The Essential Skills in Demand (ESID) Lists help to ensure New Zealand’s skills needs are met by facilitating the entry of appropriately skilled migrants to fill identified skill shortages.
There are three lists:
If you meet the skill requirements on these lists then we will accept that no New Zealanders are available for the position(s).
The focus of the lists is to identify skilled occupations where there is a genuine shortage of New Zealand workers. The lists are not designed for lower-skilled or seasonal labour shortages, or to cover shortages caused by recruitment and retention problems.
The Long-term Skill Shortage List (sometimes referred to as LTSSL) identifies occupations where there is a sustained and ongoing shortage of highly skilled workers both globally and throughout New Zealand. If you gain employment in one of these occupations, you may be granted a work visa under the Work to Residence category. After two years, Work to Residence visa holders are eligible to apply for residence, provided they meet standard requirements and work in an occupation on the Long-term List that has a base salary of at least NZ$45,000.
If you are applying for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category and you have an offer of employment, work experience, or qualifications in an area of work on the Long-term List, you may gain bonus points towards your application for residence.
The Immediate Skill Shortage List (sometimes referred to as the ISSL) includes occupations where skilled workers are immediately required either throughout New Zealand or in certain regions. It facilitates the approval of temporary work visa applications. If you apply for a work visa based on an offer of employment in an occupation that is included on the Immediate Skill Shortage List and you meet the requirements specified in the list, Immigration New Zealand will recognise there are no New Zealand citizens or residents available to take up the position. This removes the need to conduct a ‘labour market test’, enabling faster processing of the application.
If you are granted a work visa based on an occupation on this list, then you can only stay in New Zealand temporarily. You won’t necessarily be able to apply for residence.
Canterbury has special labour market needs because of the need to rebuild the region following recent earthquakes. The Canterbury Skill Shortage List (sometimes referred to as CSSL) contains occupations in critical shortage. If you have skills that appear on the Canterbury Skill Shortage List, then you may qualify for a temporary work visa.
If you meet the requirements of the occupations listed and you have a job offer in Canterbury, you may be granted a temporary work visa without a labour market check. The Canterbury List also draws on the occupations on the Immediate and Long-term Skill Shortage Lists that are relevant to the Canterbury rebuild. If the occupation is on the Long-term List, then you may also be able to apply for residence.
Employers wanting to bring migrant workers to New Zealand for occupations not on the lists may do so provided suitable New Zealanders are not available. Other immigration options that may be appropriate include:
See more about how the lists are reviewed and updated.