Wellington, Dec 19 (IANS) In a bid to address labour shortages and bump up the economy post Covid, New Zealand announced that nurses and midwives will now be eligible for immediate residency in the country.
Announcing a slew of changes, Immigration Minister Michael Wood said the country is expanding its Green List settings to include more professions and provide greater certainty to businesses as they recover from the pandemic.
Migrants working in the Green List roles have a clear pathway to residence in New Zealand.
While doctors were eligible for the straight-to-residency pathway, nurses and midwives were not.
“From Thursday (December 15), registered nurses and midwives will have an immediate pathway to the residence, including those already in New Zealand,” Wood said.
“Since the pandemic 3,474 nurses have arrived in the country, but it’s clear we need to do more to encourage nurses to choose New Zealand. Adding these roles will further build on the attractiveness of New Zealand to those looking to set themselves and their families up long term,” Wood said in a statement.
The minister added that from March 2023, the work to residence pathway will be further expanded to include all teachers, and will add in additional roles such as drain layers, motor mechanics, and skilled civil machine operators.
The Green List is a list of occupations that qualify for a fast-track to residence or have access to a work to residence pathway. A range of jobs are on the list, including health workers, vets, engineers and ICT specialists.
There are around 100 hard-to-fill roles included on the Green List, including roles in construction, engineering, trades, health, and tech.
The Green List of New Zealand has been under review for quite some time now and it will continue being reviewed in mid-2023.
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