Essential Skill & Critical Workers for New Zealand

Bring workers through the closed border or recruit those already here.

VIEW PROFILES OF skilled visa holders in nz


FIND OUT MORE ABOUT Critical Skill Workers

[Not presently in New Zealand]

Critical Skill Workers

What are Critical Skill Workers?

Critical Workers is the term used to define workers not presently in New Zealand. 

What types of employment are eligible for Critical Worker Visas?

Employers are able to request for  worker to enter New Zealand if they have:

  • Unique experience and technical, or specialist skills not readily obtainable in New Zealand, or
  • They are undertaking a time critical role for:
    • an approved major infrastructure project, or a government approved event, or a major government approved project, or
    • an approved government to government agreement, or
    • work with significant wider benefit to the national or regional economy.

Definitions for critical worker visa consideration

For the sake of clarity, the following are the definitions for consideration of critical worker visas (definitions are not limited to the following – this information is provided as a guideline for employers)

  • Unique experience and technical or specialist skills
    • Skills and experience such as expertise gained in a specialist training institution or by working in a specialist firm, or can be shown by having global experience, or skills and experience inherent to a person.
  • Not readily available in New Zealand
    • If there are no workers in New Zealand who can do the role, or there is a limited pool of available workers who can do the role and none is available to the employer.
  • Time Critical
    • If the worker does not come to New Zealand, the project, work or event will stop or be severely compromised, or significant costs will be incurred.

How do I start the process?

RecruitNZ has a dedicated recruitment team and overseas partners with whom we have extended experience. Working with us means you will get the right candidate quickly and by using our partner business VisaAide, you will get access to professional immigration advice and visa application management.

We will advise you on the best way forward based on your requirements.

What are the costs involved?

Employers are required to cover all recruitment-related costs, travel costs (including any travel required for trade testing), quarantine costs in any and all countries traveled through on the journey to New Zealand – and of course, NZ MIQ costs.

Employers are required to provide accommodation and transport to and from the workplace for the initial weeks while workers settle into life in New Zealand, but these can be shared between multiple workers.

Our recruitment costs are very reasonable – and all the above per worker will cost significantly less than project delays due to lack of resource. We discuss specifics relating to your recruitment requirements before we engage with your recruitment job.

How Can RecruitNZ Help?

We have vast experience in the area of recruiting from overseas, and within our internal portfolio of businesses, have expertise in the area of Immigration Advice from NZ Licenced Immigration Advisors VisaAide NZ, plus HR advice for Accreditation if required from our HR Specialist Business ConsultingHQ.

While separate business entities, all three businesses work exclusively with each other to form a comprehensive, professional expert service that is both nimble & dynamic in the area of bringing in skilled & critical workers from overseas for New Zealand Employers.

We are able to find the workers you need through local and international contacts, prescreen and progress visa applications as rapidly as the process allows.

In this complex & niche area of Critical Workers, we recommend that employers seek advice before progressing.


Our Business Units


help with work visas nz
HR Consulting Agency