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Thread: Entering on a WHV and hoping to stay longer....question.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017

    Default Entering on a WHV and hoping to stay longer....question.

    Hello everyone,

    First time posting here as i've recently started to think about moving to NZ for a minimum of 23 months thanks to the WHV.
    I'm close to turning 30 so i'd like to use the visa before I become ineligible.

    Currently, I am an Assistant Store Manager at a supermarket here in the UK with 8 years experience in retail. When I look at the skills shortages on the NZ immigration website, I see that "Retail Manager" is there. In my eyes, I would class myself in that category. I understand its not on the immediate shortage list, therefore its pretty pointless going down that route. The WHV is the way for me to go I think.

    Now i'll get to my question. Once in New Zealand, what opportunities would there be in the retail sector that would allow me to stay in the country on a work to residence visa? I'm confident of finding work in the retail industry and I'm under the impression that so long as you're a hard worker, show ambition and fit into the team well, they will help you with a visa. I only think this because of what three friends have told me who are living over there.

    One works in a bar and has worked their way to bar manager and was ultimately offered sponsorship as they were doing a great job. Another worked on a tourist boat who was also offered sponsorship, even though this role is your typical backpacker job. The last friend found a job in a hostel in the south island and is now running that small, remote hostel. All have been there for 3-4 years.

    From the stories they have told me, i'm quite confused. I read forums, just like this one, and people with degree after degree and years of experience are struggling to get a visa, yet people, like my friends there now, are able to get work to residence visa through low skilled jobs.

    I guess i'm looking for a bit of clarity from people who have experienced this process while working in a low skilled job. I know this is a lot different to most other posts in regards to the industry i'm looking at, it would just be myself and that i'd be entering the country on a WHV instead of having a job lined up before moving.

    Any advice would be much appreciated and if you've had an experience similar to this, or know someone who has then please share with me. Any info I get will be hugely helpful.

    Thanks for reading and I look forward to any responses.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    United States


    I'm striving for the same exact thing! I'm also pondering over the same question, but have received a lot of negative feedback here and have overall been discouraged from even trying without a degree or much experience.

    However, I have friends who were successful in taking up residency in New Zealand. For example, a friend of mine that lives there is a waitress. She started off on a WHV because she was backpacking. Yet, people with more qualifications struggle for their visas. Why is that? How was she able to do it? I also have friends here that know people who live in New Zealand and moved there from the United States by working in places such as cafes and orchards.

    I'm not sure what that could mean, other than this: who you know seems to get you far. You need to have a way in, so make genuine connections with people and be friendly. This applies to everything in life. I definitely think it applies in this scenario, too. I bet you can obtain residency by befriending the locals, representing yourself in a positive light, helping others and asking for help/leads consistently. In other words: becoming fully immersed in New Zealand and putting yourself out there. I'm not sure what the other people with degrees were doing wrong to get rejected, but it doesn't really add up in my opinion. I see too many success stories from young people without much job experience or degrees.

    Another thing that comes to mind is that when you're trying to obtain a residency status by using your degree, you're really putting yourself in a very specific box that might not add up with what New Zealand wants. It's better to be open, or better yet - show the government that you're applying yourself in a beneficial way. I think that most jobs are beneficial. The service industry often gets frowned upon and is considered unimportant, but what would people do without it? It's just as valuable as anything else in my opinion.

    I hope you get a helpful reply. Good luck!
    Last edited by Sunfish; 10th April 2017 at 12:01 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    New Zealand (Scotland)


    I moved from the UK to NZ on a 12month WHV (went to an immigration expo in Manchester and they advised this was the best option as it would allow face to face interviews etc which is preferred in NZ. NZ companies appear tired of getting 100s of CVs from people speculatively thinking about moving, if you take the first step by getting to NZ they seem a lot more interested). Once in NZ I found a fulltime engineering job (yes I am one of the degree qualified people Sunfish refers to) which allowed me to apply and be granted the skilled migrant visa. I'm not knowledgeable on recruitment in the industry you mention but my experience was that the UK WHV route worked in my situation.

    You didn't receive negative feedback! People just advised you that the route you wanted to take would be extremely tricky from the information you had provided!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008


    Sunfish, EVERYBODY has to fit into the INZ regulations somehow, and it's not a case of 'who you know' will get you through. If your friend got a work visa as a waitress, it's likely that she applied in a district where there is a small population and the boss could prove that no NZ nationals or visa holders wanted this unskilled job (essential skills regulations), or she had a live-in relationship with a NZ national or resident (family stream regulations).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2016


    Hi everyone, congrats ross-bal4 you're so blessed! My partner and I are holiding WHV and planning to go NZ on June. He is hoping the best to get mechanical engineering job in nz too in order for us to stay longer and get PR. Anyone of you has accredited employer list or any idea which state needed mechanical engineer the most? Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    New Zealand


    Hey Mat,
    I also know a few people who came to NZ on WHV and tourist visas and now have work visas and they work in hospitality (as waiters)
    I looked at my friends application and from what I saw the business showed it was in desperate need of skilled waiters/waitresses.

    The business owner had listed all of his cafes/restaurants that he owns (around 7)and included job listings posted on seek and trademe which included in detail: how many applicants made it to the interview stage, how many passed the interview, how many people turned down the job, how many jobs they have had to fill in the last 3-6 months etc.
    It showed over 200 people interested in the job and only around eight people who made it through interview stage then only 2 people accepting the job offer.
    ^^ this is in Auckland based in CBD

    I know a lot of people here getting work visas through unskilled contact centre work as a lot of contact centres are desperately short of staff and can show immigration this with hard evidence.

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