Changes to Immigration New Zealand’s Green List in early 2024

From March 2024, 17 new roles will be added to Immigration New Zealand’s Green List, New Zealand’s streamlined pathway to residence for migrants who can fill critical labour gaps.

While it is not yet known whether these roles will allow a candidate to secure residence straightaway or provide a “pathway” to residence once a period of work is completed in New Zealand, the addition of these roles will come as good news for many migrants in specialist and trades-based roles as well as many New Zealand employers in these industries.

The changes come as part of the Government’s scheduled review of the Green List which is now set to take place once every three years.  Lane Neave’s Immigration Team provided submissions to New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) on behalf of a leading industry client as part of this scheduled review.

As part of the review and consultation process, MBIE sought advice from industry on roles that ought to have a pathway to residence given their importance to New Zealand’s economy but did not have one under the proposed new Skilled Migrant Category (SMC).  As you might be aware, the new SMC gives a residence pathway only to migrants who are highly paid, university qualified or have occupational registration.

The 17 new roles that will be added to the Green List from March 2024 include:

  • Aviation Engineer (Avionics, Aeronautical, Aerospace Engineer)
  • Naval Architects (aka Marine Designer)
  • Mechanical Engineering Technician
  • ICT Database and System Administrator
  • Aircraft Maintenance Engineer
  • Road Roller Operator
  • Paving Plant Operator
  • Corrections Officer
  • Metal Fabricator
  • Pressure Welder
  • Welder
  • Fitter (General)
  • Fitter and Turner
  • Fitter-Welder
  • Metal Machinist (First Class)
  • Panel Beater
  • Vehicle Painter.

While many of these roles are highly specialised, many are also generalist ‘trades-based’ roles that our previous government would have hoped to fill with a pipeline of local talent being trained on the job into these roles.  We expect that the inclusion of many of these roles will be ‘stop gap’ measures, to provide an adequate supply of workers from offshore while local apprentices in these roles are trained.  Potentially, we may see these roles disappear from the Green List in a few years if local labour pipelines are adequate, so we recommend to any interested offshore talent with these skill sets to seek immigration advice sooner rather than later.

More information regarding the requirements of each role and the specific residence pathway that will be available is likely to be released by INZ in the New Year, so we suggest prospective migrants keep a close eye on Lane Neave’s newsletters for updates.

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