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New Zealand Immigration Rules Update: Green List Expands and Other Key Changes

New Zealand's immigration rules
Photograph : 123RF

With numerous modifications coming to New Zealand’s immigration rules, attracting international employees has become a significant focus. Individuals planning to visit, work, study, live, start a business or invest in New Zealand must be aware of these changes taking effect soon.

Key updates to the immigration rules include:

  1. New Zealand modifies immigration rules to attract international employees.
  2. 17 new roles added to the Green List, including Aviation Engineer and Naval Architect.
  3. Recognised Seasonal Employer cap increased to 19,500 for the 2023/24 season.
  4. Recovery Visa closes to new applicants on 23 September 2023.
  5. Existing Recovery Visa holders can apply for a 3-month extension.
  6. Green List Work to Residence pathway applications open from 29 September 2023.
  7. Specific Purpose Work Visa includes new roles in Construction and Infrastructure Sector Agreement.

New Updates

The Green List is a collection of occupations that qualify for fast-tracked residence applications or access to work-to-residence pathways. Now expanded with 17 new roles from various sectors (including aviation engineering, naval architecture, database systems administration, and aircraft maintenance engineering), the updated list aims to attract skilled international workers looking for opportunities in New Zealand.

The additions will take effect in March 2024. Starting from 29 September 2023, already existing occupations on the Green List will become eligible for the Work-to-Residence pathway.

Migrants with two years of eligible work experience in a Green List occupation may apply for residence given they fulfill other requirements concerning age, health, character, and English language ability.

Furthermore, New Zealand is increasing their cap on Recognized Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme participants – those employed with temporary work visas – by 500 (amounting to 19,500) for the upcoming season (2023/24).

Since the Recovery Visa will stop accepting new applications from 23 September 2023, current visa holders have an opportunity to apply for a three-month extension. Eligible visa holders will receive adequate information from Immigration New Zealand regarding their options and how to apply for the Specific Purpose Work Visa.

Lastly, the Construction and Infrastructure Sector Agreement will gain new roles, such as Driller’s Assistant, Earthmoving Labourer, and Earthmoving Plant Operator.

Overall, these changes in New Zealand’s immigration rules highlight their commitment to supporting skilled international workers, expanding opportunities in various sectors, and easing visa transitions for migrants. Aspiring immigrants should take a closer look at these updates to assess potential pathways to working and living in this beautiful country.


Q: What is the Green List, and how does it benefit immigrants?

A: The Green List is a list of occupations that qualify for a fast track to residence or access to a work-to-residence pathway in New Zealand. It includes various jobs such as health workers, vets, engineers, and ICT specialists. By adding new roles to the Green List, New Zealand aims to attract more international employees.

Q: What are some of the roles added to the updated Green List?

A: Some newly added roles include Aviation Engineer (Avionics, Aeronautical, Aerospace Engineer), Naval Architect (Marine Designer), Mechanical Engineering Technician, ICT Database and System Administrator, and Aircraft Maintenance Engineer.

Q: When can migrants with eligible experience apply for a Work to Residence pathway?

A: Migrants with 2 years of eligible work experience in a Green List Work to Residence or eligible Sector Agreement role can apply for residence from 29 September 2023 if they meet other requirements related to age, health, character, and English language ability.

Q: What changes have been made to the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme cap?

A: The cap on the number of workers who may be employed under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme has been increased to 19,500 for the 2023/2024 season – 500 more than the previous year.

Q: What is happening with the Recovery Visa?

A: The Recovery Visa is closed to new applications from 23 September 2023. However, existing visa holders already in New Zealand will be able to apply for a 3-month extension to their Recovery Visas. This extension gives them time to transition to longer-term work visas if necessary.


In conclusion, the recent modifications to New Zealand’s immigration rules mark a significant shift towards attracting more international talent to the country. The addition of 17 new roles to the Green List, the increase in Recognised Seasonal Employer cap, and updates to the Construction and Infrastructure Sector Agreement all contribute to providing greater opportunities for migrants seeking employment and residency in New Zealand. The changes are coming into effect, and individuals interested in immigration need to be aware of the requirements and deadlines associated with these new policies to maximize their chances of.

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