Navigating the New Zealand Green List: What Migrants Need to Know in 2023

Navigating the New Zealand Green List: What Migrants Need to Know in 2023
New Zealand, with its stunning landscapes and promising career opportunities, has always been a highly attractive destination for skilled migrants. The country’s immigration system has been designed to facilitate and encourage the influx of foreign talent, especially those in occupations identified as critical to the nation’s development. In this guide, we’ll take a deep dive into New Zealand’s Green List and what the 2023 changes mean for migrants.

What is the Green List?

The New Zealand Green List is a list of occupations that are eligible for a skilled migrant visa. To be eligible to apply for a visa under the Green List, applicants must meet certain eligibility criteria. This includes being under 56 years of age at the time of application and having a job offer or an employment contract from an accredited New Zealand employer. Furthermore, proof of English proficiency is required unless the applicant is from an English-speaking country or has resided in one for a minimum of five years.

Understanding the Tiers

The Green List is divided into Tier-1 and Tier-2. The former provides an immediate fast-track residence pathway, while the latter offers a work-to-residence pathway. In 2023, authorities made a significant move by shifting some occupations from Tier-2 to Tier-1 and adding new occupations to Tier-2, opening up more avenues for skilled migrants.
Healthcare professionals, including registered nurses, midwives, and specialist doctors, were among those shifted to Tier-1, allowing these professionals to apply immediately for residence. The noteworthy aspect of this shift is that these healthcare professionals no longer need to have two years of work experience, thus easing the pathway to residency.

New Occupations Added to Tier-2

The government added several new occupations to Tier-2 in 2023, which requires a minimum of two years of work experience for eligibility. The newly added occupations span a range of industries, including education, telecommunications, and construction. Primary school teachers, skilled crane operators, and gasfitters are just a few examples of the professions now included in Tier-2.

The Future of the Green List

The revisions to the Green List are seen as a win for migrants seeking residency in New Zealand. The country’s government has recognized the importance of attracting skilled talent to bolster the nation’s competitiveness. Looking ahead, further revisions to the Green List are expected in mid-2023, which are likely to continue favoring immigrants.


Navigating New Zealand’s immigration system can be complex, but understanding the Green List and its recent changes is a crucial first step. The 2023 revisions have expanded opportunities for skilled migrants, particularly in healthcare and several other industries. If you’re a skilled professional considering a move to New Zealand, keeping a close eye on the Green List could open the door to exciting new opportunities in this beautiful and vibrant country.

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