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In the year to June 30 2016 the top 20 work visa jobs included such positions as cafe or restaurant manager, retail manager (general) and waiter.  This paints a misleading picture of employment opportunities in New Zealand since none of these are on the Immediate Skills Shortage list (ISL) or the Long Term Skills Shortage List (LTSSL).

Bernard Hickey’s article in the New Zealand Herald  argues that there are too many visas and not enough pay for migrants, on the basis that Immigration New Zealand awarded 209,461 work visas in the year to June 30 2016 – up 23.5% since 2014.

Migration may be on the rise but is there a need for further workers?  What happens if an employer has advertised a position and been unable to fill it locally? They still need to find workers, even if there is no one available in-country to do the job.  Under certain circumstances, employers can request a work visa for a foreign worker who applies for the position.  This is one possible way that those hospitality jobs have been filled.

However, it is generally much easier to obtain a work visa if the position on offer is on one of the shortage lists. Inclusion on a shortage list would mean that it is accepted by Immigration New Zealand  that there is an acknowledged shortage of workers.  The shortage lists are regularly reviewed and updated.

In certain industry sectors in New Zealand there are a large number of vacancies available owing to the construction boom in Auckland, the Canterbury rebuild on the South Island and the expansion of the IT and Biotechnology industries within New Zealand.

That list of top 20 work visa jobs also included categories such as Software engineer, University lecturer, ICT support technicians and Developer programmer, all of which are higher skilled categories.  There are shortages of experienced and qualified personnel in various other sectors.

The diversity and scope of jobs available mean that a migrant with qualifications and experience may have many options.  This can include pathways to residency as well as employment.  A consultation with a Lawlor & Associates licensed immigration adviser will help you identify which is the most suitable pathway for you.