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New Zealand Care Workforce Residence Pathway: Your Gateway to Permanent Residency

If you aspire to become a resident of New Zealand through a career in the Care Workforce sector, there's good news for you. As of 29 September 2023, those in certain roles who meet revised criteria will be eligible for residence, along with their immediate family members.


We explore the requirements and steps to achieving this exciting opportunity below.


Eligibility Criteria

To apply for residence with a Care Workforce role, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Work Experience: You should have worked in a Care Workforce sector occupation in New Zealand for a minimum of 24 months within the 30 months immediately preceding your residence application. This experience doesn't need to be continuous and can also include periods of parental leave.

  2. Work Start Date: Only work experience gained in New Zealand after 29 September 2021 will be considered. Therefore, the earliest you can apply for Care Workforce Work to Residence is 29 September 2023.

  3. Salary: Throughout the 24-month period, you must have been paid at or above the Level 4 rate, which is $28.25 per hour.

  4. Visa: At the time of lodging your residence application, you must hold either an Accredited Employer Work Visa or another work visa (e.g., Essential Skills) that you applied for before 4 July 2022. You must also have current employment with an accredited employer, or an offer of employment that meets certain criteria.

  5. Role Requirements: Your role must be genuine, involve a minimum of 30 hours per week, and be either permanent or for a fixed term of at least 12 months. It should align with a role on the Care Workforce sector occupation list (below).

  6. Age, Health, and Character: You must be under 56 years old, in acceptable health, and of good character.

  7. English Language Proficiency: You should meet the English language requirement, equivalent to IELTS 6.5.


Care Workforce Sector Occupation List

The following roles are recognized under the Care Workforce sector occupation list, each with its respective ANZSCO classification code:

  • Kaiawhina (Hauora) (Maori Health Assistant) (411512)

  • Disabilities Services Officer (411712)

  • Residential Care Officer (411715)

  • Aged or Disabled Carer (423111)

  • Nursing Support Worker (423312)

  • Personal Care Assistant (423313)

  • Therapy Aide (423314)

  • Child or Youth Residential Care Assistant (423411)

  • Diversional Therapist (411311)


Next Steps

If you meet these eligibility criteria and are working in the Care Workforce sector, you may have a promising pathway to residence in New Zealand.


Residence visa applications are often complex and challenging, so seeking guidance from professionals experienced in dealing with the issues involved is strongly recommended.


At MILNZ, we provide expert advice so you understand your eligibility, and what is required, which will ultimately increase the chances of a successful application.


To assess your residence eligibility, get in touch with one of our friendly immigration lawyers who can discuss your eligibility, and the way forward from here to achieve residence of this beautiful country. Your dream of New Zealand residency is closer than you think!




Nurse working in New Zealand helping the elderly
Care Workforce in New Zealand

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