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6 Common Mistakes Employers Make In Their Visa Applications

6 Common Mistakes Employers Make In Their Visa Applications

When you have gone to the trouble of finding a potential worker from overseas, the last thing you need is to trip-up on the visa process. There are a number of common mistakes that employers make that can slow down the process (or stop it altogether).

1. Employment agreement doesn’t have all the right details

Your migrant worker will need a signed offer of employment and a copy of the proposed employment agreement to apply for some of the most common visas. Here’s what employers most often miss:

  • The correct legal name of the business
  • Name and address of the worker
  • Hours of work
  • The rate of pay (hourly or annual salary)
  • Whether the role is fixed term or permanent. If fixed term, you need to provide a genuine business reason why

> The Employment Agreement Builder Tool contains all the clauses needed

2. Role does not guarantee a minimum of 30 hours a week

To qualify for a work visa such as the Essential Skills, your migrant worker will need to be working at least 30 hours a week, and your employment agreement needs to specify this. If the hours of work fluctuate – because of factors like weather, for example – the employee will still need to be paid for at least 30 hours a week.

> More about making a job offer to a migrant

3. Incomplete job descriptions

Just like employment agreements, missing information from job descriptions can needlessly slow down the visa process.

Information commonly missed by employers include:

  • Job title
  • Location of employment
  • Tasks and responsibilities
  • Skills, qualifications and experience required

4. Lack of evidence of attempts to hire a New Zealander

If the person you are wanting to hire is applying for an Essential Skills work visa and doesn't meet the criteria of one of our Skill Shortage Lists, you will need to show that you tried - and failed - to find a New Zealander to fill the role.

You’ll also need to prove that you advertised widely to attract and recruit New Zealanders, for a suitable length of time and in good faith.

> How to support a candidate applying for an Essential Skills work visa

5. ANZSCO code is missing or inaccurate

ANZSCO stands for Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations. If your migrant is applying for an Essential Skills work visa, you need to find the ANZSCO code that best describes the occupation.

To find the ANZSCO code, type the occupation into our Skill Shortage list checker to get the code. You’ll then need to check that the tasks and level of responsibility of the role listed in the job description are a 'substantial match' to the tasks listed on the ANZSCO website.

6. A Skills Match report was required and not provided

As a well as an ANZSCO code, each occupation also has an ANZSCO skill level between 1 and 5.

If the role is skill level 4 or 5 and an Essential Skills work visa is being applied for, you'll need to have advertised the vacancy with Work and Income. If they are unable to find suitable candidates, you can ask them for a Skills Match report to show that there are no suitable New Zealanders available to do the job.

> More on Skills Match reports

Source: NZ Immigration - If you're thinking about recruiting overseas there's a lot to consider. For more information and resources to help you find, hire and retain migrant staff, visit