Insights, Law Changes

The ‘Green List’ Occupations Residency Pathway

In 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government decided to restrict migration into New Zealand and suspended the Selection of Expressions of Interest (EOI). The selections normally occurred on a fortnightly basis and would result in a selected candidate receiving an Invitation to Apply for Residence under the Skilled Migrant Category. Since then, the Government has instituted the RV 2021 Resident Visa Category which created pathways to residency for settled, skilled or scarce worker migrants, but this ended on 31 July 2022. Many sectors have been crying out for skilled migrants, and Immigration New Zealand has now announced a ‘Green List’ of occupations currently in demand which employment in can be used as a pathway to residency and a “straight-forward” temporary work visa application.

The list is made up of two tiers. Tier One occupations provide a straight to residency pathway, whereas Tier Two occupations provide a work to residency pathway. To be eligible for either of these pathways, the applicant must be:

  • 55 years old or younger;
  • Able to meet English language requirements;
  • Able to meet health and character requirements; and
  • Be employed, or have an offer of employment, by an accredited employer for a full-time role.

Applicants under Tier One occupations are eligible to come to New Zealand from July 4 2022 and can apply for residence from 5 September 2022. They can also apply for residence from outside New Zealand. They must hold a contract that is valid for at least 12 months (if it is for a fixed term). As an offer of employment is sufficient for eligibility, this category is suitable not just for those already in New Zealand but also those who obtain job offers whilst offshore. Tier One occupations include construction roles, engineering roles, specialist health roles and general practitioners, and ICT and telecommunications roles.

Applicants under Tier Two occupations are eligible to apply for residency after two years working in New Zealand. Immigration New Zealand will only count work experience starting from 29 September 2021. That means that any application under this category can only be made from the end of September 2023. Tier Two occupations include registered nurses, early childhood teachers, midwives, plumbers, electricians and dairy farmers.

There are many businesses right now that are desperate to secure skilled employees from anywhere they can. If you are one of them, the Green List could help your recruitment efforts. For more information click here or contact us.