Work to Residence - Care Workforce

To be eligible to apply for residence with a Care Workforce role, an applicant must have worked in a Care Workforce sector occupation in New Zealand for at least 24 months, and within the 30 months immediately prior to lodging their residence application. This period of work does not have to be obtained in consecutive months, and it can also include any parental leave undertaken. Work comprising a Green List Work to Residence role or a Highly Paid role can also be combined with Care Workforce experience to achieve the required 2 years.

Only work experience gained in New Zealand after 29 September 2021 can be counted, and so the earliest a Care Workforce Work to Residence application can be lodged will be 29 September 2023. Applicants must have been paid at or above the Level 4 rate* (Support Workers (Pay Equity) Settlements Act 2017) for the duration of the 24-month period.

At the time of lodging their residence application, the applicant must hold an Accredited Employer Work Visa or another work visa (e.g., Essential Skills) applied for before 4 July 2022. They must have current employment for an accredited employer, or an offer of employment with an accredited employer, where they are paid at or above the Level 4 rate per hour in a Care Workforce sector occupation. The role must be genuine and for a minimum of 30 hours per week. It must be permanent or for a fixed term of at least 12 months and match a role on the Care Workforce sector occupation list although it is the main job tasks, and not the role title itself, which finally determines whether the role is acceptable.

All Care Workforce Work to Residence applicants must also, at the time of the residence application:
  • Be aged under 56 years
  • Be of acceptable health and character
  • Meet the English language requirement – equivalent to IELTS 6.5. It is expected that meeting this English requirement will be one of the main challenges facing workers and enrolling in English language programmes to progress their English should happen sooner rather than later

Roles on the Care Workforce sector occupation list are as follows (with ANZSCO classification codes):
  • 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)

* From 1 July 2022 – 31 December 2023, the level 4 rate is $28.25.

It is estimated that there are over 2,000 visa holders working in the care workforce sector with around 75% of these workers from India and the Philippines.
If you are a care workforce worker you may now have a pathway to residence. Please contact one of our friendly professional Licenced Immigration Advisers to provide a free assessment of your residence eligibility.

PS: This is not a Green List pathway but is very similar.