Visa News
March 6, 2023

How to Apply for Visas on the Green List Immigration NZ

NZ Immigration Green List can help migrants fast-track their residency. In this guide we detail everything you need to know about applying for a Green List NZ
How to Apply for Visas on the Green List Immigration NZ

The government has introduced a "Green List" of in-demand, high-skill jobs that offer a priority path to residency. Due to labour shortages in several key industries that support the effective running of the country it has been designed to fast track the immigration process to attract top-talent from overseas. 

This new "Straight to Residence" option expedites the process for individuals who work in one of the Green List occupations and have a job offer from an accredited employer. They can apply for residency upon arrival with a work visa, provided they meet the requirements. Alternatively, individuals can apply for residency directly from overseas. Our guide outlines the Green List NZ criteria and offers tips to increase your application's likelihood of approval.

What is the NZ Immigration Green List?

The Green List NZ comprises two tiers of occupations that are either eligible for fast-tracked residency (Tier 1) or qualify for a work-to-residence pathway (Tier 2). The list encompasses a variety of vocations, such as healthcare professionals, teachers, engineers, and information and communications technology (ICT) experts. 

The NZ Immigration Green list is designed to make it easy to attract and hire highly skilled workers in a competitive global job market.

The Green List also aims to streamline the hiring of skilled immigrants through an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). Accredited employers can employ migrants on an AEWV for roles included on the Green List Occupations, and employers qualify for the job check criteria without evidence of local advertising.

If the remuneration for the role is at least double the median wage, employers are also exempt from advertising the role to pass the job check. 

It’s important to note that roles on this list do require recognised qualifications, experience and registration criteria. Some of these positions will necessitate meeting a minimum wage, which correlates with the median NZ wage, and a few roles having a hire threshold. 

What Types of Roles are on the Green List NZ?

There have been several updates over the past year as to specific roles. However the key sectors & roles in Tier 1 that are currently on the list are:

Healthcare & Social Services

GP, Surgeon, Anaesthetist, Psychiatrist, Vets, Dermatologist, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Ophthalmologist, Diagnostic and Interventional Radiologist and Radiation Oncologist


Chemical Engineer, Civil Engineering Technician, Civil Engineer, Electrical Engineer, Electronics Engineer, Electrical Engineering Technician, Electronic Engineering Technician, Environmental Engineer, Geotechnical Engineer, Industrial Engineer


Construction Project Manager, Project Builder, Quantity Surveyor, Surveyor

Information & Communication Technology - Tier 1 roles are based on meeting wage requirements. 

ICT Managers ($120,000), Software Engineer ($120,000), ICT Security Specialist ($120,000),

Multimedia Specialists ($95,000)

We update our Green List NZ page regularly once change have been published by the Government, to find a full list of Tier 1 & 2 roles read up on them here

What is Tier 1 vs Tier 2 NZ Green List?

The Green List of New Zealand consists of two categories of professions that either qualify for expedited residency (Tier 1) or are eligible for a work-to-residence route (Tier 2). These lists encompasses a diverse range of occupations, including healthcare professionals, teachers, engineers, and experts in information and communications technology (ICT).

What is Tier 1 Green List NZ?

Tier 1 of the Green List NZ refers to the first tier of occupations that are eligible for fast-tracked residency in New Zealand. These occupations are considered high in demand and are prioritised for immigration purposes. Individuals working in Tier 1 occupations may have a more streamlined pathway to obtain residency in New Zealand compared to occupations in Tier 2. The Tier 1 Green List is designed to attract highly skilled workers in key sectors that are crucial to the country's economy and development.

What is Tier 2 Visa in New Zealand?

Tier 2 in New Zealand refers to the second tier of occupations listed on the Green List. Occupations categorised under Tier 2 qualify for a work-to-residence pathway, which means that individuals working in these occupations have the opportunity to transition from temporary work visa to permanent residency status.

