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Critical Health Workers and Other Critical Workers

Critical Health Workers and Other Critical Workers

Up until now, due to the New Zealand border restrictions, critical health workers and other critical workers could apply for border exceptions to enter New Zealand.

The 2021 Resident Visa announcement by Immigration Minister of New Zealand has created huge ripples and given pathway to live permanently in new Zealand.

Those eligible for this 2021 Resident Visa includes some long-term critical purpose visa holders arriving in New Zealand between 30 September 2021 and 31 July 2022.

These include:

  • Health care workers in long term roles (6 months or more)
  • Other critical workers in long term roles (6 months or more)

What is a critical health care worker?

A critical health worker is a person who works in an occupation needed to deliver essential health services in New Zealand for certain employers.

These include:

  • Registered health practitioners as set out in the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. Professions like chiropractic, dentistry, diabetics, medical laboratory science, aesthetic technology, medical imaging & radiation therapy, medicine, midwifery, nursing, occupational therapy, optometry, osteopathy, paramedics, pharmacy, physiotherapy, podiatry, psychology & psychotherapy. For more information, please refer to this link.
  • Internationally qualified nurses who:
    • are invited to come to New Zealand by the Nursing Council of New Zealand, and
    • are enrolled in a Competence Assessment Programme (CAP)
  • Workers that install, operate or maintain medical equipment
  • Paramedics and ambulance workers (including air and road)
  • Technical and support staff working in:
    • theatre
    • laboratory
    • radiology
    • nuclear medicine
    • pharmacy services
    • cardiology blood service
    • oncology
    • hematology
    • pathology
    • hyperbaric medicine
    • mortuary
    • research staff
  • Workers delivering mental health and addictions services, aged care, respite, home care and support, child health, palliative and hospice care, forensic health, and disability support,
  • Physician Associates.

Critical health and disability workers may work in any of the following:

  • A District Health Board. There are 20 DHBs in New Zealand.
  • The New Zealand Blood Service
  • A hospice or palliative care
  • A primary care practice such as urgent care or a medical or healthcare centre
  • An aged residential care, respite or continuing care facility, including care in a person’s home or community facility
  • A government or Non-Government Organisation delivering health and disability services
  • Organisations that provide, operate and maintain medical equipment
  • Private employers delivering health and disability services.

Who are other critical workers?

A request can be made by an employer or a supporting agency to bring workers into New Zealand if they are deemed ‘other critical workers’

Critical workers can come to New Zealand for short term (less than 6 months) or long-term (6 months or more) durations.

To qualify as a short-term critical worker’, you must have unique experience, technical or specialist skills that are not easily available in New Zealand. Also, you must be undertaking a time critical role for an approved major infrastructure or government approved event/ programme or be engaged in work that will benefit the national or regional economy.

Seasonal workers are generally not approved unless they are highly skilled or uniquely specialized like highly specialist domestic veterinarians, vendor appointed engineers required to install major equipment and any actor in a key film role.

Long term critical workers need to meet one of the short-term critical worker requirements in addition to meeting other requirements like the pay being twice the median salary and have an essential role for the completion or continuation of a science programme partially or fully funded by the government and supported by the Science Innovation and International Branch of MBIE.


Apply for this visa if you have a critical purpose for coming to New Zealand and Immigration New Zealand has invited you to apply for visa.  With this visa you can travel to New Zealand even though the border is currently closed.

To gain a better understanding of the above changes to the immigration instructions and to learn more about them kindly get in touch with us.

Please do not hesitate to contact Immigration Advisers New Zealand Ltd. at [email protected] or call on +64 09 3790219.  Our experienced team of Licensed Immigration Advisers will be happy to guide you.

Source: Link1, Link2, Link3, Link4

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Vandana Rai

(LIA 201400900)

Vandana Rai is a Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser and has built a reputation around her rare set of skills, which could be considered ideal for her legal profession.

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