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Critical Purpose Entry Visa

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Critical Purpose Entry Visa

Along with the rest of the world New Zealand has also imposed several border restrictions to help prevent the spread of Covid 19. Due to which most people are not able to enter the country. However, if you hold a Critical Purpose Visa, you may be allowed to enter New Zealand even while the border is closed.

You can apply for this visa if you have a critical purpose for coming to New Zealand and Immigration New Zealand invites you to apply for this visa. To get an invitation to apply, you must fill in the request for travel form.
If you already have a visa, you can also use this form to request an invitation to vary the conditions of your visa to let you travel for a critical purpose.
If you are an employer you can request an invitation to apply to bring critical workers into New Zealand.

If you are interested in applying for a critical purpose entry visa and are looking for a strong advocacy in support of your critical purpose, please get in touch with 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 advice you.

Frequently Asked Questions

To apply for a Critical Purpose Visa, you must first lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) outlining the reason for your travel by using the Immigration New Zealand Online Request Form. If the Immigration Officer is satisfied that you meet the critical purpose criteria to enter New Zealand,  you will be given an Invitation To Apply (ITA)for the Critical Purpose Visa after which you can lodge your application.

The following are the list of critical reasons to travel to New Zealand provided you meet specific requirements and also meet other requirements like health, character, bona fide and fund.

  • Partners and dependent children of temporary visa holders who are teachers, critical health workers and other critical workers
  • Partners and dependents of New Zealand citizens and residents
  • Critical Health Workers
  • Other critical workers
  • Humanitarian reasons

Apart from the above, few other border exceptions are allowed. For more information, click here.

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

Occupations included under the critical health services are:


  1. Registered health practitioners
  2. workers who install, operate or maintain medical equipment
  3. paramedics and ambulance workers (including air and road)
  4. Physician associates
  5. technical and support staff working in:
    • theatre
    • laboratory
    • radiology
    • pharmacy services
    • cardiology blood service
    • nuclear medicine
    • oncology
    • haematology
    • pathology
    • hyperbaric medicine
    • mortuary
    • research staff
  6. 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.

Critical health workers may work in any of the following:

  • a District Health Board;
  • 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 Organization delivering health and disability services;
  • organizations that provide, operate and maintain medical equipment;
  • private employers delivering health and disability services.

Other critical care workers are people who have experience and technical/ special skills that are not available in New Zealand and meet certain other requirements, including the approved class of worker requirements.

Eg. Recognized Season Employer (RSE) workers, dairy farm assistants, dairy herd managers, assistant dairy farm managers, teachers etc.

Humanitarian reasons are exceptional circumstances of a humanitarian nature that make a person want to enter New Zealand. Immigration New Zealand is very strict about assessing the reason. Things like your connection to New Zealand, whether New Zealand is where you usually live, your current location, how long have you been away from New Zealand, other options available to you, and the impact of not allowing you to travel to New Zealand are all taken into consideration.

It is usually 6 to 12 months

The following family members are allowed to enter New Zealand

  • partners and dependent children of temporary visa holders who are teachers
  • partners and dependent children of workers employed in critical health services
  • partners and dependent children who held a visa before the border closure but were unable to travel to NZ
  • partners and dependent children of highly skilled workers
  • partner, dependent children or legal guardian of New Zealand citizens or residents who have lived together in a genuine and stable relationship

To enter New Zealand, you must prove that your profession falls under the critical purpose. Only then you may be allowed to enter New Zealand.

To enter New Zealand, you must prove that your profession falls under the critical purpose and have a valid job offer from New Zealand.

The New Zealand Government has announced that it will allow 300 overseas qualified teachers to enter New Zealand. The Ministry of Education will invite applications for teachers from September 2021.
Yes, based on your visa, your family may be allowed to travel with you.

Yes, overseas registered nurses are allowed to travel to New Zeland for a Competency Assessment Program (CAP) along with their families even while the borders are closed.

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