Overseas applicants

Overseas application process

Your 10 steps to success

We’ve outlined the 10-step overseas selection and recruitment process below. Please be aware that we may decline to progress your application at any stage of this process.

  1. Initial screening. The first stage is the assessment of your potential suitability for employment by the NZDF. You will complete an online form requesting detailed information on your military career, skills, experience and qualifications. This information will then be screened by the lateral recruitment team to determine whether you meet the requirements for our current overseas vacancies.

    If successful, you will be allocated a civilian Candidate Engagement Facilitator (CEF) who will be your main point of contact and guide you throughout the process. The CEFs work alongside our military recruiting staff.

  2. Career manager’s assessment. ​Your CEF will request supporting documentation for assessment by the Career Manager of your specialisation. As a minimum, we will request a current CV, your three most recent military performance reports and all trade relevant qualifications (military and civilian). The CV needs to clearly reflect your military career – positions, postings and deployments. The Career Manager will then review your application against current vacancies and determine whether to progress you to the next stage.
  3. Medical questionnaire. ​The Medical Questionnaire is an initial medical screening tool to allow us to assess your medical suitability for employment in the NZDF. It will be sent to you via your Defence Careers profile to complete online. If you list any medical issues, please provide as much detail as possible to allow our doctors to fully assess the situation. You may be requested to provide more detailed information.

  4. Interview. An interview will be conducted by a Lateral Recruiter via video conference (unless there is an opportunity to interview in person). You will be required to complete a pre-interview questionnaire and the aim of the interview is to assess your suitability to join the NZDF. This includes your understanding of New Zealand culture.

  5. Final assessment. Our career management team will assess all documentation and determine suitability for enlistment into the NZDF. Advice will also be sought from trade and branch specialists to help the decision making process. 

  6. Offer of service. If deemed suitable, you will be made an Offer of Service (OOS). We will request that you send us written confirmation of your acceptance as soon as possible. An OOS from the NZDF is an indication that we wish to employ you and that we would like to employ you as soon as possible. The OOS is dependant on you:

    • Gaining a NZ Residence class visa, and
    • Gaining medical and security clearances.

    Please note that the NZ Army makes a Provisional Offer of Service (POOS), followed by a Final Offer of Service (FOOS) once the above criteria are met. The RNZN and RNZAF give one OOS that is conditional on the above criteria being met. 

  7. Medical clearance. You will need to undergo a full medical examination with your current military doctor and have all medical forms completed. You will then send these forms to your CEF who will liaise directly with our medical team. Our doctors will assess your fitness for enlistment and grant a medical clearance to enlist if everything is in order.

    Please be aware that the military medical is separate to your immigration medical - we require a military doctor’s assessment of your health, as they understand the environmental issues of being in the NZDF. If you are unable to see a military doctor, you will need to have the full medical examination completed by a civilian doctor at your own cost.

    Once in NZ, you will be required to undergo a fitness test and it is an expectation of your military service that you will maintain the required fitness levels. If you incur a medical condition between your medical examination and your arrival in NZ, please notify us immediately.

  8. NZ residence class visa. You must apply for a NZ Residence class visa, and your OOS will be used to facilitate your application. We advise that you apply for and gain a NZ Residence class visa via the Skilled Migrant category. We also advise that the New Zealand Immigration rules for the Skilled Migrant Visa (SMV) have recently changed. The main change is in regards to the requirements for people to enter and work in NZ. You will require 180 points to gain an SMV.

    For more information visit the New Zealand Immigration website.

    Please be aware of a legality with NZ Immigration – once you have your visa in your passport, you must move to NZ within a certain timeframe (dependant on the type of visa) and once you arrive in NZ, you must commence work within a certain timeframe (also dependant on the type of visa). You will need to take this into account when planning your arrival in NZ and enlistment date. Eligibility results must be included on your application at time of registration.

  9. Security clearance. You must gain security clearance at the required level for your role. We will request evidence of your current security clearance and apply to the NZ Security Agency to transfer this clearance to NZ. If you do not have a current security clearance we will apply for your NZ security clearance, however this will take a considerable length of time. 

  10. Enlistment. Once all the above is successfully completed, you will be eligible to enlist into the NZDF and an enlistment date will be agreed. The NZDF is unable to enlist personnel until they are completely discharged from their current service obligations, including any reserve liability and terminal or resettlement leave. This normally entails an enlistment date the day after the terminal date, or later, as agreed. Please note that you should not resign from your service until you have met the above criteria (i.e. passed the full medical and security clearance assessments, as well as gained a NZ Residence class visa).
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