Notice Type
Notice Title

Special Direction—Grant of Limited Visas With Critical Purpose Conditions to Certain Persons who are Former Holders of Recently Expired RSE Limited Visas to Manage the Effects and Deal With Consequences of Measures Taken to Contain or Mitigate COVID-19 Outbreaks

Pursuant to section 61A(2)(a) of the Immigration Act 2009 (“Act”) of my own volition, by special direction, I grant a limited visa to a class of persons who are outside New Zealand, as classified in this special direction.

Pursuant to section 61A(5) of the Act, the class of persons granted a limited visa is a person who:

  1. was ordinarily resident in Vanuatu or Samoa between 1 August and 10 September 2021
  2. held a limited visa granted in accordance with the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) immigration instructions and the COVID-19 Restricted Temporary Entry immigration instructions with a condition that travel was allowed to New Zealand in August or September 2021
  3. was scheduled to arrive in New Zealand on a flight on 24 August or 10 September 2021
  4. is outside New Zealand on the day this special direction is made
  5. has a valid employment agreement, or agreements, with an RSE, or RSEs
  6. is named by the RSE(s) in an undertaking that has been provided by the RSE(s) to Immigration New Zealand (INZ), in the form set out in the Schedule to this special direction and with any documentation required to be provided by the undertaking.

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. The making of this special direction responds to the cancellation of flights as a result of the August 2021 COVID-19 Delta outbreak in New Zealand. As a result, RSE workers have been unable to travel to and enter New Zealand by the date specified as a condition of their visa, causing the expiry of their visa. These persons had met the criteria for the RSE limited visa, and may be discouraged from reapplying for a visa due to the cost and effort associated with a further application. The number of affected visa holders is reasonably large and granting them new visas on an individual case-by-case basis would be time-consuming, and creates more uncertainty pending the outcome of the application.

Pursuant to sections 49 and 52, and in accordance with sections 84 and 85 of the Act, each limited visa granted in accordance with this special direction is for the following express purpose, currency and conditions:

  1. the express purpose of the limited visa is for the holder to be able to undertake the work for the RSE, or RSEs, as specified as an express purpose and condition on their immediately expired visa
  2. the start date of the visa is the date the grant of the visa is entered into the INZ Application Management System
  3. the expiry date of the visa is the same as the expiry date on the holder’s immediately expired limited visa
  4. the limited visa allows arrival in New Zealand no later than two months after the new expected commencement of work date as stated in the amended employment agreement with the RSE for whom the holder will work when they first arrive in New Zealand
  5. other than the travel condition referred to in d., the limited visa has the same conditions as the conditions on the holder’s immediately expired visa including that the holder holds “acceptable medical insurance” as defined as medical insurance that meets the same criteria as under the immigration instructions at WH1.25 of the Immigration New Zealand Operational Manual
  6. the limited visa also carries a condition that the holder carries out the critical purpose of working as an RSE worker while they are in New Zealand.
    For the avoidance of doubt, the limited visa holder is also subject to the condition that the holder comply with:
  7. Any order made under section 11 of the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020; and
  8. Any order made under section 70 of the Health Act 1956 and listed in schedule 2 of the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020; and
  9. Any instruction from a Medical Officer of Health which relates to a notifiable or quarantinable disease.

Dated this 27th day of September 2021.

Hon KRIS FAAFOI, Minister of Immigration.

Explanatory Note

The effect of this special direction is to grant limited visas to certain RSE workers who held visas but were unable to travel to New Zealand by the date specified as a condition of their visa because of the effect of the outbreak of COVID-19 Delta beginning in August 2021 and the alert levels in New Zealand, causing the expiry of their visa. The grant of the new limited visas will allow RSE workers from Vanuatu and Samoa to come to New Zealand without having to apply for and be granted new limited visas.


Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) undertaking in regards to the grant of new visas and travel conditions for offshore RSE workers

Undertaking in regards to the employment, work and pastoral care of RSE workers who were not able to meet their “first entry before” travel conditions but are eligible to have new limited visas granted via special direction

The commitments in this undertaking are given to Immigration New Zealand (INZ) (a business unit of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the responsible department for the administration of the Immigration Act 2009) by __________________________________________________

(being the employer of the persons named in this undertaking, and a Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) under the Recognised Seasonal Employer immigration instructions, as published in the Immigration New Zealand Operational Manual) (“employer”).

This undertaking is given on the date that it is provided to INZ.

The information provided in this document is for the purpose of an undertaking given to INZ, committing the employer to certain requirements in respect of named employees.

The employer, in giving this undertaking, warrants that they have the full knowledge and informed consent of each person named. Each named person will, on the giving of this undertaking and verification by INZ that they otherwise are a person within a class of persons granted a visa by special direction of the Minister of Immigration under section 61A(2) of the Immigration Act 2009, be granted a RSE limited visa on the terms set out by the Minister.

Information provided by the employer will be managed within the requirements of the Privacy Act 2020 (where personal information), the Official Information Act 1982 and the Public Records Act 2005. This undertaking (and verification of meeting the commitments within) will be relevant to the employer’s future status as a RSE and for determining and application for an Agreement to Recruit.

Details of the Person/Persons/Entity Giving the Undertaking

Person(s) giving the undertaking on behalf of the employer:______________________

Nominated person (point of contact for INZ communications): ____________________

Phone number and email address for INZ communication:_____________________

Commitments Given

The employer acknowledges and agrees that they will abide by the following terms (terms three and four apply only to the first employer for whom the named person will work upon arrival in New Zealand):

  1. To comply with all the conditions, appropriate to the circumstances, of the Agreement to Recruit (ATR) under which the named person was granted an RSE limited visa. This includes the undertakings to which the employer agreed in their ATR application, including, but not limited to, the pastoral care requirements set out at WH1.10.1(f) of the immigration instructions.
  2. The terms and conditions of the employment agreement with the named person in this undertaking will remain in effect, with the exception of the amended employment start date (if any).
  3. The employer will not deduct (from the named person’s remuneration) any costs for incoming charter flights exceeding that which would have been charged for a commercial flight option.
  4. The employer will pay each named person no less than $22.10 per hour and for 30 hours per week for any time spent isolating on arrival (including time spent self-isolating in accommodation provided them or in Managed Isolation and Quarantine).


The employer acknowledges that:

  • They commit to meeting the obligations of this undertaking as it relates to the named persons in order to facilitate and establish that they are members of a class of persons granted limited visas by special direction under section 61A of the Immigration Act 2009 by the Minister of Immigration. If any of the named persons are not, in fact, in the class of persons the employer is not bound to fulfil this undertaking in respect of that individual.
  • They may be required to provide information (including documents) to INZ to demonstrate that they have met the commitments above and/or have otherwise complied with their obligations in this undertaking.
  • Failure to meet the commitments given, or to provide information (including documents) to demonstrate they have met their commitments, may negatively impact future applications by the employer’s obtain or renew RSE accreditation or Agreement to Recruit under the RSE Scheme.
  • That they enter this undertaking with the full knowledge and informed consent of each person named.

Named Persons

Include the following identifying details of each named person in a spreadsheet attached to this undertaking:

  • Full name with family name in CAPITALS
  • Date of birth
  • amended start date of employment (if applicable)

The undersigned declares that they have the full authority of the employer to make this undertaking.

Signed for and on behalf of the employer: