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1 October 2020

Three new specific classes of workers added to ‘other critical worker’ border exception category

As mentioned in our earlier article the Government has announced changes to the border exception category for those wanting to travel to New Zealand as an ‘other critical worker’. The changes announced reflect Ministerial decisions to incorporate three specific classes of workers into the ‘other critical worker’ category, and are effective on and after 28 September 2020.


The specific classes, all of which have been authorised by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), are: deepwater fishing crew employed by certain companies and working on named deepwater fishing vessels; agricultural mobile plant operators with at least 3 seasons’ experience and relevant vehicle licencing qualifications (working under an approved contract agreement in a fulltime role with specified rural contract operators), and; mixed and large animal veterinarians who hold the necessary qualifications and experience to be licensed and registered with the Veterinary Council of New Zealand.


Deepwater fishing crew will not be eligible to include partners or dependents in their request, and will be limited to 570 workers in this class. Applicants under the other two specific classes will be eligible to include partners or dependents, and will be limited to 210 workers (agricultural mobile plant operators) and 30 workers (mixed and large animal veterinarians). Also of note is that the last date of entry for agricultural mobile plant operators will be April 2021.


As the MPI is the authorised government department, it will liaise with relevant industry bodies and employers to provide a list of nominated workers, and so employers wanting to bring workers to New Zealand under the above classes will need to get in contact with MPI to have those workers included on the list of nominated workers. Immigration officers will in turn determine whether a person is part of an approved class of workers based on whether they are on the list when the request is made.


For more information, or to discuss your eligibility under any of the border exception categories, please contact us.