Information about Recognised Seasonal Employer Limited Visa

On this visa you can come to New Zealand for a short time to work in our horticulture and viticulture industries. You must have a job offer before you apply.

Overview

Overview

Length of stay

Up to 7 months in any 11-month period for citizens of eligible Pacific nations. Citizens of Tuvalu and Kiribati who also live there, can stay an extra 2 months

Age range

18 and over

Quota

14,400 each year


You can

  • Work for a Recognised Seasonal Employer in our horticulture and viticulture industries.
  • Do work planting, maintaining, harvesting or packing crops.
  • Earn some money and learn horticulture and viticulture skills.

Recognised Seasonal Employers List


Things to note

  • You cannot apply for any other kind of visa while you hold a Recognised Seasonal Employer Limited Visa.
  • You must leave New Zealand before your visa expires - you cannot appeal to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal to stay in New Zealand.
  • You cannot include your partner or dependent children in your visa application.
Criteria

Meeting the criteria

The criteria and evidence below will provide you with the information you need to meet the requirements.

Use the filters to display country specific tips, under evidence, to assist you with your application

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Identity

You must provide proof of your identity

You must provide proof of your identity:

Acceptable photos

You may provide your original passport, or a certified copy when you submit your application. If you provide a certified copy we may request your original passport to complete your application.

Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months after you plan to leave New Zealand.

If you are a citizen of China and you submit a paper application form in China, you must also complete a supplementary form.

Supplementary form for Chinese citizens (INZ 1027) PDF 306KB

If you are submitting a paper application form, you must provide a supplementary form for Hong Kong and Macao visitors, workers and students.

Supplementary form for Hong Kong and Macao visitors, workers and students (INZ 1220) PDF 322KB

Also provide your:

  • Hukou (household registration book)
  • Chinese identity card.

Also provide a copy of your Identity card.

Health

You must be in good health

You may need to have a chest x-ray and/or an HIV test as proof of good health.

Evidence you are in good health

You must provide a chest x-ray completed in the last 3 months, even if you've provided one to us previously, if:

  • you have spent 6 consecutive months in China since the last x-ray certificate was issued, and
  • you are now coming to NZ for more than 6 months.

Character

You must be of good character

You may need to provide police certificates as proof of your good character.

If you are aged 17 or older and plan to stay in New Zealand for more than 24 months (including any time you have already spent in New Zealand), you must provide police certificates from:

  • any country you are a citizen of
  • any country you have spent more than 5 years in since you turned 17.

You do not need to provide police certificates if:

  • you have provided them to us with an earlier visa application, and
  • they were issued in the previous 24 months.

Good character

How to get a police certificate

If you need to provide a Police Certificate, we’ll let you know.

Genuine intentions

You must genuinely intend to meet the conditions of your visa

When we decide if your intentions are genuine (bona fide), we consider all the information:

  • you provide to support your application
  • we have about your personal circumstances, and
  • you provided in any previous applications.

Genuine intentions to visit, study or work in NZ

Medical insurance

You must have acceptable medical insurance for the length of your New Zealand stay

You must provide proof you're insured, for example:

  • a copy of your insurance certificate
  • an approval letter from your insurance company.

For your medical insurance to be acceptable, your medical insurance and the company providing it need to meet certain requirements. You can read about these in our ‘Guide to Working for a Recognised Seasonal Employer’.

Guide to Working for a Recognised Seasonal Employer (INZ 1144) PDF 264KB

New Zealand job offer

You must have a job offer

You must have an offer of work from a Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE).

If you’ll be working for a single RSE you must provide a copy of your signed employment agreement.

If you’ll be working for more than one RSE, you must provide copies of each one of your employment agreements.

Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) List
Employment agreements and rights

Your employment agreement may include:

  • voluntary deductions
  • training with an industry training organisation.
Process

Process

The information below will help you understand the process so you can plan ahead and have the best chance of submitting a complete application.

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Fees & receiving centre

Fees & receiving centre

The information below will help you understand the process, timeframes and costs involved in applying for this visa, so you can plan ahead and have the best chance of submitting a complete application.

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Conditions

Conditions

These are the conditions that you must meet.

Entry permission

You must apply for entry permission when you arrive in New Zealand. You can do this by completing an arrival card, which you are given on the way to New Zealand.

Arriving in New Zealand

You can be refused entry permission if:

  • you don’t meet our character requirements
  • your circumstances have changed since you were granted a visa
  • you refuse to let us to take your photo, or provide us with your fingerprints or an iris scan, if we ask you for them.

Work

You can only work for the Recognised Seasonal Employer listed in your RSE Limited visa.

Your work will be in our fruit and vegetable or wine industries doing jobs like:

  • planting
  • maintaining crops
  • harvesting
  • packing.

You’re not allowed to do any other work while you’re in New Zealand.

Everyone who has a job in New Zealand pays tax on what they earn. You can apply for an IRD number online through Inland Revenue.

Apply online for an IRD number

Study

You can’t study on this visa.

Medical insurance

You must maintain your medical insurance while in New Zealand. 

Travel

  • You can come to New Zealand up to 14 days before you’re meant to start work.
  • You can’t come to New Zealand any more than 14 days after you’re meant to start work.
  • You can only travel to New Zealand once on an RSE Limited Visa.

Visa expiry

You must leave New Zealand before your visa expires.

RSE visa holders from most countries are allowed to stay in New Zealand for a maximum time of 7 months in any 11-month period. In exceptional circumstances and if you have not already stayed in New Zealand for the maximum time allowed, you may be able to apply for a further RSE limited work visa to continue working for a Recognised Seasonal Employer for the balance of the time allowed.

If you want to apply for any other kind of visa, you cannot apply until after you have left New Zealand.

If you are still in New Zealand after your visa expires, you risk being deported.

Employers

Employer obligations

New Zealand employers have certain obligations they must meet when employing a non New Zealand resident.

What an employer needs to do

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Job offer

You must offer a job planting, maintaining, harvesting or packing crops

You must provide a written employment agreement, which must:

  • include your ATR and specific employment number(s) relating to the potential employee in question and contact details
  • comply with the conditions set out in your ATR
  • detail any voluntary deductions
  • comply with New Zealand employment law.

Minimum employment rights

Voluntary deductions

People employed under the RSE policy may stay in New Zealand for up to seven months during any 11-month period. Exceptions to this are workers from Tuvalu and Kiribati, who can stay for nine months because of the distance from New Zealand and the cost of travel.