New Zealand | Expanded Green List and Other Immigration Changes Announced

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced changes to the country’s immigration settings, including an expanded Green List, which creates a straight-to-residence pathway, and a new Specific Purpose Work Visa.

Long-term critical workers can apply for the Specific Purpose Work Visa which will allow them to continue their work in their current role for up to three years. The process will be streamlined, so the only employment-related information an applicant needs to provide is a letter from their employer confirming that they remain employed in the same role and on the same (or better) conditions as those approved in the Critical Purpose Visitor Visa application.

Other Changes
  • In a one-off extension, employer accreditations under the Accredited Employer Work Visa will automatically be extended by 12 months if their first accreditation is applied for by July 4, 2023.
  • From December 15, 2022, registered nurses and midwives will move from the Work to Residence to the Straight to Residence Green List pathway. All medical doctors will also be included on the Straight to Residence pathway.
  • From March 2023, auditors will also be added to the Straight to Residence Green List pathway.
  • From March 2023, the following professions will be added to the Work to Residence Green List pathway, civil construction supervisors, gasfitters, drain layers, skilled crane operators and civil machine operators, Halal slaughterers, skilled motor mechanics, skilled telecommunications technicians, all secondary school teachers (in addition to the specializations already on the Green List), primary school teachers. The Green List will next be reviewed in mid-2023.

Additionally, New Zealand will extend a 12-month Open Work Visa for people who held a Post Study Work Visa but were unable to use it due to the border closing in March 2020.

Erickson Insights

More information is expected at the beginning of 2023, and additional information is available on the beehive site.

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to share updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.