New Zealand Adds 17 Occupations to Green List, Offering Fast-Track to Residency

New Zealand is opening its doors wider to foreign talent by adding 17 critical occupations to its Immigration Green List. This move aims to address skills shortages, stimulate economic growth, and compete globally for skilled workers.

In a bid to address critical skills shortages and attract foreign talent, New Zealand has announced a significant expansion of its Immigration Green List. This move will offer a fast-track path to residency for individuals working in 17 newly added occupations, spanning various industries.

The decision was unveiled by Immigration Minister Andrew Little, aiming to bolster the nation’s workforce and stimulate economic growth.

Green List Expansion

Starting next year, New Zealand will broaden its Green List to include a diverse array of occupations. Employers in fields such as information technology, automotive, and engineering will gain access to Green List visas when searching for specialized personnel unavailable among New Zealand workers.


Among the 17 newly incorporated occupations are:

  1. Prison Guards
  2. Welders
  3. Aviation Engineers
  4. Database and Systems Administrators
  5. Panel Beaters
  6. Road-Roller Operators
  7. Vehicle Painters
  8. Aircraft Maintenance Engineers
  9. Corrections Officers
  10. Fitter and Turners
  11. Fitter Generals
  12. Fitter-Welders
  13. ICT Database and System Administrators
  14. Mechanical Engineering Technicians
  15. Metal Fabricators
  16. Metal Machinists First Class
  17. Naval Architects (Marine Designers)

Also Read: New Zealand to Reimburses Health Screening Costs for 2021 Visa Applicants

Additional Changes to the Green List

The government is also making it easier for existing onshore Recovery Visa holders to transition to longer-term work visas. Recovery Visa holders can now apply for a three-month extension. The Recovery Visa category has also closed to new applications.

Why is New Zealand Adding More Occupations to the Green List?

New Zealand is facing skills shortages in a range of industries. By adding more occupations to the Green List, the government is hoping to make it easier for employers to recruit skilled workers from overseas.


The government also expects that offering residency will make New Zealand more attractive as it competes for foreign workers.

Recovery Visa Extension

New Zealand Extend Work Visa Validity

Simultaneously, the government announced an extension for existing onshore Recovery Visa holders. This extension grants them an additional three months to transition to longer-term work visas. However, new applications for the Recovery Visa category are no longer being accepted.

This change aligns with the government’s shift towards building a sustainable, long-term workforce to support ongoing recovery efforts and better respond to future extreme weather events.

Also Read: New Zealand to Extend Work Visa Validity Up to 5 Years


Impact on Immigration

New Zealand immigration is already surging at a record pace. The government’s decision to add more occupations to the Green List is likely to further boost immigration. However, the Treasury Department has warned that the extra demand for workers may add to inflation pressure.

Impact on the Labor Market

The addition of more occupations to the Green List is expected to ease pressure in the labour market. Employers will have a larger pool of skilled workers to draw from. This could lead to higher wages and better working conditions for New Zealand workers.

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of, he's passionate about writing.

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