Update

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has made the following announcements:

  1. Working Holiday Visa (WHV) holders are now eligible to travel to New Zealand (NZ). A schedule for re-opening WHV schemes has also been released. A time table for WHV scheme reopening dates can be found here.
  2. Critical workers who earn at least 1.5 times the median wage (NZD $84,240 a year or NZD $40.50 an hour) for roles longer than 6 months are eligible to meet Other Critical Worker border exception requirements. The requirement to demonstrate skills are not readily obtainable in New Zealand for these Critical Workers has been removed for these requests. People who secure Other Critical Worker border exception requests, who are paid below NZD106,080 at the time their border entry visa is approved, will not be eligible for 2021 Resident Visa (2021RV) applications (unless they are approved a border exception on the basis of completing work for a major infrastructure project, government funded contract or a select approved class of workers).
  3. From late March 2022, anyone flying to New Zealand must complete a Traveller Declaration before departure.
  4. New approved classes of worker quotas for up to 100 advanced manufacturing specialists earning at least $28 per hour, up to 300 dairy farm assistants, and up to 30 seafarers.
  5. Select approved classes of workers are eligible to submit Phase 2 2021RV applications. This includes Veterinarians, Dairy Farm Assistants, Teachers, Port Crane Operators, Specialist Tech Sector Workers and External Auditors.
Our thoughts

These are positive steps for the opening of New Zealand’s border. We had cautioned that INZ may introduce a policy that stops critical workers who earn 1.5 times the median wage from utilising the 2021RV category, this has turned out to be the case. Overall the announcement is still very positive news.