New Zealand plays the game of skilled migrants | information age


If you’ve always wanted to live in New Zealand, now is your chance. Image: Shutterstock

New Zealand is trying to attract IT professionals by accelerating residency applications for certain in-demand roles as it prepares for a full reopening of borders by the end of July.

Six ICT roles in the Australian and New Zealand Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) appear on the green list which will reduce the requirements for employers who want to import workers from July 4 and let those workers apply for residency from September.

Around 20,000 migrants already in New Zealand will also have their visas extended.

“We know that a major constraint for businesses is access to a skilled workforce,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

“This plan will increase the available labor pool, while accelerating the recovery of our tourism.

“By helping to fill urgent skills shortages, opening up tourism and securing our immigration settings, we are building on our proven plan to secure New Zealand’s economic future.”

For employers, the green list means they can circumvent some of the immigration requirements designed to encourage the hiring of Kiwis rather than international migrants.

Specifically, employers will not have to prove that they have advertised the position to New Zealanders as well, as is currently required for the Accredited Employer Work Visa.

Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi called the Green List a “cornerstone” of the country’s immigration adjustment programme.

“[It] will incentivize and attract highly skilled migrants to New Zealand, providing a new, streamlined pathway to residency for those who are hard to fill globally,” he said.

“Our rebalanced immigration system will be simpler, reduce categories, bring more online accessibility and streamline application processes for businesses.”

The six ANZSCO ICT roles on the New Zealand Green List are: Chief Information Officer (ANZSCO 135111), ICT Project Manager (ANZSCO 135112), ICT Managers ANZSCO 135199), Software Engineer (ANZSCO 261313), ICT Security Specialist (ANZSCO 262112), and Multimedia Specialist (ANZSCO 261211).

The minimum salary to qualify for these roles is around $108,000 (NZ$120,000) – with the exception of the media specialist who has a minimum salary requirement of around $86,000 (NZ$95,000).

Half of these roles also appear on Australia List of Skilled Occupations for Priority Migration which prioritizes immigration processing to workers in 44 necessary occupations.

New Zealand will fully reopen its border to all tourists and visa holders just before midnight on July 31.

This is the first time New Zealand will be open to the world since being closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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