Annual review 2015

See my blog post on the 2016 review of the Essential Skills in Demand Lists to be informed on the latest changes.

There are three Essential Skills in Demand lists:

  1. Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL)
  2. Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL)
  3. Canterbury Skill Shortage List  

For many migrants these are important lists as it might be easier to get your visa approved if your occupation is on one of these lists AND you meet the exact requirements on the list.

Immigration New Zealand completes a review of the Long Term and Immediate Skills Shortage list every year.The new and revised lists are effective from today (30 March 2015).
The Canterbury Skill Shortage list is reviewed several times a year.

How do the changes affect you

If you work or have a job offer in one of the occupations that have been removed, don’t worry! You probably will still be able to obtain a work or resident visa. You might have to go through some additional steps in the visa application process though. 
If you do not have a job offer or work in New Zealand yet, do not be alarmed either. Just because these occupations have been removed from the shortage lists, that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a high demand for them.

If you just want to start your EOI process or your EOI has not been selected from the pool double check that 

  • you have not claimed (bonus) points that you are not entitled to
  • you still have enough points to make the required pass mark 

If you are concerned about how this might affect your immigration prospects, call Feija on +64 (0)22 381 5145 or send an email to I’m happy to look with you at your situation and see what the best option is for you.

Long Term Skill Shortage List

The LTSSL identifies occupations that have an absolute (sustained and ongoing) shortage of skilled workers both globally and throughout New Zealand. Migrants who gain employment in one of these occupations may be granted a work visa under the LTSSL Work to Residence or Essential Skills instructions. Migrants applying for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category may gain bonus points towards their application if they have an offer of employment, work experience or qualifications in an area of absolute skill shortage identified on the LTSSL.

Summary of changes

  • remove External Auditor
  • remove the following 19 occupations for which there have been very low volumes of work visas over the last five years and for which other immigration options are more suited 

  • Aeronautical Engineer
  • Life Scientist nec (Animal Scientist or Bioinformatics)
  • Agricultural Engineer
  • Marine Designer
  • Agricultural Scientist (Farm Systems Scientist)
  • Medical Oncologist
  • Biomedical Engineer
  • Mining Engineer (excluding Petroleum)
  • Biotechnologist (Genetics Scientist)
  • Network Analyst
  • Cardiac Technician (Clinical Cardiac Physiologist including Perfusionist)
  • Nuclear Medicine Technologist
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Radiation Oncologist
  • Intensive Care Specialist
  • Social Professional nec* (Applied Social Scientist)
  • Life Scientist (Regulatory Toxicologist)
  • Transport Engineer
  • Life Scientist nec (Anatomist or Physiologist (Clinical Respiratory Physiologist/Scientist))
*nec means Not Elsewhere Classified

  • remove two occupations (Construction Project Manager (Chip sealing, Asphalt or other Technical Manager) (Roading and Infrastructure) and Environmental Research Scientist (Water Quality Analyst)) which have separate over-lapping listings on the LTSSL and are therefore redundant
  • move University Lecturer from the LTSSL to the ISSL.

There has also been a tightening of requirements for Registered Nurses (Critical Care and Emergency, Medical, and Perioperative). Now to meet the LTSSL requirements, these nurses must have five years’ post-qualification experience.

All other LTSSL occupations remain unchanged.

Immediate Skill Shortage list

The ISSL identifies occupations that have an immediate shortage of skilled workers either throughout New Zealand or in certain regions. Migrants wishing to work in occupations on the ISSL may be granted work visas under Essential Skills instructions if they meet the specified qualifications and/or experience requirements.

Summary of changes

  • remove External Auditor and Flying Instructor (Glider Pilot Instructor)
  • remove Other Sports Coach or Instructor (Skydive Instructor) which has a separate over-lapping listing on the ISSL.
  • remove the following 23 occupations for which there have been very low volumes of work visas over the last five years and for which other immigration options are more suited 

  • Biotechnologist
  • Maintenance Planner
  • Cardiothoracic Surgeon
  • Microbiologist
  • Clinical Coder
  • Mixed Crop Farmer
  • Clinical Haematologist
  • Neurologist
  • Dental Therapist
  • Neurosurgeon
  • Dermatologist
  • Otorhinolaryngologist

  • Earth Science Technician
  • Paediatric Surgeon
  • Electronic Engineering Draftsperson
  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon
  • Electronic Instrument Trades Worker (Special Class)
  • Thoracic Medicine Specialist
  • Endocrinologist
  • Urologist
  • Gastroenterologist
  • Vascular Surgeon
  • Logging Plant Operator
Submissions to add Café or Restaurant Manager to the ISSL were declined.
Resident Medical Officer is being retained on the ISSL, with experience requirements being increased to two years’ post-qualification experience.