Hiring temporary migrants

Before hiring someone from overseas, you need to make sure they have the legal right to work in New Zealand.

What you must do

It is your responsibility as an employer to make sure that an employee is legally allowed to work for you. You must make sure your employees can legally work in that job in New Zealand.

Immigration Act 2009 (external link)

Immigration New Zealand (external link)

VisaView(external link)

Recognised Seasonal Employers (RSE)

If you cannot find enough horticulture and viticulture workers in New Zealand, the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme lets workers from specific countries come to New Zealand to plant, maintain, harvest and pack crops.  

You can apply to be a Recognised Seasonal Employer on the Immigration New Zealand website: 

You must meet all the employment standards, including paying employees hired under the RSE scheme no less than the applicable minimum hourly wage plus 10% per hour for actual hours worked. 

If you want the same workers back for another season, they may be able to come back to New Zealand under a new agreement to recruit if: 

  • the conditions of their visa have been met, and
  • there is a continued labour shortage.

Best practice tips

Business.govt.nz has more information about hiring people from overseas: 

How to hire overseas workers — business.govt.nz(external link)  

Human Rights Commission(external link)

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