Job Description Critical for Work Visa and Residency Applications

24 May 2017

visa employment agreement imageA common mistake made by many employers or employees is not having the right job description for their overseas employee. This often affects the employee’s work visa applications and also residency applications.

As an employer, you are entitled to choose the best candidate for your vacancy. However, should that candidate turn out to be from overseas, you must show that you are not able to find a New Zealander to fill that position. This is to meet Immigration NZ’s requirements, unless the position is on a Skills Shortage list published by Immigration NZ.

If there is a New Zealander who is able to meet the stated requirements in your job description but may not be your best candidate, you will still fail to meet Immigration NZ’s requirements, and therefore not be able to employ the overseas worker.

Care therefore needs to be taken with your job description and your advertisements. They must be specific and identify the critical skills and experience for the position.

If it is something you do not pay much attention to when employing a New Zealander, it is critical when employing someone from overseas.

You must not design a job description just for the overseas employee. For example, if you require a language skill, you must be able to show why your business requires that for the position.

Getting the right job description therefore requires consideration and often advice.

Otago Southland Employers’ Association will be able to assist you when designing the job descriptions for meeting your employment law obligations. When employing someone from overseas, you should also obtain immigration law advice in designing your job description so as to ensure that your employee will be able to obtain a work visa.

Having an appropriate job description may also affect your overseas employee’s residency application. If they are applying for residency under the Skilled Migrant category, it is important that the job fits all the critical aspects of job classification for which the employee may be claiming points.

It is important to get job titles and descriptions right at the beginning to ensure credibility of the employee’s work visa or residency application. It simply does not look good to change the title or job description completely when Immigration NZ raises a query.

We have rescued many work visa and residency applications which were prepared by employees, employers, or Immigration advisors making the above mistakes. It is much better and cheaper to invest in some advice at the front end to get the job description right.


Article provided by Teresa Chan | Teresa Chan Law Limited Dunedin | 

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