Skill Shortages Essential Skills in Demand Lists (ESID)

Some skills can be hard to find in New Zealand. Hiring workers from overseas can help fill these gaps. We have three different lists that record the skill shortages in New Zealand, and a List of Skilled Occupations.

If the position you want to fill is on one of these lists it means suitable New Zealanders are hard to find and a visa can be granted to a qualified worker from overseas.

See if your job is on a skill shortage list

Long Term Skill Shortage

The Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) identifies occupations where there is a sustained shortage of highly skilled workers throughout New Zealand.

If the job you are recruiting for is on the LTSSL, you are not required to provide evidence of your attempts to recruit a New Zealand citizen or resident. If your migrant worker is qualified for the job and meets the requirements specified for that occupation, they may be granted either an Essential Skills Work Visa or a LTSSL Work Visa. If they apply for a Work to Residence visa, they can apply for residence after two years.

Long Term Skill Shortage work visa

Essential Skills work visa

Immediate Skill Shortage

The Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL) is regionally based and identifies occupations for which there is a skill shortage within a region. This makes it easier to support a work visa as you are not required to provide evidence of your attempts to recruit a New Zealand citizen or resident.

If the job you are recruiting for is on the ISSL, and your migrant worker meets the requirements specified for that occupation, they may be granted an Essential Skills Work Visa. This means that they are permitted to work in New Zealand temporarily.

Essential Skills work visa

Canterbury Skill Shortage

The Canterbury Skill Shortage List (CSSL) contains occupations in critical shortage in the Canterbury region. It includes skill shortages in occupations relevant to the Canterbury rebuild. If the job you are recruiting for appears on the CSSL and is located in Canterbury, your migrant worker may be granted an Essential Skills Work Visa.

Essential Skills work visa

List of Skilled Occupations

The List of Skilled Occupations does not record skill shortages, but a worker in one of these skilled occupations may be able to apply for residence. If the job you are recruiting for is on the List of Skilled Occupations, then your migrant worker may be eligible to apply for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category.

This is a points-based visa that considers factors such as age, work experience, qualifications and an offer of skilled employment.

Skilled Migrant Category

Reviewing the Skill Shortage Lists

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) reviews the Immediate and Long Term Skill Shortage Lists annually. The Canterbury List is reviewed more often because the skills needed change more often. When the lists are reviewed, MBIE decides whether any occupations need to be added, removed or moved from one list to another.

Skill Shortage Lists and review process