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Thread: Employer Recruiting Me Doesn't Want to Pay for Work Visa

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Question Employer Recruiting Me Doesn't Want to Pay for Work Visa

    As I've talked about in a couple other threads, I've been considering moving to NZ to work for a company that's been recruiting me.

    My partner and I have decided we'd like to make the leap to move to Wellington, so I've been in contact with the HR team of the company who is recruiting me to get the right to work squared away.

    Because of the pay cut that I'll be taking, it is important to us that we get residency (and later permanent residency) out of making the jump.

    HR initially contacted me about getting started with a WTR track. I told them that I would prefer to go SMC to get residency faster. They said that's fine and told me about the associated costs of each program.

    I assumed that since they are recruiting me to move and work for them that they would be covering the costs of the visa, which I've always seen done here in the states when recruiting from abroad. Is that generally not the case in NZ?

    It kind of rubs me the wrong way to be recruited to come move to NZ to work for a company and then to have the company expect me to food the bill for the visa/residency application process. Having worked at a company in the same industry who regularly recruited people from abroad and always paid immigration fees, it just seems strange.

    It would seem to me that this would be something that the company should be paying for given that they found me and are trying to entice me to make the jump.

    Is this a cultural thing? Am I overreacting?

    Thanks ENZ!

  2. #2
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    We paid out for our SMC visas, but then were reimbursed by my partner's employer once he started. In fact within a week of him starting we had the money in the bank. They covered everything associated with the visa.
    I'm not sure that it's a cultural thing that they're not offering that option to you. Just that employer I guess. Everyone negotiates their own package and I guess different companies have different policies.
    Are they prepared to cover the WTR costs? If so I guess that much could at least be used for the SMC route.
    I guess speak with them again and see if there's anyway they can "kind of" cover it, for example a $ bonus in your first pay?

  3. #3
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    This isn't something to get offended about, as you've come round to suspecting by the end of your post. Paying for a migrant's visa is definitely not something that is universally done in NZ. In fact, it's fairly uncommon. You'll find that, despite the (partially!) shared language, NZ is definitely a foreign country, whose different customs and assumptions can surprise and trip up a migrant.

  4. #4
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    My employer was only willing to cover WTR--probably because a number of hires eventually left the university (for other unis in NZ or for other countries). So I chose to go for SMC and had to pay the difference out of pocket. My budget for immigration costs was $1000.00. Considering they paid for the relocation, I felt it was, on balance, reasonable. I was out of pocket a few thousand dollars, but I won't have to apply for residency f next month when I hit the 2 year mark. One application, one approval.

  5. #5
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    I will look at it this way- You will be having a job even before landing here and that puts you in a tiny percentage of people who do not have to struggle for a job once they arrive here. If they cover your Visa cost, it is fine and if not, you should not get hassled too much.

  6. #6
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    Thanks everyone. I think the reason it seemed strange is that I've always seen employers here in the states cover visa fees and the job market in my current geographic location is really hot right now and I've got companies falling over themselves to get me to work for them.

    Word got out to some local companies that know me that I was planning to move to NZ and I've got these companies throwing money around trying to get me to stay.

    In my current position I make $135k NZD. I've been planning to make the jump to NZ for $85k.

    A company took me out to lunch today and told me that they would pay me $150k to join them instead of moving to NZ. They tried to sell me on "we'll let you travel anywhere- Europe/Asia/Aus. Come work for us and we'll pay you more money to travel as much as you want."

    On my way back from that lunch another company contacted me and asked to talk to me before I moved to NZ.

    With these companies throwing money at me (and other people with in demand skills) it seems strange to come across a company that wouldn't cover the visa for a person that they sought out. Maybe it is that NZ employers are used to not having to compete with each other? This company is pretty much the only company in NZ in this industry, so it worries me that maybe they are cheap because they don't have to pay people well because their employees have no alternatives.

    As a 28 year old getting money thrown at them, it is making the choice to move to NZ even more complicated.

  7. #7
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    For you, it seems, the money is talking loudly. If there aren't any other factors which made you think you might want to live in New Zealand, then you'll probably listen to it.

    As I answered you above, NZ is a foreign country. You've already run up against one norm in its culture that is alien to you - if you lived in the country, there would undoubtedly be others to which you, as the foreigner, would be expected to adapt. Many of the other forum members have decided on going to NZ because parts of the lifestyle appeal to them more than where they previously lived, and those matter more than higher pay that might be available elsewhere. I think you need to consider seriously if you find any attraction like that in what you know of NZ, as, if you don't, you'd have no incentive to accept how things aren't what you're used to.

    Good luck whatever you decide to do.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by K2. View Post
    As a 28 year old getting money thrown at them, it is making the choice to move to NZ even more complicated.
    I'm not sure it is that complicated, to be honest: if you care that deeply about the money, don't come. If you think it is borderline decisionwise, talk to the company and explain just how popular your skills are, and see if they are prepared to up their offer. You can then take it or leave it. If you don't care that much about money and have other reasons to move here, great, then you don't have a problem.

    If you are looking for a comparable lifestyle that your money buys you at the moment here, I wouldn't come. You won't have that on that salary.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dharder View Post
    I'm not sure it is that complicated, to be honest: if you care that deeply about the money, don't come. If you think it is borderline decisionwise, talk to the company and explain just how popular your skills are, and see if they are prepared to up their offer. You can then take it or leave it. If you don't care that much about money and have other reasons to move here, great, then you don't have a problem.

    If you are looking for a comparable lifestyle that your money buys you at the moment here, I wouldn't come. You won't have that on that salary.
    Well said, Daniela!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by K2. View Post
    In my current position I make $135k NZD. I've been planning to make the jump to NZ for $85k.
    You are willing to take a pay cut of $50k. Not logical to quibble over the couple of hundreds dollars visa fee. Visa fee is a trivial cost compared to the pay cut...

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