The Green Party is calling for an expansion of the government's one-off residence visa.

An estimated 165,000 migrant workers in New Zealand and their families are eligible if they have been here at least three years, earn more than $27 an hour or work in a job on a skills shortage list.

But the Greens' immigration spokesperson Ricardo Menendez March said the line has been drawn clumsily as it ruled out many essential workers who were on different visas.

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