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  • Writer's pictureTHI

Major immigration changes announced - Green List expanded, Accreditation, PSWV & CPVV changes

Immigration Minister Hon Michael Wood has announced measures to attract more high-skilled workers to New Zealand including:

  • additional roles on the Green List

  • 12 month extension of Employer accreditation for employers who have applied or will apply before 4 July 2023

  • granting Post Study Work Visas for people affected by border closure

  • Specific Purpose Work Visas for Critical Purpose Visitor Visa holders

Roles added to Green List work to residence tier from March 2023

  • Civil construction supervisors

  • Gasfitters

  • Drain layers

  • Skilled crane operators

  • Skilled civil machine operators

  • Halal slaughterers

  • Skilled motor mechanics

  • Skilled telecommunications technicians

  • All secondary school teachers (in addition to the specialisations already on the Green List)

  • Primary school teachers

Roles added to Green List straight to residence tier Registered nurses (on 15 December 2022)

  • Midwives (on 15 December 2022)

  • Specialist doctors not already on the Green List (on 15 December 2022)

  • Registered Auditors (from March 2023)

Bus & truck drivers

Bus and truck drivers will have a time limited residence pathway through a sector agreement.

  • Cabinet has agreed in principle to develop a sector agreement to support workforce needs

  • Officials will consult with transport sector representatives in the development of the agreement

Measures government has taken through the Immigration Rebalance to relieve workforce shortages

  • Non-visa waiver countries and international student visas were opened, and over 200,000 migrants will be able to call New Zealand home thanks to RV21.

  • Introduced sector agreements for tourism, hospitality, the care workforce, construction and infrastructure, meat processing, seafood, seasonal snow and adventure tourism.

  • Confirmed the reopening of the Pacific Access Category and Samoa Quota and delivered the largest increase in a decade to the RSE scheme.

  • Resumed the Skilled Migrant Category and Parent Category visa to strengthen NZ's international offering.

  • Delayed the introduction of the requirement for partners to hold their own AEWV.

  • Extended the visas of working holiday makers already in New Zealand with visas expiring between 26 August 2022 and 31 May 2023 by six months.

  • Provided an additional opportunity for those who previously held a working holiday visa but didn’t travel due to Covid-19 to come to New Zealand for the summer.

Employer Accreditation

Employer accreditations will automatically be extended by 12 months if their first accreditation is applied for by 4 July 2023.

Most accredited employers who move onto a 24-month accreditation cycle after their initial first 12-month accreditation, will effectively receive a 24-month first accreditation.

Expansion of the accreditation system to cover all migrants, including those with open work rights would be deferred until 2024.

Post Study Work visa holders

People who held a Post Study Work Visa but were unable to use it due to the border closing in March 2020 will be eligible for 12-month open work visas if they’re not already in New Zealand on another visa.

Helping critical workers remain in their current role

Critical Purpose Visitor Visa (CPVV) holders in New Zealand who want to remain in their role after their visa expires will be able to apply for a Specific Purpose Work Visa (SPWV) from 15 December 2022.

This will ensure critical workers get the full three years that they would have under Accredited Employer Work Visa or Essential Skills before a further labour market test.

Employers will not need to be accredited but must comply with New Zealand’s employment and immigration laws.

Visa details

The SPWV will allow critical workers to remain in their current role for up to three years from the start date of their CPVV.


Family of the visa holder may apply for relationship-based visas, including open work visas for partners, visitor visas and student visas for children. School-aged children granted a student visa will pay only domestic study fees.


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