On 13 December 2021, the New Zealand Government announced new border class exceptions to bring skilled workers into New Zealand while the borders are still shut.
One of the border class exceptions is for the technology sector, allowing 600 much-needed specialist tech workers, their partners, and dependent children to enter New Zealand.
The NZ tech sector continued to expand even during the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to an increase in the demand for talent.
The aim is to help those tech sector areas most in need of overseas talent like software development, product managers, cyber security, and interactive media.
The class exception includes four categories of workers: Software and Application Programmers, ICT Managers, ICT Security Specialists and Multimedia Specialists. In addition, an annual salary threshold has been set, which will have to be met.
The Government has been working closely with the tech sector to address their challenges. This is part of the Government’s phased approach of reconnecting New Zealand with the rest of the world. It is currently working on the finer details of this scheme and hopes to have it operational by early 2022.
Another border exception is for 180 external auditors who meet certain requirements, their partners & dependent children.
Besides the above, some existing border exceptions have been renewed for 200 rural contractors, 40 shearers, 615 deep-sea fishing crew, 30 travellers per month nominated by the Australian Department of Foreign Trade (DFAT) to transit New Zealand 550 cargo crew servicing the Pacific.
The already existing border exception for 200 dairy workers has been changed – the split between the number of assistant dairy farm managers and dairy farm assistants has been removed, and the wage requirement of the latter has been increased.
All welcome the border exceptions as they bring much-needed respite to the different sectors affected by the pandemic for the past two years. More information regarding the border exceptions will be announced in the new year.
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.