As per the Immigration New Zealand (INZ) website, New Zealand competes internationally for skilled workers. Workers with skills on the Essential Skills in Demand List (ESID) usually find it easier to apply for temporary work and some resident visas.
Skill shortages happen when employers find it hard to get staff with the right skills for the job. Hence knowing which jobs are in skill shortage can help you choose the best job option or decide what subjects to study.
The Essential Skills in Demand List include the:
- Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL), also referred to as Area of absolute skill shortage.
- Regional Skill Shortage List (RSSL), which has replaced the Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL), and
- Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List (CISSL), which has replaced the Canterbury Skill Shortage List (CSSL).
How are migrants affected?
If an occupation is on a skill shortage list, the options which are available for employers and prospective migrants include:
- Skilled Migrant Category: under which migrants can apply for residence in New Zealand. It is a points system based on factors such as age, work experience, your qualifications, and an offer of skilled employment. It would be best if you were aged 55 or under, and meet English language, health, and character requirements. Migrants applying for residence under this category may gain bonus points towards their application if they have an offer of employment or work experience in an area of absolute skill shortage identified on the LTSSL.
- Essential Skills Work Visa: this requires an employer to demonstrate that they have tried to recruit New Zealanders for the position and been unsuccessful. However, if an occupation is on a shortage list, the employer need not provide evidence of their attempts to recruit a New Zealand citizen or resident. This category of visa lets you work for an employer in New Zealand. It can also lead to permanent residence in some circumstances. You can apply for it if you have been offered a job which you are qualified to do, and which you have experience in.
- Essential Skills (Approval in Principle): where employer is seeking a number of migrants. An AIP under the Essential Skills work visa category allows a New Zealand employer to recruit overseas workers to work in New Zealand temporarily. Upon securing AIP status, an employer can assist an overseas migrant with obtaining an Essential Skills work visa that is compliant with the conditions for which INZ granted employer’s AIP. The main benefit of AIP is that employers of such employees who have AIP status can safely assume as them having satisfied the labour market test.
- Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa: facilitating recruitment of skilled workers from overseas where the salary is at least NZ$55,000 per annum. This visa is for people who are looking for a pathway to live in New Zealand and who have a skill that’s needed by a New Zealand accredited employer. If an accredited employer offers you full-time work, you’ll be able to get a visa to work here. If you continue to work for that employer for two years, you’ll be able to apply to live in New Zealand permanently.
- Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List (CISSL): Employers who are looking at recruiting migrant workers to positions on the list will no longer need to show they have advertised the role locally for a work visa to be issued. However, the duties described in the job description should substantially match INZ description of the position, along with the qualifications and/or experience stated on the list for that occupation. Moreover, the job should also be in the region specified on the list.
Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) reviews the ESID lists every six months to ensure they meet the changing needs of the labour market and to preserve employment opportunities for New Zealanders. MBIE has done a review recently, and the changes brought into effect.
Vandana Rai is a Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser and has built a reputation around her rare set of skills, which could be considered ideal for her legal profession.