Recognised Seasonal Employer

You should consider becoming a Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) if you are a horticulture or viticulture employer who cannot find New Zealand workers to plant, maintain, harvest and pack crops. If granted RSE status, you can then apply for an Agreement to Recruit which allows you to recruit workers from offshore to fill these roles.


2 to 3 years

With this option employers can

  • Recruit overseas workers to plant, maintain, harvest or pack crops – you will need to apply for an Agreement to Recruit first.
  • Becoming a Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) can help horticulture and viticulture industry employers to recruit overseas workers when there are not enough New Zealanders to plant, maintain, harvest and pick their crops.
  • If you are a Recognised Seasonal Employer and you don’t have enough workers to see you through the peak seasons, you can apply for an Agreement to Recruit so you can employ overseas workers to supplement your workforce.
  • Overseas workers may be granted Limited Visas to allow them to work for a Recognised Seasonal Employer. They’ll need to provide a written employment agreement to support their visa application.
  • Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) status is valid for two years the first time it is granted. If you meet the requirements during those two years and apply again for RSE status, we may grant you recognised employer status for a further three years.

Things to note

  • We usually grant Agreements to Recruit (ATR) to recruit workers from eligible Pacific nations. ATRs may be granted for other counties only if it is not feasible to recruit from these nations.
  • While your workers are working on your worksite, you will be responsible for their day-to-day work and supervision.
  • It is okay to use recruitment agencies to recruit overseas workers as long as the agency doesn’t charge the workers for finding them a job.
  • Key COVID-19 updates for Recognised Seasonal Employers (RSEs) in New Zealand