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Immigration New Zealand Green List Guide


As part of the New Zealand government’s border reopening and immigration changes, a new Green List provides a fast track to residence and work to residence pathway for highly skilled migrants in hard-to-fill jobs. Through these changes, the New Zealand Government plans to support a higher-productivity, higher-wage economy to attract high-skilled migrants instead of relying on low-skilled ones.

Green List Occupations & Qualifications New Zealand

What is the Green List?

The Green List contains a limited number of highly skilled roles that are in huge demand globally and for which there is a shortage in New Zealand. The Green List maps New Zealand labour market skill gaps for skilled migrants to come and gain permanent residence.

This list makes it easier for employers to hire and attract migrants for high-skilled, hard-to-fill positions in the construction, engineering, trades, health and ICT sectors. However, these roles have registration, qualification or experience requirements.

Green List Occupations:

The 85 hard-to find-skill roles in the Green List are divided into the following categories:

  • Construction roles –Engineering, Quantity Surveyor, Project Manager etc.
  • Engineering roles –different types of engineers, such as Chemical, Civil, Structural, Electrical, Electronics, Mechanical, Telecommunications etc.
  • Health & social services roles –General Practitioner (GP), different types of Surgeons, different types of Psychologists, Veterinarian, Psychiatrist, Dermatologist, Anaesthetist etc.
  • Primary industries and science roles –Food Technologist, Environmental Research Scientist etc
  • ICT, Electronics & Telecommunications roles –ICT Project Manager, Software Engineer, Multimedia Specialist etc.

Work Visa criteria under Green List

If a New Zealand employer wants to hire a migrant on the Accredited Employer Work visa (AEWV) and the role is on this Green List, they do not need to advertise for the job check. However, to qualify for this visa, a migrant worker must have a job offer from an NZ based employer that matches the job description and prove that they have the required qualification as per NZ standards outlined in the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).

Please note that minimum salary requirements will apply for some jobs and change with the median wage each year.

Partners of Green List Visa Holders

Partners of migrant workers working in occupations on the Green List or paid twice the median wage will receive automatic open work rights. This is to ensure that New Zealand attracts high-skilled migrant workers. Note: From December 2022 onwards, partners of temporary work visa holders will be granted Visitor Visas. If they want to work, they will need to qualify for an AEWV in their own right.

Impact of the Green List on International Students

Students undertaking a qualification at Level 7 and below (excluding bachelor’s degrees) will only be eligible for post-study work rights if the qualification is relevant to an occupation on the Green List. This includes Graduate Diplomas and Diplomas at level 7. Moreover, 20 occupations on the Green List have direct pathways from Level 7 and below level qualifications.

These include Construction Project Manager; Project Builder; 12 specific engineering roles; Civil Engineering Technician; Electrical Engineering Technician; Secondary School teacher; Early Childhood (Pre-primary School) Teacher; Automotive Electrician; Diesel Motor Mechanic.

Benefits of the Green List Occupations

  • The Green List provides a fast track to residence and work to residence pathways. If your job is on the Green List, you can come to New Zealand from 4 July 2022 on a work visa and directly apply for residence from September 2022. Others who hold a Green List job and meet the eligibility requirements can apply for residence after two years of working in New Zealand.
  • Partners of Green List, visa holders will have open work rights.

Is the Green List the final go to Skill Shortage List?

The Green List is a more concise version of the Regional Skills Shortage List and Constructions and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List. In addition, many roles on the Long-Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) have been included in the Green List.

What about the other Skill Shortage Lists?

The Green List will replace the existing skills shortage lists. However, it is essential to note that there is no exemption from the Labour Market Test (LMT) for roles currently on the skills shortage list but not on the Green List unless they are paid 200% of the median wage.

In short, the Green List aims to make it easier to attract globally in-demand workers to New Zealand and offer clear pathways to the residence.

Get in touch with Immigration Advisors New Zealand Ltd, which provides up-to-date immigration information so you can consider opportunities and prepare yourself for the future. To know all the required procedures, contact us at contact@nzimmigration.info  or call on +64 09 3790219.

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