The Critical Purpose Visitor Visa

If you hold a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa you can travel to New Zealand even though the border is closed.

This is a temporary visa that allows you to come to New Zealand for 6-12 months.

You must have a critical purpose for being in New Zealand

To meet this condition you must meet one of the critical purpose criteria set by the government:

  • partner or dependent child of a New Zealand citizen or resident without a relationship-based visa
  • critical health worker
  • other critical worker
  • citizen of Samoa and Tonga who have been asked by their government to travel here, and this travel has been approved by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tradepartner or dependent child of a New Zealand work or student visa holder
  • humanitarian exception
  • replacement cargo ship crew arriving by air
  • ship crew arriving by sea.

The process of applying for a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa is complex:

  • It involves 2 different stages,
  • you will need a job offer in New Zealand, and
  • your New Zealand employer must cooperate during the application process.

Stage 1: Your employer requests an invitation to apply for ‘other critical workers’

  • Your employer submits your request for a border exemption on your behalf
  • The application must demonstrate that you are an 'other critical worker'

If the request from your employer is successful, Immigration New Zealand will invite you to apply for

  • a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa, or
  • a variation of your current visa conditions.

Stage 2: You apply online

If you have been invited to apply for the Critical Purpose Visitor Visa, you must apply within 4 months of receiving your invitation. You can apply online and provide all the information requested in your invitation letter.

Following that, Immigration New Zealand will make a decision about your application.

Also important to know:

Health and Character requirements

You must meet health and Character requirements to be eligible for this visa.

Bona fide applicant

You must provide evidence about your genuine intentions for your visit to New Zealand.

Managed isolation and quarantine on arrival in New Zealand

Travellers coming from outside a quarantine-free travel zone will not be able to board a flight to New Zealand without a voucher confirming allocation in a managed isolation facility.

COVID testing and 14-day stays in managed isolation facilities are mandatory.

At NZIC we can assist you by providing the full range of support that you will require for this multi layered application process:

  • Working with our Job Search Professionals will empower you to find the job necessary to start the process
  • Our Licensed Immigration Advisers will assist your New Zealand employer with their duty to request an invitation to apply for ‘other critical workers’, and
  • Assist you with your visa application, and
  • Liaise with Immigration New Zealand on your behalf.

Find out more about

  • how Critical Workers can expedite their visa application process, and
  • how our high priority Accelerate Program will provide the necessary expertise to speed up your visa process as critical worker.


Read more about character:

Read more Visa FAQ's:

Read more about Visas for New Zealand:

Read more about the Skill Shortage Lists:

Which Visa is Right for You?

Read more about the Points System:

Read more about health:

The Skill Shortage Lists

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