The Skill Shortages Lists, also known as Essential Skills in Demand (ESID) Lists

Well qualified and experienced professionals are needed in New Zealand. The occupations on the Essential Skills in Demand Lists recognise the need for overseas professionals in different industries and areas of New Zealand.

New Zealand's Skill Shortages Lists:

- The Long Term Skill Shortages List
- The Regional Skill Shortages List
- The Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortages List

The Essential Skills in Demand Lists are based on industry feedback.

Many industries in New Zealand experience ongoing shortages of skilled professionals, and as a result businesses are unable to fill key positions and thrive to their full potential.

To enable New Zealand's economy to grow, New Zealand's Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) identifies these skill shortages based on feedback from key industries and publishes their findings in three Skill Shortages Lists.

The Skill Shortages Lists are reviewed regularly, with updated contributions from various industry groups.


Why does it matter whether your professional expertise is on one of these Skill Shortages Lists?

If your profession is on the lists, you will have an advantage

The lists are relevant for your visa application and also play an essential role for your job search in New Zealand.

The skill shortage lists give you a good indication if you want to find out whether: you can claim bonus points for your Expression of Interest, you can fast-track your work visa, or your profession is in high demand in the New Zealand job market

Is your profession on one of the latest Skill Shortage Lists?

Find out if your skills are listed in one of the Skill Shortages Lists.
If you can find your occupation on one of the Skill Shortages Lists, you will have a decisive advantage for your visa application and potentially for your job search as well.

The Long Term, Regional and Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage Lists:

Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL)
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The Long Term Skill Shortage List identifies occupations where there is a sustained and on-going shortage of highly skilled workers throughout New Zealand. This list covers shortages across the whole country, not by specific region, unlike the Regional Skill Shortage List.
  • If you get a job offer in an occupation on the LTSSL and meet the list requirements, you may be granted a work visa under the Work to Residence category.
  • You may also be eligible to apply for residence in two years, provided you meet standard requirements, and that job has a base salary of at least NZ$45,000.
  • If your qualification is on the LTSSL, it is likely that you qualify for bonus points for your Expression of Interest if you apply for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category.
The Regional Skill Shortage List (RSSL)
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The Regional Skill Shortage List names particular regions of New Zealand. It includes occupations where skilled workers are immediately required and no New Zealanders available to take up the position.
  • The list shows 15 regions throughout New Zealand, where specific occupational demands have been identified.
  • If you are offered a job on the RSSL and meet the list requirements you may be granted an Essential Skills work visa.
  • This means that you are permitted to work in New Zealand temporarily. You won’t necessarily be able to apply for residence.
  • If your profession is listed, you can assume that there is a high demand for your skills and that not enough New Zealand citizens or residents are available to fill the skill gap.
Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List (CISSL)
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The Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List identifies specific occupations needed in the construction industry across New Zealand.
  • If your occupation is on the CISSL, you may be granted an Essential Skills Work Visa, and faster processing of your work visa application will be guaranteed if you are offered a job on the CISSL and meet all further list requirements of the visa policy.
  • Some of these construction occupations are also on the Long Term Skill Shortage List.
    If your skills appear on the CISSL, and the occupation also appears on the LTSSL, you may be eligible to apply for residence in two years, provided you meet standard requirements, and that occupation has a base salary of at least NZ$45,000.

You can get bonus points for your EOI

If your skills are on the Long Term Skill Shortage List, they are considered to be "in an area of absolute skill shortage" and as a result you will be able to claim bonus points for your Expression of Interest.

You will be eligible for:

The Labour Market Test

If your occupation is listed on the Skill Shortage Lists, your New Zealand employer will not have to prove that no New Zealander can be found to fill the role offered to you.

This will obviously be a considerable advantage, as labour market testing is a highly complex and bureaucratic process.

Pathway to Residence in New Zealand

If you have held a work visa that was granted under the Long Term Skill Shortage List policy, you may be able to apply for a resident visa.

To be eligible for a resident visa under this policy, you must:

You may also be interested in:

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