Seasonal Workers in New Zeeland – A Guide to Applying For RSE Work


A candidate must be selected by an approved employer with CSR status and a Recruitment Agreement (ATR). Next, the applicant must successfully meet the limited purpose visa requirements to work in New Zealand. At the end of the employment contract or the expiration of the visa, the employee must leave New Zealand, otherwise, he can resubmit a visa renewal request to do the same work. If the worker remains in the country after the expiration of the visa, he can be immediately removed from New Zealand.

The objective of the CSR program

In 2007, the CSR program was established between New Zealand and the Pacific CSR countries such as Kiribati, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands. It is designed for horticultural and viticultural employers in New Zealand to recruit workers, that is, in one or more of the participating Pacific CSR countries, but only in the event of a worker shortage in New Zealand. On average, between 7,000 and 8,000 workers are recruited off the coast each season to pick kiwis and apples or pack fruit or plum blocks in vines and kiwi apple trees or pack vines in places like Bay of Plenty and Blenheim.

How does an employer apply for CSR status?

Employers must apply to Immigration New Zealand (INZ) to become a CSR certified employer. The process includes 4 steps:

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Apply for recognition as a CSR employer
Apply for ATR workers
Make a job offer to an employee
The next season; apply for another ATR offshore employee
CSR status is valid for 2 years for beginners, but an employer can reapply for CSR status for 3 years. However, employers must request an ATR each year. According to INZ in December 2009, 126 employers were on their CSR list.

How does an employee submit a CSR request?

An employee who has been offered a job (by an employer with CSR status and an ATR) must apply for a limited purpose offshore visa using the form ‘apply to work in New Zealand for a CSR employer’ ‘in (please consult your local INZ office to request a form). A visa is only valid for 7 months over 11 months. However, if the applicant is a citizen of Kiribati or Tuvalu and usually lives in Kiribati or Tuvalu, he can apply for a visa for a stay of up to 9 months. The applicant must be 18 years of age or older to apply for a visa. Also, an employee must have an employment contract to complete the visa application. The employment contract must indicate the start date of the employees, the name of the company, the contact details of the employer, the proposed position, the ATR number and their salary. The applicant must also meet certain health requirements, such as providing a temporary entrance X-ray. Since not all Pacific countries are listed with a low incidence of tuberculosis (TB), all workers must provide it. Finally, an applicant must meet character requirements, including the issuance of a police certificate. Then the applicant must attach the visa application fee (check your country’s INZ office for the rating scale) and send it to the nearest New Zealand immigration service. For example, citizens of Kiribati, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands must apply to the Suva branch in Fiji.
What are the conditions for a limited purpose visa?

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Under the limited purpose visa, an employee may reside in New Zealand to achieve the express purpose for which the visa was issued. The employee must leave New Zealand no later than the expiration of the visa.

However, an employee can request an extension of the time-limited visa for the same type of work, but cannot apply for another type of permit while in New Zealand. An employee who has exceeded the validity of his visa is immediately dismissed from New Zealand.

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