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New border exceptions announced Wednesday, 15 December 2021

The Government has announced a number of new border exceptions to bring skilled workers into New Zealand while our border restrictions are in place.

A new border class exception for the technology sector will enable 600 specialist tech workers and their partners and dependent children to come to New Zealand, targeting areas of the sector most in need of overseas talent, including software development, product managers, cyber security and interactive media.

The class exception includes four categories of workers:

  • Software and Application Programmers
  • ICT Managers
  • ICT Security Specialist
  • Multimedia Specialists

There will also be an annual salary threshold that will need to be met – at least $120,000 a year for software and application programmers, ICT managers and ICT security specialists, and at least $95,000 a year for multimedia specialists.

The industry and government are working through the details for a scheme for allocating the class exception, with the view to having it operational in early 2022. 

Other new border exceptions include:

  • 180 external auditors (plus partners and dependent children). External auditors need to be earning at least:
    - $70,000 a year for auditors with two to three years’ relevant experience
    - $85,000 a year for auditors with at least four years’ relevant experience
  • 50 wool handlers, with at least one season’s experience in a similar jurisdiction and paid at least $30 an hour

Existing exceptions also have been renewed:

  • 200 rural contractors paid at least $27 an hour 
  • 40 shearers
  • 615 deep-sea fishing crew (to enter in September and October 2022)
  • 30 travellers per month nominated by Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to transit New Zealand on the way home to Australia 
  • 550 cargo crew servicing the Pacific to undertake managed isolation in New Zealand

The existing class border exception for 200 dairy workers has also been altered to remove the previous split of 150 assistant dairy farm managers and 50 dairy farm assistants. The wage requirement of dairy farm assistants will be increased from $27 (median wage) to $28 an hour.

More details will be released in coming weeks.

More skilled migrants coming to help keep economy humming

New border exception to support rapidly growing tech sector