manufacturing and production, and retail.
Correspondingly, here are some of the most in-demand jobs in the country, grouped according to industry:
- Agriculture – dairy farm workers, farm managers, farmers, horticulturists, etc.
- Construction and Trades – carpenters, construction workers, electricians, plumbers, etc.
- Customer Service and Call Centers – customer service representatives, customer support, technical assistants, etc.
- Education – teachers, teaching assistants, educational support staff, etc.
- Healthcare – nurses, doctors, surgeons, etc.
- Hospitality and Tourism – hotel managers, restaurant managers, receptionists, housekeepers, waiters, waitresses, etc.
- Information Technology (IT) – computer engineers, computer programmers, cybersecurity specialists, software developers, etc.
- Manufacturing and Production – machine operators, production workers, quality control supervisors, etc.
- Retail – store managers, sales assistants, marketing assistants, etc.
How to Become an OFW in New Zealand
Interested in becoming an OFW in New Zealand? Here is an overview of the application process, for your reference:
1. Determine the type of visa you need.
There are different types of New Zealand work visas, including temporary working visas and those that could lead to permanent residency. Based on your job or specialization, find out which type of visa you need.
If you are planning to bring your spouse/partner and dependent children with you, consider this as well in deciding which visa to apply for.
2. Check the visa requirements.
Each visa has its own set of qualifications and requirements. Aside from your job or specialization, you also need to meet health requirements, character requirements, and English language proficiency. Take note that some visas also require you to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) first before filing an application.
3. Prepare your documents.
Take time to prepare all the necessary documents; see to it that they are complete, correct, and accurate. If you have any documents that are not written in English, you need to have them translated.
Some of the most common requirements include: your passport, proof of qualifications, proof of work experience, health certificates, character certificates, and proof of funds, among others.
4. File your application.
You can file your application at the New Zealand Embassy in Manila; you could also apply online. Visit this link to learn more about the online visa application process.
Depending on the type of visa, you may also need to undergo an interview and/or provide your biometric information.
5. Wait for your visa to be processed.
After submitting all the requirements, all you have to do is wait for New Zealand Immigration to process your application. The length of time that you would need to wait depends on where you’re applying from, the type of visa you need, and the amount of visa applications received by the New Zealand Embassy.
6. Receive your visa.
Once your visa is approved, congratulations! You can now prepare to move to New Zealand. Don’t forget to check the details of your visa, such as the expiry date, conditions, etc.
Licensed Recruitment Agencies to New Zealand
When you apply for a job in New Zealand — or any other foreign country, for that matter — you need to make sure that you are dealing with legitimate employers and/or employment agencies.
Fortunately, the Philippine government has established the Department of Migrant Workers (formerly Philippine Overseas Employment Administration), which is responsible for accrediting manpower agencies. Below is a list of DMW-licensed manpower agencies that are accredited to deploy OFWs to New Zealand:
- 1st Dynamic Personnel Resources Inc.;
- 21st Century Manpower Resources Inc.;
- Admiral Overseas Employment Corporation;
- Al Awa’el International Manpower Inc.;
- Al Axa International Manpower Services Inc.;
- Alliance International Recruitment and Placement Services Inc.;
- American Prime Manpower Services Inc.;
- Ankor Management Services and Consultants Inc.;
- Asia Reach International Management and Contractor Services Inc.;
- Benchstone Enterprises Inc.;
- Bison Management Corporation;
- BMS Group International Manpower Recruitment Services Corp.;
- Caves Treasures Manpower and Construction Corporation;
- CDK International Manpower Services Corp.;
- Century Promotions and Manpower Services Inc.;
- Chesna Manpower Services Corp.;
- Cirrus Global Inc.;
- CPL Masters Recruitment Agency Inc.;
- CPM Manpower Services Inc.;
- Diamond Overseas Manpower Enterprises;
- Dominion Overseas Management Euro-Asia Corporation;
- Excel Green Kard International Inc.; and
- FMW Human Resources International Corporation.
NOTE: Please visit the official website of the Philippine Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) to view the full list of manpower agencies that are accredited to recruit land-based and sea-based OFWs around the world.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
At this point, let us go over some frequently asked questions about becoming an overseas Filipino worker in New Zealand:
1. Who are qualified to work in New Zealand?
There are different qualifications, depending on the type of job being applied for and the kind of visa involved.
