Before you get too carried away switching your rugby allegiance to the All Blacks or starting to brush up on your Kiwi slang, it’s a good idea to see whether your skills are needed in New Zealand.
Although having a job on one of New Zealand’s skill shortage lists isn’t a guarantee of a job or a visa, it can help make the job- and visa-getting experience a bit easier.
There are four skill shortage lists in New Zealand:
- Long Term Skill Shortage List
- Immediate Skill Shortage List
- Canterbury Skill Shortage List
- List of Skilled Occupations
Immigration New Zealand has a great tool – put in your occupation and see if it’s a skill in demand. Try the skill shortage list check.
The Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL)
The LTSSL shows the occupations that are in ongoing shortage throughout New Zealand, and the rest of the world.
If you get a job in an occupation that’s on the LTSSL, plus meet any extra requirements, you may be granted a work visa under the Work to Residence category.
That means you may be able to apply for residency in two years, as long as you meet the standard requirements and that your job has a base salary of at least NZ$55,000 per year.
Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL)
The ISSL has occupations where skilled workers are needed immediately in New Zealand and where there are no available New Zealand citizens or residents to take the jobs. This means the applications can be processed quicker.
If you’re offered a job on the ISSL, and meet the requirements, you may be granted an Essential Skills work visa. You can work in New Zealand temporarily but may not be able to apply for residency.
Canterbury Skill Shortage List (CSSL)
Following the Christchurch 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, the CSSL lists the occupations in critical shortage in the Canterbury region. It has occupations on the Immediate and Long Term Skill Shortage Lists that are directly relevant to the Canterbury and Christchurch rebuild.
If your skills are on the CSSL and you have a job offer in Canterbury you may be granted an Essentials Skills work visa which allows you to work temporarily in New Zealand. However if your occupation is also on the LTSSL, then you may be able to apply for residency.
List of Skilled Occupations
If your occupation is on this list, you’re able to apply for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant category. This points-based visa considers factors like your age, work experience, qualifications and job offer.
To apply for a Skilled Migrant visa, you must be under 55 years old, meet the skill level for your occupation and meet English language, health and character requirements.
Where to Next?
If you’ve checked the lists and found your occupation, that’s a great first step. You can now:
- Work out which New Zealand visa may be right for you using Immigration New Zealand’s Visa Options Check tool
- Get expert help from licensed immigration advisers
- Start searching for your new job in New Zealand
Make sure you plan your move to New Zealand right the first time, and get the right visa to avoid unnecessary complications later on. Best of luck!