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Green List: Why This Is Good News For NZ Employers

In December 2022, Immigration New Zealand announced a Green List of occupations that provide a fast track for applicants to gain residence in New Zealand. The Green List comprises highly paid and highly skilled roles where there are shortages in New Zealand.

There are two pathways for talented immigrants wishing to make New Zealand their home, depending on occupation:

  1. Tier 1 occupations: Straight to Residence
  2. Tier 2 occupations: Work to Residence.

The main industry sectors covered by the Green List are:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Construction
  3. Education
  4. Engineering
  5. Health
  6. Information and communications technology (ICT)
  7. Science
  8. Social services
  9. Trades.

You can see the full list of Green List roles on the Immigration NZ website.

Are there any other requirements for a Green List application?

As well as having the relevant skills and experience (note that requirements vary between industries and between roles), applicants must also:

  1. Be aged 55 years or under.
  2. Meet health and character requirements.
  3. Meet English language requirements. This also applies to the applicant’s partner and dependent children aged 16 or over.
  4. Be employed by an accredited employer in NZ.

Why is the Green List good news for migrants?

Obtaining residence is a major incentive to attract skilled workers. After all, it can be very unsettling for a migrant to move to a new country – especially as one as remote as New Zealand – and not know if they will be able to move here permanently. Putting down roots in a new country is no mean feat – and it’s easier to settle in and integrate when a migrant knows they’ll be staying permanently.

What’s more, Green List applications will be evaluated faster by Immigration New Zealand. Plus Green List migrants are able to claim employment and housing benefits, should they need them. This safety net provides a degree of reassurance and confidence.

Partners of Green List candidates will also have work rights in New Zealand, without needing to make their own visa application.

Why is the Green List good news for NZ employers?

New Zealand is not alone in facing skills shortages, so employers are competing for talented migrants. A significant factor for skilled workers choosing which country to migrate to is their ability to stay in that country permanently, and make it their home. After all, it’s very unsettling to uproot your life once – let alone have to do it again and move back home, or to another country. Providing a simple and defined pathway to residence will help NZ employers compete globally for talented workers.

Also, Green List applications are processed faster by Immigration New Zealand than other visa categories – so this cuts down on the waiting time.

Plus with Green List roles there’s no need for a job check, which involves advertising for a position to prove that there are no suitably skilled and qualified New Zealanders available for that role. Not having to do that cuts down on admin, costs, time, and uncertainty.

Note that in order to hire Green List roles, employers do still need to be accredited – and VisaAide can help with employer accreditation.

On-going Green List changes are ahead

From March 2023, further occupations will be added to the Green List:

  1. Auditors will be added to the Tier 1 (Straight to Residence) list.
  2. All primary and secondary school teacher roles not already included on the Tier 2 (Work to Residence) list will be added.
  3. Halal Slaughterer, Skilled Motor Mechanic, Skilled Telecommunications Technician, Gasfitter, Drainlayer, Building Associate (specifically Civil Construction Supervisor), Skilled Crane Operator, Earthmoving Plant Operator (General), Backhoe Operator, Bulldozer Operator, Excavator Operator, Grader Operator and Loader Operator will also be added to the Tier 2 (Work to Residence) list.
  4. Bus and truck drivers will have a residence pathway through a sector agreement.

Nothing in the world of NZ immigration stays the same for long, so we anticipate further changes to the Green List, especially as 2023 is an election year in New Zealand. Plus some industries are pushing for more occupations to be included on the Green List – notably Physiotherapists and Chefs.

It is expected that the Green List will be reviewed again in mid-2023.

For up-to-date immigration advice, be sure to contact the team at VisaAide.

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