50 in-demand jobs in New Zealand that South Africans can apply for

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has published its Year at the Border report for 2018 showing that between July 2017 and June 2018, the country’s immigration screened millions of hopefuls looking to live and work in island country.

In the 2017/18 year there were:

  • 850,000 visa applications involving 1.1 million people;
  • 230,000 work visa applications;
  • 105,000 student visa applications;
  • 23,000 residence applications.

The report also shows that New Zealand immigration is strict about who it allows into the country with INZ making 4,579 decisions to either prevent a passenger from boarding a flight to New Zealand or refusing a passenger entry into the country upon arrival.

New Zealand is becoming an increasingly popular destination for emigrating South Africans, who want to live in a safer environment, with greater job prospects.

Historically South Africans have entered the country on residence and work visas, however, the data shows that there has also been an increase in student visa-arrivals in recent years.

Notably, the data shows a sharp rise of accepted applicants in 2017 and 2018, with more than 5,534 South Africans moving to the country by November 2018 alone.


At the end of November 2018, New Zealand’s Department of Education said that it would be targeting countries with teaching qualifications that are similar to New Zealand – including South Africa – to help deal with its teacher shortage.

However, there are a number of other employment opportunities also open to South Africans, with Statistics New Zealand finding that around 2,953 South Africans moved to the country on a work visa in 2018.

These jobs are typically split into two different categories – the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) and the Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL).

New Zealand also recently added the Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List (CISSL) which primarily focuses on trade jobs.

Alternatively, Immigration New Zealand has developed a search tool that allows you to search whether your job currently falls under either of these categories.

Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL)

The Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) identifies occupations where there is a sustained and on-going shortage of highly skilled workers both globally and throughout New Zealand.

If you get a job in an occupation on the LTSSL and meet the list requirements, you may be granted a Work to Residence visa under the Long Term Skill Shortage List work visa.

This means that you may be eligible to apply for residence in two years, provided you meet standard requirements and that job has a base salary of at least NZ$45,000.

Some of these jobs include:

Automotive electrician Industrial engineer
Chef (Chef de Partie or higher) Procurement manager
Chemical engineer Medical radiation therapist
Civil engineer Network administrator
Clinical psychologist Obstetrician and gynaecologist
Electrician Physiotherapist
Environmental research scientist Quantity surveyor
Film animator Surgeon
General practitioner Telecommunications engineer
ICT business analyst Veterinarian
ICT project manager Web developer

Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL)

The Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL) includes occupations where skilled workers are immediately required in New Zealand and indicate that there are no New Zealand citizens or residents available to take up the position.

If you are offered a job on the ISSL and meet the list requirements you may be granted an Essential Skills work visa. This means that you are permitted to work in New Zealand temporarily. You won’t necessarily be able to apply for residence.

Some of these jobs include:

Accountant Midwife
Anesthetic technician Motor mechanic
Baker Outdoor adventure guide
Beef/Dairy farmer Panelbeater
Bricklayer Paediatrician
Cardiologist Nurse
Carpenter Roof tiler
Civil engineering draughtsperson Scaffolder
Construction project manager Snowsport instructor
Glazier Telecommunications technician
Medical Officer Winemaker

Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List (CISSL)

The Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List (CISSL) contains occupations in critical shortage in the Construction industry across New Zealand.

If your skills appear on the CSSL and meet the list requirements, you may be granted an Essential Skills work visa. If the occupation is also on the LTSSL, then you may also be able to apply for residence.

Some of these jobs include:

Construction project manager Carpenter
Surveyor Floor Finisher
Civil engineer Glazier
Structural engineer Roof tiler
Electrical engineer Plumber
Telecommunications engineer Airconditioning and refrigeration mechanic
Building inspector Truck driver
Metal fabricator Engineering draughtsperson
Welder Drainlayer
Bricklayer Telecommunications technician
Stonemason Scaffolder

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50 in-demand jobs in New Zealand that South Africans can apply for