Notice Type
Notice Title

Special Direction—Grant Supplementary Seasonal Employment Temporary Visas to a Class of Onshore Persons Whose Visas are Expiring to Manage Effects and Deal With Consequences of Measures Taken to Contain or Mitigate the Covid-19 Outbreak or its Effects

Pursuant to section 61A(2) of the Immigration Act 2009 (“Act”) of my own volition, by special direction, I grant a Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) temporary visa to a class of persons, granted to start on the day after the expiry date of the current visa.

Pursuant to section 61A(5) of the Act, the following persons are classified as persons to whom this special direction applies. A person who:

  1. Holds a Working Holiday Scheme or a Working Holidaymaker Extension temporary visa (Working Holiday visa) that is expiring between 1 October 2020 – 31 March 2021 (inclusive), and
  2. does not have an on-hand temporary visa application on the expiry date of the Working Holiday visa, and
  3. is in New Zealand on the expiry date of their current Working Holiday visa.

The SSE visa will have conditions which will allow the holder to be employed by any of the following:

  1. An employer approved under immigration instructions with an SSE Approval in Principle; or
  2. a Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) with an approved Agreement to Recruit (ATR) where ATR places have been unable to be filled with RSE workers; or
  3. any employer for the specified role for a specified region for the specified period (where a shortfall of workers has been identified, as published by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) on the Work and Income website)

Each visa granted will have the expiry date of 30 June 2021.

I am satisfied that the making of this special direction is reasonably necessary to manage the effects and deal with the consequences of measures taken to contain or mitigate the outbreak of COVID-19. This is because the making of this special direction responds to the border restrictions imposed by New Zealand and other countries which have restricted international travel. As a result the availability of migrant workers in the horticulture and viticulture industry will be disrupted for the 2020/21 season as both Recognised Seasonal Employer and Working Holiday visa holders do not currently meet border exception criteria. This special direction would allow approximately 12,000 onshore Working Holiday visa holders to stay in New Zealand to undertake work in horticulture and viticulture. I am satisfied that this special direction does not materially disadvantage the class of persons to whom it relates because it gives these visa holders a further option to stay in New Zealand after the expiry of their Working Holiday visa, should they wish but does not inhibit their ability continue or pursue an application for a different visa.

For the avoidance of doubt, the class of persons included in this special direction does not include excluded persons who may not be granted a visa without a special direction subject to section 17 of the Act.

Dated this 1st day of October 2020.

Hon KRIS FAAFOI, Minister of Immigration.

Explanatory Note

The effect of this special direction is to grant temporary Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) visas with an expiry date of 30 June 2021 to persons who are in New Zealand and holding Working Holiday Scheme or Working Holidaymaker Extension visas. The SSE visa will start on the day after the date of expiry of the current visa and will enable the holder to lawfully remain in New Zealand if they wish and work for specified employers and roles in the horticulture and viticulture sectors.