The Green List - Skill Shortages in New Zealand

The Green List addresses skill shortages in New Zealand. It opens guaranteed residence pathways for migrants.

To make New Zealand a highly desirable destination for skilled migrants, professionals on the Green List can now qualify for a fast-track pathway, the Straight to Residence Visa or for a Work to Residence Visa.

The Green List replaces all Skill Shortage Lists, also known as Essential Skills in Demand Lists.

What does it mean for you if your profession is on the Green List?

If your role is listed on the Green List and you have the qualifications, registration or experience required, you may be able to get residence immediately or after 2 years of working here.

Fast-track to residence in New Zealand: The Straight to Residence Visa

You might be eligible to apply for this visa if you currently work, or you have a job offer, from an accredited employer, and your role is on Tier 1 of the Green List in-demand.

The Straight to Residence Visa allows you to stay in New Zealand indefinitely. Immigration New Zealand is projecting to process 80% of all Straight to Residence Visa applications within 5 months.

To qualify for a Straight to Residence Visa

  • You must be 55 or younger.
  • At the time you apply you must be working for, or have a job offer from an accredited employer. An accredited employer is an employer who has been approved by Immigration New Zealand to employ workers on the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV).
  • Your role must be on Tier 1 of the Green List and meet the requirements set out in the Green List for your role.
  • Older dependent children under 24 in your application must be single, without children of their own, and only supported financially by you.
  • You can either come to New Zealand on a work visa now and apply for the Straight to Residence Visa, or apply from outside New Zealand.

On 8 April 2024, 6 roles will be added to the Green List:

  • Aviation Engineer (Avionics, Aeronautical, Aerospace Engineer)
  • Naval Architect (aka Marine Designer)
  • ICT Database and Systems Administrator
  • Mechanical Engineering Technician
  • Aircraft Maintenance Engineer

If your profession is in one of these areas you will have access to the Straight to Residence pathway.

Gain residence in New Zealand via the Work to Residence Visa:

You might be eligible to apply for this visa if you currently work for, or have a job offer from, an accredited employer, and have worked in a Tier 2 Green List in-demand role for 24 months.

  • At the time you apply you must be working for, or have a job offer from, an accredited employer.
  • Your employment must be full-time, and permanent or fixed-term for at least 12 months.
  • You must have worked for 24 months in a Green List Tier 2 in-demand role.
  • If your partner or children have, or have applied for, visas to study, work or visit based on their relationship to you, you must include them in your application.

On 8 April 2024 the role of Corrections Officer has been added to the roles that qualify for a Work to Residence visa.

Previously announced roles that will not be added to the Green List:  

  • Paving Plant Operator  
  • Metal Fabricator
  • Pressure Welder  
  • Welder  
  • Fitter (General)  
  • Fitter and Turner  
  • Fitter-Welder  
  • Metal Machinist (First Class)  
  • Panel Beater  
  • Vehicle Painter  
  • Road Roller Operator

Roles on the original Green List:

  • Construction roles
  • Engineering roles
  • Certain health and social services roles
  • Primary industries and science roles
  • ICT, electronics and telecommunication roles

Roles added to Green List work to residence tier

  • Civil construction supervisors
  • Gasfitters
  • Drain layers
  • Skilled crane operators
  • Skilled civil machine operators
  • Halal slaughterers
  • Skilled motor mechanics
  • Skilled telecommunications technicians
  • All secondary school teachers (in addition to the specialisations already on the Green List)
  • Primary school teachers

Roles added to Green List straight to residence tier:

  • Registered nurses
  • Midwives (on 15 December 2022)
  • Specialist doctors not already on the Green List (on 15 December 2022)
  • Registered Auditors (from March 2023)

Work to Residence changes for bus and truck drivers:

Bus and truck drivers who apply for an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) on or after 7 April 2024 will not be eligible to apply for a Transport Work to Residence visa.

Those who already hold an AEWV and those who have applied for an AEWV (and are later approved) will still be eligible for a Transport Work to Residence visa.

What does the Green List mean for New Zealand employers?

An employer can complete the job check stage without proof of advertising if the job:

  • pays at least twice the NZ median wage, or
  • is an occupation on the Green List.

If you are an employer wanting to employ a migrant, ask us how we can help.

*Please note:  New Zealand has previously used 3 Skill Shortages Lists that recorded the skill shortages in New Zealand. They were the:

  • Long Term Skill Shortage List
  • Regional Skill Shortage List
  • Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List.

These lists have been replaced by the Green List in-demand.

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