Green List and highly paid skilled residence categories

Straight to Residence, Work to Residence, & Highly Paid Residence Visas

These new visa pathways have been introduced with the intention to complement the Skilled Migrant Category with the same health, age and character requirements.

 

The Skilled Migrant Category is currently suspended while the Government works through the Immigration Rebalance.

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General requirements 

These are to be met on the date you apply for your residence visa:

  • you are aged 55 or younger

  • you, and if applicable your partner, and dependent children aged 16 or over, meet the English language requirements

  • you and your partner, and dependent children in your application meet health and character requirements for residence which are different from the requirements for temporary work visas.

  • At the time you apply you must be working for an accredited employer.

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 under tier 1 of the Green List.

  • You must meet the specified requirements on the list for your role.

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

If you are a contractor, to be eligible under the Straight to Residence pathway as a contractor you would need to meet certain other requirements as well.

Roles with a wage threshold as the skill requirement include Chief Information Officer, ICT Project Manager, ICT Managers not elsewhere classified, Software Engineer, ICT Security Specialist, and Multimedia Specialist.

 

You can apply for this residence visa from 5 September 2022. 

 

You can either come to New Zealand on a work visa now and apply for residence from 5 September 2022, or apply from outside of New Zealand

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Work to Residence Visa

To be eligible for this residence visa you must:

  • be employed in a role under tier 2 of the Green List or hold an offer of employment for one

  • meet the specified requirements on the list for the role

  • have worked for 24 months in New Zealand in the role (and meet the specified its requirements) under tier 2 of the Green List.

  • Your employer must be accredited when you apply for this visa. 

  • The employment or offer of employment must be full-time, genuine, and permanent, or be at least a 12-month fixed-term contract. 

Acceptable work in New Zealand can be counted towards a Work to Residence Visa while you hold or held:

  • an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)

  • another work visa or a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa (with work conditions) that was held or applied before 4 July 2022.

 

Acceptable work in New Zealand can be counted from 29 September 2021.

 

You can mix acceptable work criteria, such as a role under tier 2 of the Green List and also any work earning twice the median wage. 

 

You can apply for this visa from September 2023.

Highly Paid Residence Visa

To be eligible for this residence visa you must have:

  • employment or an offer of employment in a role that is paid at least twice the median wage (currently NZD $55.52 an hour)

  • been working for 24 months in New Zealand in a role that paid at least twice the median wage.

  • Your employer must also be accredited when you apply for this visa.

Acceptable work in New Zealand can be counted towards a Highly Paid Residence Visa if you hold or held:

  • an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV)

  • another work visa or a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa (with work conditions) that was held or applied before 4 July 2022.

 

Acceptable work in New Zealand can be counted from 29 September 2021. 

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