Transport sector agreement finalised and Green List changes confirmed

28 Apr, 2023

Last week in our webinar we went through some of the updates that the Minister of Immigration Hon. Michael Wood outlined regarding the Green List. Just announced this afternoon are further updates as follows.


It has been announced that effective immediately there is a median wage exemption for bus drivers set at $28 for an Accredited Employer Work Visa.

To be eligible for the exemption, the role must either:

be for an employer who has signed the All Parties Memorandum of Understanding on Improving Bus Driver Pay and Conditions, or
be as a school bus driver on a Ministry of Education-funded school bus service.

Visas (AEWV) will be issued for 3 years, despite being paid below the median wage. Please note that other roles covered by the transport sector agreement are not exempt from the median wage threshold.

From 29 September 2023, those under the sector agreement in the following professions will have a 2-year work to residence pathway where they meet the following:

  • bus drivers working for an eligible employer in an eligible role (as set out above)
  • truck drivers primarily driving vehicles that require a class 4 or 5 licence
  • ship’s masters (skippers) — must hold Skipper Restricted Limits for 500GT endorsement, or higher qualification by the time they apply for residence
  • deck hands — must hold Qualified Deck Crew or higher qualification by the time they apply for residence.
  • The agreement is uncapped and will be reviewed after 12 months. Any changes made to the sector agreement after a review will not affect migrants already on their 2-year work to residence pathway.


The further announced occupations will be added to the ‘Straight to Residence’ Green List pathway on 29 May 2023, as well as the ‘Work to Residence’ Green List.

Occupations will have specific requirements such as:

  • Licensing
  • Registration
  • Certifications
  • Qualifications
  • Employment location
  • Minimum earnings

When the additional roles are added to the Green List on 29 May 2023, employers will not be required to show evidence of advertising when they submit a job check, and migrants working in these roles will be eligible to sponsor a partner on an open work visa.