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This article was originally published on July 27, 2022, and was updated on September 15, 2022, to reflect new information.

September 15, 2022 Update: The government of New Zealand officially launched the Straight to Residence permanent residence pathway on September 15, 2022. Eligible applicants must hold a position listed under New Zealand’s Green List and have all qualification requirements expected of the role. In addition, the applicant must be employed full-time (at least 30 hours a week) or hold a position under a 12-month fixed-term contract. For additional information on eligibility requirements, check here. According to the government announcement, this new permanent residence pathway will help relieve workforce shortages throughout the country.

Original Post from July 27, 2022:

Key Points

  • On July 27, 2022, the government of New Zealand announced three new residence categories intended for highly skilled migrants working in hard-to-fill occupations


The government of New Zealand announced three new residence categories to attract migrants for specific highly skilled, hard-to-fill occupations. These three new applications will include the Straight to Residence category, the Work to Residence category, and the Highly Paid category.

The Straight to Residence and Work to Residence categories will be designated for foreign nationals currently employed in Green List occupations. Employers will be allowed to complete a Job Check for the Accredited Employer Work Visa without proof of having advertised the position, so long as the employee meets the minimum requirements needed for the role. The Highly Paid resident visa will be designated for those earning twice the median wage in New Zealand.

Additional qualification requirements for the Work to Residence and Highly Paid pathways include ensuring that the employee has worked for 24 months in New Zealand. The 24-month period will apply to employees who worked from September 29, 2021, onward. This will allow individuals who do not meet the qualification requirements of the 2021 Resident Visa to apply under either of the two new pathways.

These new residence categories will open for eligible employees on the following dates:

  • The Straight to Residence: Opens September 5, 2022
  • The Work to Residence: Opens September 29, 2023
  • The Highly Paid: Opens September 29, 2023

For further information on qualification requirements for these three new categories, check here.

The Skilled Migrant resident category will be closed to applicants while the government works to refine these three new residence categories.

What are the Changes?

The government of New Zealand will introduce three new residence visa categories beginning in September 2022. These categories will be available for highly skilled migrants working in occupations that are difficult to fill in New Zealand.

Looking Ahead

The government is expected to release further information on qualification requirements for these three new resident categories in the coming weeks. The Straight to Residence category will open for applications in early September 2022. Continue to check the government of New Zealand’s website for the latest updates and information.

Written by: Jessie Butchley, Global Immigration Writer, Envoy Global
Source: Immigration New Zealand

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