Work to Residence Visa Pathways

Location: Worldwide

The Green List and Sector Agreements Work to Residence pathways open for residence visa applications from 29 September 2023.

Migrants with two years of eligible work experience in a Green List or Sector Agreement role in New Zealand can apply for residence if they meet the required skill and wage thresholds. Applicants also need to meet standard residence requirements such as health, character, English language and age.

The three visa pathways available under Work to Residence are:

  • Skilled Residence: Green List Work to Residence visa
  • Skilled Residence: Care Workforce Work to Residence visa, and
  • Skilled Residence: Transport Sector Work to Residence visa.

All work visa holders and Critical Purpose Visitor Visa holders with work rights can claim work experience for these residence pathways.

New Priority Processing Order for Skilled Residence Applications
A new priority processing order for skilled residence applications takes effect from 29 September. This covers applications under Work to Residence, Straight to Residence and the Skilled Migrant Category.

Visa applications are generally allocated and processed in the order we receive them. Residence applications take longer to process as they require additional checks and information from applicants.

From 29 September, a new priority processing order will apply, recognising the importance of Tier 1 Green List occupations, highly-paid workers, and well-qualified or well-paid Skilled Migrant Category applicants.

These applications will be allocated for processing before other skilled residence applications:

  • People in occupations on the Tier 1 Green List
  • People paid three times the median wage.
  • Skilled Migrant Category applicants with 6 points without work experience.

The Immigration NZ website has more information on the Work to Residence pathways, including remuneration and work experience requirements, and processing priority.

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