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Applications and Priority Changes for Work to Residence Visas

On 29 September 2023, the Green List and Sector Agreement work to residence visas will be open for application. The three visa pathways addressed are:

Additionally, new processing priority for certain skill residence applications have been approved.

Wage and Experience Requirements for Green List

The Work to Residence Visas require 24 months of work experience. They must be gained:

  • While holding a work visa, or a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa with work rights
  • From 29 September 2021, and within 30 months from the date of their residence application

WTR Visa applicants also must meet the Green List role’s median wage or specific wage threshold both at the beginning of their 24-month work experience and when applying for residence.

If the median wage rises during these 24 months, they must meet the updated threshold upon visa application or job change. However, those who applied for a work visa or Critical Purpose Visitor Visa (with work rights) before this date are exempted, requiring only the median wage at the time of their residence application.

This exemption doesn’t apply to Accredited Employer Work Visa holders.

Processing Order priority for Skilled Residence Applications

From 29 September 2023, a new priority processing order will apply, recognising the importance of Tier 1 Green List occupations, highly paid workers, and well-qualified or well-paid Skilled Migrant Category applicants.

Processing priority will be given to some of these skilled residence applications:

Criteria for Processing Order priority

To have priority allocation, the applicant needs to be either:

Prioritisation means these applications will be allocated to immigration officers before other skilled residence applications. After priority allocation, assessment and verification is the same as all other skilled residence applications.

There is no cap on the number of Skilled Residence visas that can be granted. Visas will be granted to all applicants who meet the relevant immigration requirements.

For any questions regarding this update or any further immigration matters, please contact Arno Nothnagel, our NZ Immigration Director, here.

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