Critical Purpose Visa holders

If you arrive in New Zealand as a critical health worker or other critical worker for a longer term role you may not need to meet settled, skilled or scarce criteria.

If you arrive in New Zealand as a critical health worker or other critical worker for a longer term role you do not need to meet settled, skilled or scarce criteria if you:

  • held a visa as a critical health worker or other critical worker on 29 September 2021, or
  • were granted a visa as a critical health worker or other critical worker after 29 September 2021.

If you meet the above but move to an eligible work visa before applying for a 2021 Resident Visa, you will not have to meet the settled, skilled or scarce criteria.

Critical Purpose visa holders must arrive in New Zealand and apply for the 2021 Resident Visa before 31 July 2022 to be eligible. You must be in New Zealand to apply.

A Critical Purpose Visa must either be for:

  • a critical health worker for a longer term role (6 months or more), or
  • an Other Critical Worker for a long term role (more than 6 months).

Reasons you can travel to New Zealand

Critical Purpose visas include Critical Purpose Visitor Visas and eligible work visas granted or varied under the Critical Purpose instructions.

If you arrived in New Zealand on a Critical Purpose visa but had already moved onto an eligible work visa before or on 29 September 2021 you will need to meet one of the settled, skilled or scarce criteria.

Critical workers in a short term or seasonal role, including fishing crew, agriculture and horticulture mobile plant operators and shearers will not be eligible for the 2021 Resident Visa.

If you were granted a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa to complete a Competence Assessment Programme (CAP) and obtain occupational registration as a nurse in New Zealand, you must show you passed your CAP and secured occupational registration to be eligible, unless you transitioned onto an eligible work visa before or on 29 September 2021.

Eligibility as an Other Critical Worker

To be eligible for the 2021 Resident Visa as an Other Critical Worker, you must have been granted your Critical Purpose Visa for a job longer than 6 months that also meets one of these criteria:

  • Your job pays at least $106,080 per year.
  • Your job is essential for a government funded science programme or the delivery of a major infrastructure project.
  • If your application for a Critical Purpose Visa was submitted before 14 March 2022, a job that is essential to a government approved event or major government approved programme or in support of an approved government-to-government agreement.
  • Your job is one of these classes of workers:
    • Mixed and large animal veterinarian
    • Assistant Dairy Farmer Manager, or 2IC managerial roles, Dairy Herd Manager, Dairy farm assistants. (Only dairy farm assistants approved their visa as part of the first 200 cohort in 2021 are eligible for the 2021 Resident Visa. Those approved a visa as part of a later cohort, including the 300 cohort introduced in March 2022, are not eligible.)
    • General practice veterinarians
    • Early Learning Teachers and Primary/Secondary school teachers
    • Port Crane Operators
    • Specialist tech sector worker
    • External Auditor