Green List Residency Details Released

The government has just released the Green List residence policy details, including the fees and criteria in more detail.

The Green List is a new list of 85 occupations that qualify for a fast-track to residence or have access to a work to residence pathway. A range of jobs are on the list, including health workers, vets, engineers and ICT specialists. 

Residence Eligibility
There are general application requirements for the Straight to Residence, Work to Residence and Highly Paid Residence Visas. These are that on the date you apply for your residence visa:

  • you are aged 55 or younger
  • you, and if applicable your partner, and dependent children aged 16 or over, meet the English language requirements
  • you and any family in your application meet health and character requirements for residence.

A few key points to note

Accreditation: The first key takeaway with the new policy detail is that employers must gain accreditation status – all three of these residence pathways require an employer to be accredited at some point. 

English language: The second key message is that there is now an English language requirement. This could be an issue for some people. For example, you may be highly experienced in ICT with the strong coding skills needed in New Zealand, but if you miss out on the English language test by even half a mark, then you’re out of luck. 

Contractors: The policy also means that contractors can apply for residency, yet the work visa system still doesn’t acknowledge independent contractors. This is a strange anomaly that has been carried over from a previous policy and never amended. So this is going to be a problem especially given that more and more people around the world are moving toward an independent contractor model.

ICT salary: Another point to note is the $180,000 salary requirement for project managers, software engineers, and ICT security specialists who are working as independent contractors – along with a minimum of 10 years work experience. I think this is outrageous – it means that anyone in these roles won’t get Straight to Residence unless they’re paid that amount. The only conclusion I can draw is that the government wants to make it harder to get Straight to residence for those who choose not to be employees.

If we are trying to resolve a skill shortage surely it is about getting the skills into New Zealand, why are we worried about their employment status?

Job description: The final takeaway, and an important one, is that you have to show that the job is ‘substantially consistent’ with the description to the ANZSCO tasks. So you’re going to have people who are on the Green List faced with having to prove all the tasks they do and provide evidence. This seems to be putting us back into the same administrative nightmare we had with the ANZSCO description under the previous skilled migrant policy- arguments over whether a job is a substantial match.  

Essentially, there’s the familiar element of ‘smoke and mirrors’ with this policy. On the face of it, it seems very simple but when you dig down into it there are a lot of areas that could really foul up people’s plans.

Looking for help to become accredited or to apply for the Green List Visa? Contact our team. 

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