Some of the visas that are available to Filipinos are the Care Workforce Work to Residence Visa, Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa, Straight to Residence Visa, Work to Residence Visa, Philippines Working Holiday Visa, Accredited Employer Work Visa, and Philippines Special Work Visa.
2. What are the requirements?
The requirements depend on the type of job as well as the type of visa being applied for. That being said, some of the most common requirements are: (a) employment offer stating job description, salary, etc.; (b) qualifications and skills, including documents such as schools records, certificates, etc.; (c) health certificate; (d) character certificate; and (e) English language proficiency.
3. What are the most in-demand jobs for OFWs?
At present, the most popular industries in New Zealand include: agriculture, customer service and call centers, construction and trades, healthcare, education, information technology (IT), hospitality and tourism, manufacturing and production, and retail.
Hence, among the most in-demand jobs in the country are farm managers, dairy farm workers, construction workers, electricians, customer service representatives, technical assistants, teachers, educational support staff, nurses, doctors, hotel managers, restaurant managers, computer engineers, software developers, production workers, quality control supervisors, store managers, and sales assistants.
4. How can I become an OFW in Zealand?
To become an OFW in New Zealand, you need to take the following major steps: (a) determine the type of visa you need; (b) check the visa requirements; (c) prepare your documents; (d) file your application; and (e) wait for your visa to be processed. As soon as your visa is approved, you can prepare for your move to New Zealand!
5. How can I learn more about working in New Zealand?
To learn more about working in New Zealand, you can head to the official website of New Zealand Immigration. You can also get in touch with the New Zealand Embassy in Manila, whose contact details are given below.
Contact Information: New Zealand Embassy in Manila
If you want to know more about how you can live, work, and study in New Zealand, here are the contact details, website, and location map of the New Zealand Embassy in the Philippines. Its office is located in Makati City, Metro Manila.
Address: Zuellig Building, 35th Floor PH, Makati Avenue, Paseo de Roxas, Makati, 1225 Metro Manila, Philippines
Telephone: +63 2 8234 3800
Video: What are the Requirements for a New Zealand Working Visa?
Check out this video to know more about the requirements when applying for a New Zealand working visa. This video is featured by “Jhing NZ Journey” YouTube channel, which is managed by an OFW who is based in New Zealand:
Aside from preparing all the necessary documents, it’s also important to prepare for your stay abroad. So what’s life really like in New Zealand? Here are some tips and information that every first-time visitor to the country should know!
1. Explore the country’s natural wonders.
Snow-capped mountains, breathtaking fjords, dense rainforests, beautiful coastlines — need we say more? New Zealand is filled with gorgeous landscapes, which is why it is a favorite setting for movies like the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
Thanks to its captivating natural beauty, New Zealand offers plenty of outdoor activities that you will enjoy. You can go biking, hiking, camping, fishing, skiing, bungee jumping, canyoning, and many more! The possibilities are endless!
2. Prepare for extreme weather.
During the summer, you can enjoy warm, sunny days, outside… Just don’t forget to put on some sunscreen! During the winter, however, you can expect the exact opposite. Temperatures drop, and it could get really cold during the evenings… So make sure that you have winter wear, and your house is adequately insulated!
3. Discover and enjoy local dishes.
Since New Zealand is far from most other countries, importation costs are high. But the good thing is, this means that you get to enjoy fresh produce, fresh milk, and what may be described as a “farm-to-table” experience!
As for local dishes, you’ll discover that New Zealand is influenced by both the British and South Pacific cultures… So alongside fish and chips, get ready to enjoy the freshest seafood, including abalone, scallops, oysters, and much, much more!
4. Benefit from high quality healthcare.
New Zealand offers a high quality of life, especially when it comes to healthcare. Since healthcare is subsidized by the government, you don’t have to worry about having to pay expensive hospital bills, since most medical services are free for citizens as well as permanent residents. Wow!
5. Enjoy the cultural diversity.
The population in New Zealand is a mix of Maori, Pacific Island, European, and other ethnicities. In fact, there’s a growing Filipino community there, as well. Although the population is “multicultural,” the people are generally friendly. You are bound to make lots of amazing friends in this country!
If you are planning to live, work, or study in New Zealand, we hope that you learned a lot from this guide! We wish you the best of luck as you prepare to stay in this beautiful and amazing country!
Meanwhile, another popular destination among OFWs is Italy. Check out this article if you want to know more about working in this European nation.