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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm researching moving to NZ as a massage therapist. massage therapy is on the skill list but not the shortage list. I see there is a requirement for migrants to make NZ$48,859 per year (or NZ$23.49 per hour) But what if you get injured or have a baby and cant continue making that much for a few months?
 

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You are correct, Massage Therapist is classed as a skilled occupation but it is not on any of the three skill shortage lists, therefore you'll need a job offer from an NZ employer to be in with any chance of securing a temporary work visa - e.g. Essential Skills Visa. It is mandatory that you have a written job offer to qualify for a temporary work visa.
If you go the permanent class visa route - e.g. Resident Visa via SMC, you will also need a job offer so you can score sufficient points unless you can score the minimum required 160 points on the EOI for the Resident Visa via SMC without a job offer.
Considering the proposed visa changes that come in to force 14 Aug 17 there will be a remuneration threshold as you say of NZ$48 859 per annum if you are intending to apply for a Resident Visa via SMC. The change means you will only be awarded points for the job offer if it is paid at or above NZ$48 859 per year (or NZ$23.49 per hour).
You may like to look at this. https://www.careers.govt.nz/jobs-database/health-and-community/health/massage-therapist/
The chance of you earning that salary (which is around the maximum average for that occupation) is slim being that you are from overseas with no NZ experience. The chance of an employer offering you that as a starting salary is close to zero. Possible if you owned your own business, but that is a different visa route and requires huge investment and a sound business plan. You are unable to use Temporary Work Visa or Resident Visa via SMC if you intend to open your own business from the start.

If you go the temporary work visa route and secure a visa with a job offer, you only have the right to live and work in NZ because you have that job with that employer in that area. If the circumstances change - i.e. you are injured or you are pregnant and cannot work then you must inform Immigration of the changes that are to occur before they happen and Immigration will make a decision on your eligibility going forward. This could mean your visa is subsequently cancelled. If you have no visa then you must leave NZ.

If you go the permanent visa route a condition on the visa will be that you work in the job you are offered for at least 3 months. Once you have done this you can apply to have this condition removed from your visa and when that is done you are free to move to another job or not work or whatever you like - including to go and work for yourself if you so wish, BUT even though you may be a Resident Visa holder, for the first 12 months you will NOT be eligible for any benefits so if you are unable to pay your way for any reason in that first year your visa would be under threat as NZ will not pay for you to keep your head above water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks that clears a lot up. Do you know if the "or $23.49 an hour" means I'd still have to make $48,859 a year? I could probably find a job at 23.49 an hour but it would be difficult working enough hours in such a physical job to make $48,859. Not impossible but not something that I could keep up for more than a year as it's very physical
 

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Thanks that clears a lot up. Do you know if the "or $23.49 an hour" means I'd still have to make $48,859 a year? I could probably find a job at 23.49 an hour but it would be difficult working enough hours in such a physical job to make $48,859. Not impossible but not something that I could keep up for more than a year as it's very physical
I'm unsure. I guess Immigration would be happy so long as the written job offer quotes the minimum salary figures that satisfy the criteria. Unlikely you'd then have to prove you've actually earned that amount 1 year later ?
Normal full time working week here is 40hrs which is $48 859 per year gross.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. Here in the USA full time is also normally considered 40 hours. But for massage therapist is more like 30, maybe 35 tops. I never met a massage therapist that did 40. If they did it would likely only be for a year or 2. In Alaska you can make that much at 25 hours a week.

Anyways, I'll do more digging on that one. If they require a specific number of hours I may just have to put up with it for a little while.
 

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Thanks. Here in the USA full time is also normally considered 40 hours. But for massage therapist is more like 30, maybe 35 tops. I never met a massage therapist that did 40. If they did it would likely only be for a year or 2. In Alaska you can make that much at 25 hours a week.

Anyways, I'll do more digging on that one. If they require a specific number of hours I may just have to put up with it for a little while.
Yes, but if you are unable to gain the minimum threshold salary you won't get any points for the job offer meaning you won't have sufficient total points for the EOI to be selected meaning you won't be able to secure the visa.

Similar issues with a temporary work visa. I expect any job offer letter just wouldn't meet Immigrations criteria to secure you the visa ?
A kiwi friend of ours here worked in a busy spa practice doing massage and all that jazz and she left to be a teller in a bank as it paid more with better hours and she didn't need any experience.
Only my opinion but I'd expect you'll struggle to find a job offer simply because it isn't a skill shortage occupation.

Good luck though as you'll never know if you don't try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes I'll try and see how far I get. I suspect that the pay varies with experience, training, location. Most of the vacancy listings don't show their pay rate but one said 16 an hour + 7 per massage. So if they are busy enough and if I could get a 0.49 increase that would meet the standard. They said it was full time...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just looked it up and average hourly pay is NZ35.00 so it should be fine. I think a lot of massage therapist see a smaller yearly wage mostly due to not being able to work enough hours. I should also mention I do medical massage, not so much relaxation(though I can) which I assume have a higher pay.
 
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