Migrants with two years of eligible work experience in a Green List or Sector Agreement role in New Zealand can apply for residence if they meet the required skill and wage thresholds. Applicants also need to meet standard residence requirements such as health, character, English language and age.
The three visa pathways available under Work to Residence are:
Skilled Residence: Green List Work to Residence visa
Skilled Residence: Care Workforce Work to Residence visa, and
Skilled Residence: Transport Sector Work to Residence visa
Things to note:
All work visa holders and Critical Purpose Visitor Visa holders with work rights can claim work experience for these residence pathways.
Applicants must have two years of work experience in a relevant role gained from 29 September 2021 and within 30 months from the date the residence application is made.
Applicants will also need to meet the relevant skill and wage thresholds.
Applicants must work for or have an offer of employment from an accredited employer to be eligible for a Work to Residence Visa.
Green List criteria
1. Green List Work to Residence
Applicants must earn at least the hourly rate specified in the Green List for their occupation for the duration of their 24-month work experience, or at least the median wage if there is no specified rate in the Green List for their occupation. If the occupation specific or median wage rate increases during the 24-month period, the applicant does not need to meet the new threshold until they make their residence application, unless they change employment.
Median wage exemption
There is one exemption to the median wage requirement for people applying under the Green List pathway. People who applied for their work or Critical Purpose Visitor Visa before 29 September 2023 only need to be paid at least the median wage at the time they are applying for residence. This exemption does not apply to Accredited Employer Work Visa holders or when there is a specific rate to be paid by the Green List for the occupation.
Sector Agreement criteria
Care Workforce and Transport Sector Work to Residence applicants must meet the specified pay requirement for the whole of the 24-month work experience in New Zealand when they apply for residence.
2. Care Workforce Work to Residence visa
Applicants must have worked in New Zealand for 24 months in a care workforce sector role that paid the level 4 support workers’ minimum wage per hour rate or more.
3. Transport Sector Work to Residence visa
Applicants must have worked in a transport sector role for 24 months and meet the role's work requirements.