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New Zealand’s skills shortage provides opportunities for South African expats

By September 28, 2018January 30th, 2023FinGlobal

New Zealand’s skills shortage provides opportunities for South African expats

September 28, 2018


New Zealand has recently updated their skills and job shortage list in order to attract expats with the necessary skills they are looking for. To help expats with searching for which skills are in high demand in New Zealand a new online tool has been launched enabling interested expats to immediately identify if their skills are needed.

New Zealand has always been a popular destination for South African expats who are attracted to its work-life balance, wide, open spaces and the friendly nature of its residents. A study by Pew Research found that in 2017, 60 000 people living in New Zealand were originally born in South Africa and had either emigrated as children or as adults.

New Zealand’s three different skills shortage lists

New Zealand has three different skills shortage lists:

The Long Term Skill Shortage List

This list identifies occupations where there is a sustained shortage of highly skilled workers throughout New Zealand. If the job you are interested in falls on this list – an employer in New Zealand does not have to prove that they have attempted to recruit a New Zealand citizen for this position. Instead, if you are qualified for the position and meet its requirements, you may be granted either an Essential Skills Work Visa or a LTSSL Work Visa.

If you apply for a Work to Residence visa, you can apply for residence after two years. In order to apply for residence, you must have held the job for two years and have a salary above NZ$45 000.

Jobs on this list include: Automotive Electrician, Industrial Engineer, Procurement Manager, Chemical Engineer; Chef (Chef de Partie or higher), Clinical Psychologist, Electrician, Physiotherapist, Quantity Surveyor and many more.

Immediate Skill Shortage

This list is regionally based and lists occupations where there is a skill shortage within a region in New Zealand. If you have the relevant skills and requirements to fulfil a position on this list, you may be granted an Essential Skills Work Visa, which allows you to work in New Zealand temporarily.

Jobs on this list include: Accountant, Baker, Bricklayer, Beef or Dairy Farmer, Paediatrician, Panel Beater, Wine Maker and many others.

Canterbury Skill Shortage

This list contains occupations that are critically short in the Canterbury region and includes many skill shortages in occupations that are relevant to the rebuilding of Canterbury.

New Zealand also has a list of Skilled Occupations that are in demand. This list does not record skill shortages but if you have the skills required on this list then you may be eligible to apply for a resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category. This is a points-based visa and points are awarded for factors including age, work experience and qualifications.

If you are a South African living and working abroad and would like to know more about how you can maximise your finances through financial emigration from South Africa, or if you would like to cash in a South African retirement annuity abroad contact us today. We offer a range of financial emigration services that is designed for South African expatriates living and working abroad.


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