New Zealand changes border exception criteria for critical workers

11th September 2020

The Minister of Immigration has announced changes to border exceptions for critical workers, following on from similar changes to border exceptions for temporary work visa holders.

The announcement provides more clarity to the assessment criteria for employers wanting to request a border exception for their workers under the ‘other critical worker’ category.

The are two key changes to the criteria for employers seeking a travel exception for a worker under the ‘other critical worker’ category which are:

  • Must have technical or specialist skills that are not ‘readily obtainable’ in New Zealand. This has changed from skills ‘not obtainable’ in New Zealand.
  • There is no longer the requirement for ‘the skills, qualifications or work experience to have been gained overseas’.

While these changes have been made to support various sectors wanting clarity on the criteria, the bar for being granted an exception remains high.

You can read the full statement from the Minister of Immigration, Hon Kris Faafoi, here.

For any inquiries

Contact Arno Nothnagel, Immigration Director | New Zealand