COVID-19: Exceptions to border rules provided for tech specialists, their families

21 Dec 21



New Zealand has announced plans to ease entry requirements for up to 600 tech specialists and their families.

Key Points:

  •  Authorities will provide exceptions to COVID-19 entry rules for four categories of tech specialists:
    • Software and Application Programmers.
    • Information Communication Technology (ICT) Managers.
    • ICT Security Specialists.
    • Multimedia Specialists.
  • The exception allows specialists, specialists’ spouses/partners and dependent children, to apply for a Critical Purpose visitor visa.
  • Employers hiring foreign nationals under the new exceptions must pay:
    • At least $120,000 a year for software and application programmers, ICT managers and ICT security specialists.
    • At least $95,000 a year for multimedia specialists.
  • The exception is expected to be implemented in early 2022, but authorities have yet to provide the exact date.

Additional Information: New Zealand has enforced strict entry rules during the COVID-19 pandemic but has implemented targeted exceptions for foreign nationals filling jobs that are in high demand. A full list of exceptions is available here. Currently, a managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) voucher will need to be secured before travelling to New Zealand and additional requirements met.

BAL Analysis: Authorities are hoping the new exceptions help New Zealand meet current labor market demands. It is possible that New Zealand may push back previously announced dates to allow for entry into New Zealand without mandatory MIQ. BAL will continue to monitor class exception changes and will provide more information as it becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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