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Easy Guide to New Zealand’s Skilled Occupation Lists

If you wish to live and work permanently in New Zealand or work temporarily under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) of visas, you must be 55 or under, be healthy, be of good character, and speak English. You must have an occupation on the following lists which will be outlined below. My goal here is to explain each one in simple terms. New Zealand is complex in that the visa options change with a job offer. Points also change with a job offer. This is just a basic guide of what these lists are:

View our New Zealand Migration Route Diagram

Easy Guide To New Zealand’S Skilled Occupation Lists

1) List of Skilled Occupations – This is similar to the CSOL (Consolidated Skilled Occupations List) list for Australia. This is all of the occupations that are considered in demand by the Department of Labour. This list is reviewed annually. You must have an occupation on this as a starting point. If you are not on this list, you are going to have to seek professional advice and look at other visa options. If you are on this list, then you need to meet the points requirement based on age, work experience, your qualifications and an offer of skilled employment will boost your points.

2) Long Term Skills Shortage List – This The Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) and it identifies occupations where there is a sustained and on-going shortage of highly skilled workers both globally and throughout New Zealand. If you are on this list, it will boost your points total towards skilled migration or if you have a job offer and are on this list, you can effectively go ahead and apply for the Work to Residence visa in which you work for two years and can then apply for permanent residency.

3) Immediate Skills Shortage List - This list is more of your fast track option where New Zealand has an immediate skills shortage. This also means that companies can’t find suitable candidates in New Zealand to fill these positions. If you are on this list and have a job offer from one of these companies, then you can apply for an Essential Skills Work visa. This route does not lead to permanent residency. This is similar to the 457 work permit of Australia.

4) Canterbury Skills Shortage List – This list has specific occupations in the Canterbury region that are now a skills shortage due to the earthquakes from 2010-2011. The government wants to rebuild this area. Canterbury is a region on New Zealand’s South Island that covers 45,346 km² and Christchurch is the largest city. If you are on this list and have a job offer in Canterbury, you can then apply for an Essential Skills Work visa. If you are also on the Long Term Skills Shortage list, you may be able to apply for residency.

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