New Zealand Skills Shortage List

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new zealand skills shortage listIt’s almost guaranteed that you’ve come across the phrase ‘New Zealand skills shortage list’ in your emigration research.

But what is it? And what role does it play in your emigration? These are the types of questions we’d like to answer for you today.

What is the New Zealand skill shortage list?

The first thing you should know is that there are three skill shortage lists, not just one:

  • Long Term Skills Shortage List (LTSSL)
  • Immediate Skills Shortage List (ISSL)
  • Canterbury Skills Shortage List (CSSL)

Each of these lists is based on occupations experiencing a shortage of skilled workers in New Zealand.

What role does the skill shortage lists play in my emigration?

We’ll let Immigration New Zealand explain: “If you’re offered a job that’s on one of the lists, and you’ve got the qualifications and experience to match, getting a work or residence visa may be easier.”

The 3 skills shortage lists

As explained, there are three skills shortage lists. Each list offers the opportunity to qualify for a certain visa or visas.

1. Long Term Skills Shortage List (LTSSL)

The Long Term Skills Shortage List identifies occupations where there is a sustained and on-going shortage of highly skilled workers throughout New Zealand as well as the world.

Long Term Skill Shortage List work visa:

If you get a job in an occupation on the LTSSL and meet the list requirements, you are eligible for a work to Residence visa under the Long Term Skills Shortage List work visa. This visa is a pathway to residency which means you’ll be eligible for residency after two years. This is provided you:

  • Meet the standard requirements; and
  • You’re earning a base salary of at least NZ$45,000.

2. Immediate Skills Shortage List (ISSL)

The Immediate Skills Shortage List (ISSL) includes occupations where skilled workers are needed in New Zealand immediately. This is because there are no New Zealand citizens or residents to fill the position.

Essential Skills work visa:

If you get a full-time job in an occupation on the ISSL and meet the list requirements, you’ll be eligible for an Essential Skills work visa. This visa enables you to work in New Zealand temporarily.

You may not necessarily be able to apply for residency.

3. Canterbury Skills Shortage List (CSSL)

The Canterbury Skills Shortage List contains occupations in critical shortage in the Canterbury area. These shortages are due to the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. The CSSL draws on the Immediate and Long Term Skills Shortage Lists relevant to the Canterbury rebuild.

Essential Skills work visa:

If you get a job in Canterbury and your skills appear on the CSSL, you’ll be eligible for an Essential Skills work visa. If the occupation is also on the LTSSL, you may also be eligible for New Zealand residency.

How does Immigration New Zealand decide on the occupations on these lists?

New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) reviews the ISSL and LTSSL on an annual basis. During this review, the MBIE decide if any occupations should be:

  • Added or removed from a list; or
  • Moved to another list.

The Canterbury Skill Shortage List is reviewed three times a year, as changes in skill shortages happen more regularly in this region.

One other list to know

Immigration New Zealand also publishes a List of Skilled Occupations. While there are no shortages of skilled workers in these occupations, New Zealand has identified these occupations as desirable.

Skilled Migrant Category:

If your occupation is defined as ‘skilled’, you may be eligible for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category. This is a points-based visa that considers factors such as:

  • Age;
  • Work experience;
  • Qualifications; and
  • An offer of employment.

You must also meet certain remuneration thresholds to be classified as a Skilled Migrant. You need to be either:

  • ANZSCO level 1 – 3 and paid NZ$24.29 or more per hour; or
  • ANZSCO level 4 – 5 and paid NZ$36.44 or more per hour.

What if your occupation is not a skills shortage list?

It is not necessarily the end of the road if your occupation does not appear on a New Zealand skilled shortage list. You may still be eligible for one of New Zealand’s visas.

The best way to find out which visa you may be eligible for is by means of an immigration assessment. An immigration assessment will reveal any migration pathways open to you.

Our initial assessment is free and non-obligatory. You can book it online, right now.

Once you’ve booked your assessment, one of our advisers will be in touch to complete the assessment and discuss the best way forward.

Get your FREE initial assessment here

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