Charges for critical workers in managed isolation

New charges for critical workers will come into effect on January 1 2021. They will apply to all people entering New Zealand on a critical worker visa from January 1 2021, regardless of when the visa was approved.

The government will continue to subsidise managed isolation for critical workers entering New Zealand. This change to charges has been made to better balance the employer’s contribution alongside the government’s contribution.

Note: These changes do not include critical health workers who will continue to pay the same amount as returning New Zealanders. Critical health workers are another border exception, separate from the other critical workers. 

Go to charges for managed isolation

Charges for critical workers from January 1 2021

The Ministry of Health and Managed Isolation and Quarantine will undertake a risk assessment and in some cases permit groups of critical workers to share rooms.

  • Where the risk assessment determines that room-sharing for critical workers entering as part of a group is not permitted the new fee, including GST is:
    • $5,520 for the first or only person in a room·
  • Where the risk assessment allows for groups of critical workers to share rooms, or where an individual critical worker is sharing a room with their spouse, partner and/or child, the following reduced rates can apply:
    • $2,990 for a second adult in a room;
    • $1,610 for a child
    • children under 3 years old are not charged.

What is a critical worker

A critical worker (border exception) is a person who:

  • has unique experience and technical or specialist skills not readily obtainable in New Zealand; or 
  • is undertaking a time critical role:
    • for the delivery of an approved major infrastructure project, or a government approved event or a major government-approved programme
    • in support of an approved government-to-government agreement
    • for work which brings significant wider benefit to the national or regional economy

The government can also approve classes of workers as critical workers.

Other changes for critical workers

  • From January 1 2021, employers or supporting agencies (where there is one) will be required to pay the fee (not the employee). If an employee travels to New Zealand it is likely that the invoice will be issued to the employee and they will need to ask their employer to pay on their behalf or seek reimbursement from them.
  • Where possible employers will be invoiced in advance of the critical worker’s arrival or just after they arrive in managed isolation.
  • Employers or critical workers will not be eligible to apply for any waiver of the fee.
  • Payment of the fee will normally be expected within 30 days of the invoice being issued.
Last updated: 22 December 2020