The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has completed its annual review of two of the Essential Skills in Demand (ESID) Lists - the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) and the Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL). The Ministry regularly reviews the ESID lists to ensure that they meet the changing needs of the labor market. The ESID changes take effect on February 27, 2017.
Long Term Skill Shortage List
The LTSSL identifies occupations that have a shortage of skilled workers both globally and throughout New Zealand. Foreign workers under one of these occupations may be granted a Work to Residence visa, which offers benefits such as eligibility to apply for residence after two years if the standard requirements are met.
As a result of the review of the LTSSL, the following occupations have been removed from the shortage list:
- Registered Nurse (Aged Care);
- Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency);
- Registered Nurse (Medical);
- Registered Nurse (Perioperative);
- Ship's Engineer;
- Ship's Master; and
- Ship's Officer.
Immediate Skill Shortage List
The ISSL identifies occupations that have an immediate shortage of skilled workers. Qualified foreign nationals seeking to work in occupations on the ISSL may be granted a work visa under the Essential Skills category, which allows faster application processing than for those not on the ISSL.
As a result of the review of the ISSL, the following occupations have been added to the shortage list:
- Cabler (Data and Telecommunications);
- Composite Technician;
- Floor Finisher;
- Telecommunications Cable Jointer; and
- Telecommunications Technician.
There are certain regional qualifications for the above occupations.
Lastly, the following occupations have been removed from the shortage list:
- Registered Nurse (Mental Health); and
What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals
The updated LTSSL may impact foreign workers who have an expression of interest in the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) pool on or after February 27, 2017 and who have claimed points for an occupation or qualification in an area of absolute skills shortage. Foreign nationals whose expression of interest was selected from the pool before February 27, 2017 will be subject to the LTSSL that was in place before February 27.
Since removal from a skill shortage list does not mean that a foreign national cannot enter New Zealand, affected foreign nationals should contact their immigration professional to discuss other immigration options.