How to join

Overseas applicants

Eligibility

Applicants will need to meet all the following basic criteria for consideration:

  1. Be a current serving member of the UK, Australian, USA or Canadian Armed Forces
  2. Have been a citizen of either the UK, Australia, USA, or Canada for a minimum period of 10 years, or have been living in NZ for a minimum period of 5 years
  3. Be eligible for release from current service within 18 months of applying, and
  4. Meet current vacancy and rank criteria at the time of application.

If successful through the recruitment process, you will need to gain an NZ Residence class visa, giving you the right to live and work in NZ.

We cannot influence NZ Immigration in any way, however if successful in the recruitment process, your Offer of Service will facilitate your application for a NZ Residence class visa.

Please visit the New Zealand Immigration website for further information.

The overseas selection process

We have a 10-step overseas selection and recruitment process. Please be aware that we may decline to progress your application at any stage of this process.

10-step process

Roles available to overseas applicants

NOTE: Applications from overseas personnel are open for all three Services (Navy, Army and Air Force) for selected trades and at selected rank levels. Personnel who do not meet these criteria will not be processed due to the high volume of applicants.

Only certain vacancies are open to overseas applicants, these are listed in the table below:

navy landscape 3

Royal New Zealand Navy

Currently the Royal New Zealand Navy is accepting applications for the following trades and rank levels from Overseas applicants.

Trades Rank levels
COMMUNICATIONS WARFARE SPECIALIST LH
COMBAT SYSTEMS SPECIALIST LH (RN candidates POAWT or POUW qualified only)
ELECTRONIC WARFARE SPECIALIST (COMINT OR ELINT) LH
DIVER LH
ELECTRONICS TECHNICIAN PO
HELICOPTER LOADMASTER LH/PO
PILOT LT/LTCDR
FLIGHT OBSERVER/AIRBOURNE TACTICAL OFFICER LT/LTCDR
GENERAL LIST WARFARE/WARFARE OFFICER LT/LTCDR
MEDICAL OFFICER/DOCTOR LT/LTCDR

 

New Zealand Army

Currently the New Zealand Army is accepting applications for the following trades and rank levels from Overseas applicants.

Trades Rank levels
AMMUNITION TECHNICIAN LCPL - SGT
ARMOURED (CREWMAN) PTE - LCPL (Must be Crew COMD qualified)
ARMOURER SGT
COMBAT DRIVER CPL - SGT
COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS OPERATOR PTE - LCPL
ELECTRICAL FITTER CPL - SGT
ELECTRONIC TECHNICIAN LCPL - SSGT
GUNNER PTE - SGT
INTELLIGENCE OPERATOR SGT
INFORMATION SYSTEMS OPERATOR LCPL - SSGT
MEDIC LCPL & SGT
MOVEMENT OPERATOR LCPL - SSGT
OPERATIONAL SUPPORT AND INFORMATION SPECIALIST SGT
SUPPLY TECHNICIAN LCPL - WO2
AUTOMOTIVE TECHNICIAN SGT
DENTAL OFFICER CAPT
NURSING OFFICER LT - CAPT
SIGNALS OFFICER CAPT

 

Royal New Zealand Air Force

Currently the Royal New Zealand Air Force is accepting applications for the following trades and rank levels from Overseas applicants.

Trades Rank levels
AVIONICS CPL
AIR WARFARE SPECIALIST SGT/FSGT
PILOT FLTLT
AIR WARFARE OFFICER FLTLT
HELICOPTER LOADMASTER SGT

 

Coming to New Zealand

The purpose of this section is to provide general information to help facilitate the transition from overseas to NZ. A number of independent sources have been included and individuals are strongly encouraged to undertake their own research to develop a realistic and personal impression of life in NZ.

Costs

Personnel enlisting from overseas need to be prepared to pay their own relocation expenses. Partial funding may be available, and will be determined on an individual basis. Any funding that is approved will be included in the OOS. Funding is done on a pay and claim basis and will bond you to the NZDF for a period.

Rank and seniority

We aim to recruit successful lateral candidates at a rank and seniority that reflects their military service. However, we are a small Defence Force and this will be dependant on vacancies. If you're offered a reduction in rank, it is in no way a reflection of your skills and experience. You'll likely be required to complete the respective promotion courses to amalgamate you into the NZDF, establish a peer group, and enable us to assess you for further career progression.

Pay, tax and superannuation

NZDF personnel are paid fortnightly and subject to ‘PAYE’ (Pay As You Earn) tax in accordance with current NZ tax rates. Details of tax rates and brackets can be found at www.ird.govt.nz

NZDF rates of pay are regularly reviewed, and your salary will be determined by your skills, experience and knowledge. The details of your remuneration package will be included in your OOS.

You'll join the Government Kiwisaver superannuation scheme. Members contribute a minimum of 3% of their salary and the NZDF will contribute 4%. However, benefits are locked in until at least age 65 (with minor exceptions). For more information on the Kiwisaver scheme, visit www.kiwisaver.govt.nz

Medical and dental

All service personnel are provided with subsidised medical and dental care. The NZDF does not provide cover for families of service personnel.

NZ’s public health system is good by world standards. All essential health care is provided free to NZ Residents through the public health system. This means that some routine services, such as visits to local doctors and dentists, must be paid for. NZ Residents may receive free hospital treatment, subsidies on prescriptions and support services for specific disabilities. Please visit the Ministry of Health’s website for more information: www.health.govt.nz

Housing

Upon enlistment, members of the regular force are entitled to apply for service housing. There is a waiting list for service housing in some locations. In these locations, members will be placed on the housing register and allocated housing based on their priority when a house becomes available.

Families and equal employment opportunities

The NZDF has family-friendly, equal employment and anti-harassment policies in effect. Family-friendly policies have been implemented, so that the unique aspects of service (such as deployment) do not impact adversely on families. There are also trained personnel who are able to provide guidance on any aspect of discrimination, harassment or other adverse events.

Medals

You must seek permission to wear any awards or medals on the NZDF uniform. We'll apply on your behalf to the NZDF’s medals team for recognition of any awards or medals you hold. Please provide all relevant details including evidence to your Candidate Coordinator.

Leave

The NZDF’s standard entitlement to annual leave is 25 working days. The statutory leave entitlement is 11 public holidays each year. However, you'll likely be expected to parade on ANZAC Day (25 April). You're also granted two Armed Forces days which are normally given between Christmas and New Year.

For more information see our Frequently asked questionsemail us 
or call us on +64 04 342 6925.

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