Sep 29, 2023

Immigration policy updates – September 2023

Cyclone Gabrielle Response Recovery Visa

As of 23 September 2023, this category is closed to new applicants. Anyone already on a Recovery Visa however, can apply for a three-month extension, allowing them time to transition to longer term work visas if necessary. Get in touch with our team if you need help with this transition – we can advise on the best visa type.

New Roles to be added to the Construction and Infrastructure Sector Agreement

The government has announced that new roles will be added to the Construction and Infrastructure Sector Agreement from early 2024. These are;

  • Driller’s Assistant  
  • Earthmoving Labourer
  • Earthmoving Plant Operator (General)  
  • Linemarker 
  • Machine Operators n.e.c  
  • Mechanic’s Assistant   
  • Road Traffic Controller

Currently, roles under this Sector Agreement are covered by a median wage exemption. Look out for our discussion on the median wage increase.

New Roles to be added to the Green List

From March 2024, seventeen new roles will be added to the New Zealand Green List. These additions are part of regular reviews conducted by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Details about the specific role requirements (e.g. pay or qualification requirements), and whether each role falls under the Straight to Residence or Work to Residence pathway will be released closer to the date.

We are hopeful that the occupations below will have any time incurred on a visa counted towards their residency eligibility, as has been the case for other occupations previously added.

  • Aviation Engineer (Avionics, Aeronautical, Aerospace Engineer)
  • Naval Architects (aka Marine Designer)
  • Mechanical Engineering Technician
  • ICT Database and System Administrator
  • Aircraft Maintenance Engineer
  • Road Roller Operator
  • Paving Plant Operator
  • Corrections Officer
  • Metal Fabricator
  • Pressure Welder
  • Welder
  • Fitter (General)
  • Fitter and Turner
  • Fitter-Welder
  • Metal Machinist (First Class)
  • Panel Beater
  • Vehicle Painter

Increase in cap for the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme

The current cap for the RSE scheme is increasing by 500 to 19,500 for the 2023/2024 season.

This means more workers from the participating Pacific countries will be able to come to New Zealand to supplement the workforce in the horticultural and wine sectors.

Legislative changes to the out-of-hours compliance visits

An update in the Immigration Act 2009 means that a judicial warrant will need to be sought for out-of-hours compliance visits by MBIE. Operational recommendations have been made and MBIE is in the process of implementing these. Legislative changes continue to be worked on and a standalone bill will be passed as soon as possible in the next term.


Zinny Cheng
Corporate Services Manager – Visas
IAA License #201600617

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