11 May 2022
The New Zealand border will open at 11.59pm Sunday, 31 July. As part of the reopening, the Government is rebalancing the immigration system, with engineers prioritised for residency.
The Government has announced that significantly simplified immigration processes will provide faster processing for businesses. This includes a new Green List that includes over 85 hard to fill roles created to attract and retain high-skilled workers to fill skill shortages.
The Green List will provide streamlined and prioritised pathway to residency incentivising high skilled healthcare, engineers, trade and tech sector workers to relocate to New Zealand long term. The list features a ‘Straight to Residence’ pathway and a ‘Work to Residence’ pathway.
Engineers feature prominently on the ‘Straight to Residence’ pathway. Eligible migrants employed in these occupations can come to New Zealand on a work visa from 4 July and apply for residence from September 2022.
Also, if you want to hire a migrant on the Accredited Employer Work visa and the role is on the Green List then you do not need to advertise for the job check.
Minimum salary requirements apply where specified, and these will be indexed to the median wage and change over time.
The following engineering and construction occupations are on the ‘Straight to Work’ pathway:
- Construction Project Manager
- Project Builder
- Quantity Surveyor
- Chemical Engineer
- Civil Engineering Technician
- Civil Engineer
- Electrical Engineer
- Electronics Engineer
- Electrical Engineering Technician
- Electronic Engineering Technician
- Environmental Engineer
- Geotechnical Engineer
- Industrial Engineer
- Materials Engineer
- Mechanical Engineer
- Production or Plant Engineer
- Software Engineer ($120,00)
- Structural Engineer
- Engineering Professionals (Not Elsewhere Classified)
- Telecommunications Engineers
- Telecommunications Network Engineers
The Government also announced that around 20,000 visa holders with visas expiring before 2023 are being granted either a six-month extension or a new two-year visa with open work conditions, to help retain skills our country currently needs.
Engineering New Zealand welcomes today’s announcements. Engineers are in short supply and the profession has been calling on the government to make it easier to attract and recruit workers. Even before 2019, Engineering New Zealand estimated that an additional 1,500 new engineers were needed each year to support our economy.