Get a border exemption to travel to New Zealand

Are you eligible for a border exemption?

Due to Coronavirus pandemic, severe restrictions were put in place at the New Zealand border since 19th March 2020. Normal visa processing will progressively reopen from February 2022 through to October 2022, or alternatively you may qualify for a border exemption and a Critical Purpose visa, in order to travel to New Zealand.

New Zealand Shores has been successful in obtaining these visas throughout 2020 and 2021, both for New Zealand employers and for overseas workers and family members.

Who can be granted a border exemption and Critical Purpose visa

Specific criteria apply that warrant the grant of a border exemption and Critical Purpose visa. The criteria are subject to change at any time.

  • Critical Health Workers
  • Other Critical Workers (this can be in any industry depending on occupation and uniqueness), including Teachers, certain ICT professionals, and Auditors.
  • Humanitarian requests and compassionate grounds
  • PhD and Postgraduate Students
  • Pacific Essential Travelers
  • Partnership and family categories
    • Partners from visa-waiver countries
    • Partners of New Zealand citizens and resident of australian citizens or permanent residents
    • Family members of New Zealand citizens or residents who do not hold relationship-based visas
    • Partners and dependent children of Work visa holders if the supporting partner is working as:
      • Critical Health worker
      • Other Critical worker
      • Teacher
    • Partners and dependent children of Student Visa holders
    • Legal Guardians of New Zealand Citizen or Residents
  • Normally Resident Work Visa holders
  • Ship Crew
    • Cargo ship crew arriving by air (replacements)
    • Ship crew arriving by sea

Critical Health workers

Health workers in a wide range of occupations may qualify to travel to New Zealand, subject to obtaining a skilled job offer from a new Zealand Employer



If you secure a role at minimum $84,420 per annum, or you have a unique set of skills and these are critical to a New Zealand employer, if your prospective employer is involved in a major infrastructure or government project, or if you fall within one of the Approved Classes of Workers, you and your family may travel to New Zealand.



Partners of New Zealand citizens, residence, but also Critical Health Workers, Other Critical Workers, or Teachers, may qualify to travel to New Zealand.



There are many other criteria under which you may qualify to travel to New Zealand: border exemptions are in place on humanitarian grounds, if you intend to return to New Zealand to finish a qualification from a recognised NZ education provider or if you are an existing visa holder who was outside of New Zealand at the time borders closed, and you wish to return


Get in touch to see if you may qualify for a border exemption

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Committed to excellence: our migration consultants are Licensed New Zealand Immigration Advisers

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About our team

New Zealand Shores is one of the largest immigration consultancies in New Zealand. Founded in 2009, we have a large team of experienced licensed advisers with varied expertise. We pride ourselves in our diversity, and in providing a personalised service, tailored to your needs. With ever-changing requirements and immigration policies, it is important to connect with the right consultant for New Zealand immigration.

Ever since the pandemic started in March 2020, New Zealand Shores has been assisting workers and New Zealand employers to achieve their goals.

We are here for New Zealand employers

Looking for staff? Worried about the upcoming Accreditation changes? Give us a call or email us and our Licensed immigration agents in Hamilton or Nelson will discuss your requirements and visa options.