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The Green List: Occupations offering migrants pathways to New Zealand residence

Straight to Residence Visa

The Green List Tier 1, opening on 5 September 2022, lists occupations that may qualify migrants for a “Straight to Residence Visa”.

To be eligible for this residence visa you must be employed by, or hold a job offer from, an accredited employer.

Your role must be full-time (at least 30 hours a week) and permanent, or be at least a 12-month fixed term contract. Under certain circumstances, independent contractors are also eligible.

Note, some of these occupations require that you meet a certain threshold in terms of qualification or work experience, or salary.

If you are eligible and work in any of these Tier 1 occupations, you can come to New Zealand on a work visa and apply for residence from 5 September 2022. You can also apply from outside of New Zealand.

Tier 1 includes the following occupations:

  • Construction Project Manager
  • Project Builder
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Surveyor
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Civil Engineering Technician
  • Civil Engineer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Electronics Engineer
  • Electrical Engineering Technician
  • Electronic Engineering Technician
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Geotechnical Engineer
  • Industrial Engineer
  • Materials Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Production or Plant Engineer
  • Structural Engineer
  • Engineering Professionals (Not Elsewhere Classified)
  • Telecommunications Engineer
  • Telecommunications Network Engineers
  • General Practitioner
  • Anaesthetist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Specialist Physicians Not Elsewhere Classified
  • Surgeons (Including General Surgeons Cardiothoracic Surgeon Neurosurgeon Orthopaedic Surgeon Otorhinolaryngologist Urologist And Vascular Surgeon)
  • Other Medical Practitioners (Including Dermatologist Obstetrician And Gynaecologist Ophthalmologist Diagnostic And Interventional Radiologist And Radiation Oncologist)
  • Registered Nurses (aged care, child and family health, community health, critical care and emergency, developmental disability, disability and rehabilitation, medical, medical practice, mental health, perioperative, surgical, paediatrics)
  • Midwife
  • Resident Medical Officer
  • Medical Laboratory Scientist
  • Clinical Psychologists & Psychologists Physicist (Medical)
  • Orthoptist
  • Registered Auditor
  • Veterinarian
  • Other Spatial Scientist Environmental Research Scientist Food Technologist
  • Anaesthetic technician
  • Medical diagnostic (medical imaging technologist)
  • Medical laboratory technician
  • Medical radiation therapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Sonographer
  • Podiatrist
  • Audiologist
  • ICT Managers ($120,000)
  • Software Engineer ($120,000)
  • ICT Security Specialist ($120,000)
  • Multimedia Specialists ($95,000)

Work to Residence Visa

A work to residence visa allows migrants to apply for residence after two years of working in New Zealand.

To be eligible for this residence visa you must have worked for 24 months in New Zealand in the role (and meet specified requirements) under Tier 2 of the Green List.

You must also meet the specified requirements for the role on the list.

The earliest that you could apply for Residence under work to residence is September 2023.

  • If you hold or have held an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV), or
  • Another work visa or a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa with work conditions that you held or applied for before 4 July 2022.

The previous work visa or critical visitor visa with work conditions can enable this application.

Tier 2 includes the following occupations:

  • Early childhood (pre-primary School) teacher
  • Primary school teachers
  • All secondary school teachers (in addition to the specialisations already on the Green List)
  • Plumber
  • Building construction supervisors
  • Gasfitters
  • Drainlayers
  • Skilled crane operators
  • Skilled civil machine operators
  • Halal slaughterers
  • Skilled motor mechanics
  • Skilled telecommunications technicians

New roles being added to Tier 2 from March 2024:

  • 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

Further details, including exact role requirements and specific residency pathways, will be provided closer to the date as per Immigration New Zealand.

For all the details about the Straight to Residence, Work to Residence and Highly Paid Residence Visas, and the details of all the occupations and qualifications on the Tier 1 and Tier 2 lists, see the Immigration NZ website.

If you need any assistance with your application, get in touch with our team of immigration consultants today. Email us at or call +64 (0)4 5694861.

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