November 29, 2022
Is Volunteering Considered Work

Is Volunteering Considered Work or a Job?

Lane Neave customers frequently request direction around whether they can take an interest in “volunteer” work. But Is Volunteering Considered Work?

When they do not hold a visa with suitable work conditions. This question usually emerges when a customer wishes to help their forthcoming manager. Especially when their work visa application is being prepared, or they wish to volunteer at a business substance. So they can invest energy with a companion when visiting New Zealand. Much of the time, the person being referred to is in New Zealand based on a guest visa. This explicitly limits the holder from working. 

So, is volunteering considered work? 

From an employment point of view, a volunteer is not viewed as an employee. And it is characterized as an individual who “does not hope to be rewarded for work executed as a volunteer; and gets no reward for work performed as a volunteer…” 

Notwithstanding, from an immigration perspective, “work” is characterized as “any action embraced for addition or reward.” It incorporates “any payment or benefit that can be esteemed in terms of, for example, board and cabin, products (for example sustenance or attire) and administrations (for example transport).” It can, therefore, be seen that numerous activities that could be translated as volunteering would likewise be caught by this meaning of “work” under immigration policy, and in this manner not allowed. 


Willing Workers on Organic Farms is a mainstream overall association. Through this people undertake farm work, in return for food and accommodation. With these activities, people are not being monetarily paid. But they are getting increase or reward (accommodation and food). And in this way would require a suitable work visa. Then again, an individual aiding a charity event yields no advantage to them personally. But they might probably take an interest in such activities without a work visa. 

Government’s Rules

Migration New Zealand (INZ) has additionally recently issued further direction. INZ sets out that “work experience or training” can likewise be interpreted similar to a “gain or reward.” This shows INZ is adopting a more extensive strategy to what is viewed as work. 

It is our view that an individual ought to almost always abstain from volunteering when they do not hold a suitable work visa. Even when ostensibly the activity is not attempted for addition or compensate. And it might be viewed as lawful by INZ. This is because that INZ’s impression of the activities of the individual should consistently be considered. It would be very hard to demonstrate to INZ that a person’s volunteer work at a commercial entity is not embraced for addition or reward in any form. 

INZ is of the view that an individual is accepting gain or reward. They may find that the individual is rupturing the states of their visa. This could present serious implications for current or potentially future visa applications. And in the most pessimistic scenario, it could bring about deportation. 

It is imperative to note that specifically conditions, an individual can legally embrace volunteer work without holding a substantial work visa. For instance, there are explicit arrangements that spread volunteering for the Department of Conservation. 

You may be uncertain about whether you can legitimately partake in volunteer work on the visa you hold. In this case you should look for migration help and guidance before beginning.

Thank you for reading till the end of the article on “Is Volunteering Considered Work?

Related article: Does Internship Count As Work Experience

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