Nurses are allowed to apply for residence only after two years of residing in NZ, as per the Green List recently released by the Immigration department.

Indian Weekender spoke to immigration experts on how the rule change will impact the inflow of migrant nurses to NZ.

Alastair McClymont accuses the Labour government of putting political expediency over everything else.  “The government would rather undermine the NZ economy, our health services and our economic recovery than admit that their ideological policy position is simply wrong and dangerous.”


Immigration lawyer Arran Hunt says the government clearly aims to promote the employment prospects of local graduate nurses leaving the  university. However, he notes that “new nurses may not be able to undertake roles that experienced nurses can fill.”  

Hunt predicts that this policy will force experienced migrant nurses to leave NZ in search of better prospects in other countries.

“After the mess that was the Skilled Migrant Category delays, created mostly by government policy, would you want to be a nurse, told to wait two years before you can even apply, and not knowing how long it will take to process your residence once you can apply?” he asks, adding that  this will only  exacerbate  the existing nursing shortage.

McClymont  cites  the Productivity Commission’s  report to support his stand that migrants do not suppress Kiwi wage rates and that “we must have clear pathways to residency to attract and retain the skills that are desperately needed”.