Knowledge - Energy - Dedication

Work visas - turning a Bush Regenerator into a silviculturist

We are busy with visa applications for forestry workers and silviculturists, due to increased
forest sector activity. The Government’s focus on tree planting, a zero-carbon economy, and
carbon incentives has seen our forestry grow to near capacity.

Clients ask how they can import skilled workers for forest regeneration work, including
silviculturists eager to learn but who do not have sufficient skills or experience to qualify for a
work visa.

Silviculture migrant staff need an ANZCO 4 classification to qualify to work in New Zealand.
This means they must have a Level 2 NZQA qualification, or at least one year’s relevant
forestry experience. Some candidates are declined because of the lack of skills or work
experience, and this has created a skill shortage.

Fortunately, a new worker classification has been approved by Immigration New Zealand,
known as the ANZCO Level 5 “Bush Regenerator”. This is good news because the ANZSCO 5
classification has a much simpler entry requirement. A Bush Regenerator is someone who
plants trees to regenerate a forest. The required skill-set does not include chain-sawing, as
is required for tree pruning or trimming. This job is a low-skilled role for seasonal tree

It gets more interesting. To get the application over the line, you may be required or may
choose to offer on-the-job training for health and safety and planting techniques. If the
worker is able to do more training while in New Zealand, then he or she could potentially
increase his or her skills to a NZQA Level 2, which will bump them to a Level 4 ANZCO. The
employer can then apply for a subsequent work visa for that worker as a silviculturist.

With the right training and opportunity, an employer can grow its own silviculturist team from
the Bush Regenerators brought into New Zealand.

Our immigration specialists are eager to help with your work visa applications. Dewhirst Law
takes the paperwork away, so you can get on with growing your business and your team.