Understanding NZ's Green List: An Employer's Guide

Dive into the 2023 changes to New Zealand's Green List from an employer's perspective and learn how to leverage them.
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Last Updated On June 12, 2023
Contributors: Inder Singh. Edited By Denise Renshaw & Reviewed by Yongtian Liu.

As an employer in New Zealand, understanding the Green List and its changes can be a crucial factor in securing the right talent for your business. With recent shifts in 2023, the Green List has seen significant modifications that could impact how you recruit and retain skilled migrants. Let's delve into these changes and their implications from an employer's perspective.

The Green List: An Overview

The Green List is a catalogue of occupations eligible for a skilled migrant visa in New Zealand. It's divided into Tier-1 and Tier-2, with the former offering an immediate residence pathway and the latter providing a work-to-residence route. Eligibility for a visa under the Green List requires applicants to be under 56 years of age, have a job offer or employment contract from an accredited New Zealand employer, and meet certain English proficiency criteria.

Implications of the 2023 Shifts

Significant changes to the Green List in 2023 have resulted in the movement of certain occupations from Tier-2 to Tier-1, and the addition of new occupations to Tier-2. For employers, this means a broader pool of skilled professionals who can more readily obtain residence.

In particular, healthcare professionals, including registered nurses, midwives, and specialist doctors, have been shifted to Tier-1. This implies they can now apply immediately for Green List residence, without the need for two years of work experience, thereby expanding the pool of readily available healthcare professionals.

New Opportunities with Tier-2 Additions

The 2023 update saw the addition of several new occupations to Tier-2, which could be a boon for businesses in these sectors. Positions range from primary school teachers to skilled crane operators, presenting a wider array of skilled migrants for employers to recruit.

The Path Forward

These changes underscore the government's commitment to attracting and retaining skilled talent in New Zealand. As an employer, staying abreast of such shifts can help optimize your recruitment strategy and attract the best global talent. Looking ahead, further Green List revisions are anticipated in mid-2023, promising continued evolution in the skilled migrant landscape.


The changes to New Zealand's Green List offer fresh opportunities for employers to secure top-tier talent. By understanding these changes, employers can more effectively navigate the recruitment landscape, bolster their workforce, and contribute to the nation's ongoing growth.