The New Zealand Green List

Get New Zealand residency the day you land: check out the Green List jobs with residency pathways! Immigration New Zealand created the Green List to fast-track residency pathways for certain occupations, and consists of two tiers.

View the Green List

Find out if you can move to New Zealand

We’ve created a free 2-minute appraisal form to give you an idea of your chances to get a job in New Zealand and make the move here.

Get your free appraisal

Register for updates

We post regular news, host events (both live and online), and keep you informed about moving to and working in New Zealand.

Sign up to our updates

Dec 28, 2016

Resident visas through work

This page outlines the processes for getting Residence through working for an employer. If you’re an investor or an entrepreneur, the rules are slightly different, so please check out our Business immigration information.


This page outlines the processes for getting Residence through working for an employer. If you’re an investor or an entrepreneur, the rules are slightly different, so please check out our Business immigration information or visit to get in touch with specialists in the field of entrepreneur and business visas. If you are living offshore and you want to contact visa and immigration specialists you can also visit to find the best providers.
If you live in New Zealand and you want assistance with your residence visa visit Working In Visas and we will be able to assist. In the meantime read below for more information on becoming a resident!


The New Zealand Government sets a higher bar for Resident visas than it does for temporary ones, so they take longer and cost more. But they also provide much greater benefits. If you really want to live like a local, this is  hands-down the best option.

Permanent Residency has an intermediate phase, called – simply – Residency. The only difference is that Resident visas often come with travel restrictions, limiting the frequency and period in which you can enter and exit New Zealand.

After you’ve held a Resident visa for at least two years, and met all its conditions, you can apply for a Permanent Resident visa. With this, you’ll be able to come and go as you please, access most government services and – after a year – vote in public elections. The only thing better than this is citizenship, which you’ll need if you want to run for public office or try out for – say – the All Blacks. Also, Permanent Resident visas do not protect you from deportation, nor entitle you to consular protection by the New Zealand government.

There are two main ways to get a Resident visa:

Skilled Migrant visa: For people who have skills which are in short supply, and – ideally – a job offer in New ZealandWork to Residence visa” For people with skills that New Zealand needs, and who also have a job offer from an accredited employer

If you are here in the country already, then contact us and one of our team will assist you with your application.


If you’re a “skilled migrant” it means you’ve got skills or qualifications that are officially recognised as being in short supply by the New Zealand Government. They keep an interactive list here. It helps enormously if you’ve got a job offer that uses those skills.

If you think this is for you, you first need to submit an Expression of Interest to New Zealand Immigration. This requires you to profile yourself in terms of skills, family, health and character and so on. You can start and complete the Expression of Interest without all the supporting documentation.

If your expression of interest is accepted, Immigration New Zealand then invites you to make a formal application. That’s when you’ll need all your supporting evidence and documentation. We’ll help you through it.


This is a slightly faster channel, but also sets a slightly higher bar, than Skilled Migrant visas.
There are two differences.

First, in addition to having skills which New Zealand needs, you also need a job offer from an employer who’s accredited with New Zealand Immigration. Being accredited means they’ve met minimum best practice and ethical standards in international employment.

Second, if you have a job with an accredited employer, you could apply for a Permanent Resident visa without having to submit an Expression of Interest, as long as you’d held a Resident visa for at least two years, and – of course – met all its conditions.

Regardless of whether you apply through the Skilled Migrant Category, or through Work to Residency, you’ll be much, much more likely to succeed if you apply with the support of a licensed immigration advisor. Find out more about licensed immigration advisors.

If you want to be supported and have more certainty around your outcome use an immigration agency. If you are offshore, go to to find immigration and visa agents that can help you apply for residence.

If you are here in the country already, then contact us and one of our team of fully Licensed Immigration Advisers will assist you with your application.

Ask our visa team about choosing the right visa for you.

Start your journey to New Zealand…

Latest news

5 Steps on Moving to New Zealand

Discover the 5 essential steps to moving to New Zealand, including visa options, finding a job, and settling in. Start your journey to a new life in New Zealand today!

Benefits of living in New Zealand

Now is the perfect time to move to New Zealand with its strong economy, residency pathways, and world-class work-life balance.

Immigration Update – Median Wage threshold to increase in February

We have just received an update from Immigration New Zealand (INZ) on the median wage threshold, confirming that from 28 February 2024, a new median wage rate of $31.61 per hour will be applicable for the majority of work related temporary & residence visas.

News Archive