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.

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.

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.

An accredited employer is an employer who has been approved by Immigration New Zealand to employ workers on the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). Only accredited employers can support an AEWV.

  • At the time you apply you must be working for, or have a job offer from an accredited employer.
  • 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.

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.

Roles qualifying for a fast-track to residence, as set out in 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 from March 2023

  • 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 (on 15 December 2022)

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

Bus & truck drivers

Bus and truck drivers will have a time limited residence pathway through a sector agreement.

  • Cabinet has agreed in principle to develop a sector agreement to support workforce needs
  • Officials will consult with transport sector representatives in the development of the agreement

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.

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