The specific occupations included in Tier 2 may vary and can cover a range of industries and professions based on the current needs of the New Zealand labor market. These occupations typically require specific skills and qualifications, and individuals working in Tier 2 occupations may have certain requirements and pathways to meet in order to obtain permanent residency in New Zealand.

What are the Requirements for the NZ Immigration Green List?

For all applicants on the Green List, the following conditions must be met:

  • The applicant must be under 56 years of age at the time of applying for residency.
  • The applicant must meet the standards of acceptable health and character.
  • The applicant must have a genuine employment offer for a minimum of 30 hours per week, either for a permanent position, a fixed term of at least 12 months, or a suitable contract for services.
  • The employment offer must come from an INZ-accredited employer and must match a role on the Green List NZ for which the applicant has the necessary qualifications.

To be eligible for a work visa on the Green List, applicants from abroad must possess a job offer that matches the job description or requirements of their occupation and must demonstrate that their overseas qualification meets the equivalent qualification standards in New Zealand for their occupation. The list is very specific, and job offers are only available from accredited employers.

The qualifications listed on the Green List are all based on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF), unless otherwise specified. To meet the framework's standards, candidates must undergo an assessment by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority for their qualification or hold a qualification that is exempt from assessment and is included on the list.

Need Immigration Advice?

If you need further clarification on whether your qualification meets our requirements, or advise on what work visa nz is applicable for you get in touch with us. We have 35 years of experience, helping migrants gain residency in New Zealand. 

Get in touch with Malcolm Pacific Immigration today

How to Apply for a Visa on the Green List NZ.

If you meet the eligibility criteria, including having qualifications that meet the comparable New Zealand qualification standard for their occupation and a job offer from an accredited employer, you can apply for an NZ work visa. 

If your role is considered a Work to Residence pathway (Tier 2)  on the Green List NZ can apply for an AEWV as long as your potential employer has qualified as an Accredited Employer. You then must complete two years of work before seeking residence. 

If your occupation is on the direct to residence part of the NZ Green List (Tier 1), you can also apply for residence at the same time as applying for your work visa. The list of eligible occupations is continuously updated, so it's advisable to check if your occupation is on the list and talk to Malcolm Pacific Immigration advisers for up and coming changes to the list. 

The entire application process is conducted online, you will be asked to supply supporting documents as evidence in your application.

And we can assist you along the way to streamline the process and ensure your qualifications and job description meet the requirements for the Green List nz. This speeds up the process and ensures there are no errors. If you already have a job offer, we can also evaluate whether you qualify for the Green List, and how your partner’s visa will be affected by this process. 

How much does it cost to apply for an Immigration NZ Green List visa?

The cost of the application fee and immigration levy varies depending on your location. If you are applying from within New Zealand, the cost will be between NZD $4,290 and NZD $4,890, while if you are applying from other parts of the world, the cost will be between NZD $4,020 and NZD $4,890. 

What is the Processing Time for a Green List NZ Visa?

The government has set a target of 30 days to process applications once the employer is accredited. The Employer accreditation period on average is around 8-10 days, depending on the additional information required which can delay accreditation. 

To avoid any delays, we recommend employers start the accreditation process as soon as possible. For migrant workers applying for roles, by understanding whether your potential employer is already accredited or not will help give you a guide on timelines for your application to be processed. 

Are Teachers on the Green List?

Yes, teachers, particularly in subjects or areas where there may be shortages or specific demand, are often included in the Green List to attract skilled professionals in the education sector.

Need Assistance with Your Green List Application

Contact Malcolm Pacific Immigration today. The Green List can provide a pathway to residence, but it is not the only option, and it is not always guaranteed. 

Here at Malcolm Pacific Immigration, we can advise you on the best visa solution for gaining residency in New Zealand. Get in touch with our licensed immigration advisers today for reliable visa information and advice.

Contact us today and get personalised advice from a licensed immigration professional.

Get started with a free assessment today

We are New Zealand’s largest and most experienced team of licensed immigration advisers. Our experts take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our team is on standby, ready to help.