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Students drawing on a page
Principals and schools
Te kimi kaiako i whakangungua ki tāwāhi

How to recruit an overseas-trained teacher

Tips and support to help you recruit a teacher from overseas
Students drawing on a page

Read about the tips and support available to help you recruit a teacher from overseas. You can also view and download the guide on employing overseas teachers in the popular resources section of this page.

Recruitment support

Navigator service

We offer a ‘Navigator’ service that provides you and your school, kura or early learning service with 1:1 support through the overseas recruitment process.

Our Navigator team offer guidance on working through the steps to recruiting an overseas-trained teacher with other agencies, including the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand, Education Payroll Limited and Immigration New Zealand.

Tips from our navigator team

  • Register with Immigration New Zealand as an accredited employer.
  • Start the process early.
  • If you’re unsure of some steps, contact the Navigator service at or on 0800 165 225.
  • Consider using a recruitment agency. They do much of the legwork and will get to know the right fit for your school or early learning service.

Learn more about our navigator service in this Education Gazette article.

Navigating overseas teachers to our shores – Education Gazette

Financial support

We offer 2 grants to support overseas teacher recruitment.

Overseas Finder's Fee for schools

If eligible, your school, kura or early learning service can apply for the Overseas Finder's Fee of up to NZD$3,450 (including GST) to help meet your recruitment costs. See the Overseas Finder's Fee webpage for more information.

Overseas Finder's Fee – Education Workforce

Overseas Relocation Grant for teachers

Overseas-trained teachers may be eligible for a grant which covers relocation costs of up to NZD$10,000. See the Overseas Relocation Grant webpage for more information.

Overseas Relocation Grant – Education Workforce

Visa information

Accredited Employer Work Visa

The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) is a 3-step process that requires schools, kura and early learning services to become accredited to hire a migrant.

The 3 steps are to:

  1. become an accredited employer
  2. apply for a job check after having advertised the role in NZ  
  3. ask the migrant to apply for their visa.

For full information on the process to become an accredited employer, and to understand what you need to have your job check approved, go to the Immigration NZ website.

Steps to hiring a migrant on the AEWV – Immigration NZ

Green List

All qualified teachers are now included on Immigration New Zealand’s Green List as roles eligible for work to residence.

From 1 May 2024, secondary school teachers from overseas are eligible for the ‘Straight to Residence Visa’ to help address the pressure on teacher supply in secondary schools.

Straight to Residence Visa – Immigration NZ

The Green List provides a residence pathway to support the attraction of highly skilled migrants in global in-demand and long-term shortage areas.

If the occupation is on the list and the employer is accredited, they will not need to provide proof of advertising for the role during the AEWV job check step (Step 2).

For the Green List teaching roles, the migrant will have a work to residency pathway after 2 years.

To be eligible teachers must hold a New Zealand registration and a provisional practising certificate issued by the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Green list occupations – Immigration NZ

Contact Us  

If you have any questions, our navigator team are here to help.  


Freephone: 0800 165 225