Group allocation requests for construction

Under Group Allocation you can apply for one of 60 places per month in managed isolation between June 2021 and March 2022 if you are a critical construction worker and you meet the eligibility criteria.

Guide: Getting critical workers to New Zealand

About group allocation requests

This allocation process is for critical workers whose work is essential for infrastructure and building projects of national and regional significance and they have unique experience and technical or specialist skills not readily available in New Zealand.

Further information about the application process.

Note: Travellers are encouraged to book in early to the Managed Isolation Allocation System as it is the most effective way to guarantee your place. Should you be granted a group allocation space, non-New Zealand citizens or residents will also need a visa that grants a border exemption. You will still need to complete managed isolation on arrival.

Who can apply

An employer can submit a group allocation request if their employee(s):

  • are legally entitled to enter New Zealand under our current border conditions, and
  • have registered in the Managed Isolation Allocation System and have been unable to book an allocation for the date you require, and
  • their circumstances fall within the criteria detailed below, and
  • you have attached evidence to support this application (see details below).

Applications that would not be accepted include:

  • Any non-building or construction related travel.


The work that you will be undertaking must fit all of the following criteria to be considered for a group allocation.

Criteria 1:

The work is in New Zealand and is essential for:

  1. the continued operation or construction of critical infrastructure* or lifeline utilities*, which are of regional or national significance*, or
  2. the continued operation of supply chains of regional or national significance*, or
  3. an approved major infrastructure project (currently listed on the Infrastructure Commission pipeline(external link) and in excess of $100 million value), or
  4. a major government approved programme(external link) (currently Kāinga Ora build and urban development programme).

Criteria 2:

The workers coming to New Zealand have unique experience and technical or specialist skills* not readily available in New Zealand.

Criteria 3:

No reasonable alternative* is available.

* See Definitions below.

Charges for Managed Isolation

Find out more about charges for managed isolation(external link) -

The following outlines the current managed isolation fees (inclusive GST):

NZ citizen & permanent residents Critical workers
For the first or only person in a room $1,610 $2,760
For the second adult in a room $460 $1,495
For a child (3-17 years) $230 $805
Under 3 years No charge No charge

When you can apply

You must apply for a group allocation before you travel to New Zealand.

Timeframes with application process

For travel in: Application required by:
December 2021 10 November 2021
January 2022 10 December 2021
February 2022 11 January 2022
March 2022 9 February 2022

Note: You can submit applications for travel between June 2021 and March 2022 anytime up to the required due date. A decision will only be made and communicated a week following each month's application required by date.

Note: Where a visa is required to enter New Zealand you must provide evidence of this at the time you submit your application. However, if your flight date is in the second two weeks of the travel month and you provide evidence that a visa application has been submitted (but not yet decided) we will accept your application. If your MIQ place is approved, you will have until the end of the month prior to the travel month to submit evidence of the approved visa.

For example: If your flight is on 2 November 2021, you must submit your application by the due date of 11 October 2021 and it must include evidence of a valid visa.

If your flight is 17 November 2021, you must submit your application by the due date of 11 October 2021. If your application for a MIQ place is successful you have until 31 October to provide evidence of a valid visa. Your MIQ voucher will be sent only after visa evidence is received.

The application process

If you meet the eligibility criteria detailed above you can submit your application.

This process has four steps:

1. Complete your registration in the Managed Isolation System

Attempt to book your required date in the Managed Isolation Allocation System. If you cannot, proceed with the following steps.

Managed Isolation Allocation System(external link) -

2. Complete the group allocation application form

The form is an editable PDF which you can fill out electronically on any computer, tablet or mobile phone. You can save the form to your files and email it to

If you print and complete the form by hand, please print in BLOCK CAPITALS so that we can accurately record your details.

If you have family members travelling with the critical worker please ensure that you complete Appendix A for each family member. You will need to print the number of copies needed for the family, then scan and email the forms with the Application form.

Construction group allocation travel application form [PDF, 296 KB]

3. Provide evidence to support your application

Required documentation:

  • If you are a New Zealand citizen or resident, a copy of your New Zealand passport or residence visa
  • If you are not a New Zealand citizen or resident, a copy of your visa displaying your ability to enter and work in New Zealand.

Note: You must hold a valid visa that allows you to enter and work in New Zealand before you apply. Applications without a valid visa will not be considered.

Suggested additional documentation:

  • Information about the work circumstances which require you to travel.

4. Submit your application

Email your completed application form and supporting evidence to Include 'Group Allocation travel' in the subject line of your email.You will receive an email confirming your request has been received.

Note: In order to provide timely responses to applications, we will not process applications that are not in English. We require that all applications and evidence be provided in English.

There is no application fee for group allocations at this time however you will be required to pay the standard Managed Isolation and Quarantine fees if you are successful in securing a construction group allocation place.

A representative may complete this application on behalf of a traveller. However, they must provide the same traveller details on the application form as were registered in the Managed Isolation Accommodation System so that vouchers can be issued correctly.

How applications are assessed

As this category is limited to 60 places per month, where demand surpasses this number an independent Industry Panel will review all applications that meet the entry criteria and prioritise based on the following:

  • The scale of the project and whether role is related to an approved Major Infrastructure Project or Major Government Approved Programme
  • The impact of projects delays on economy and jobs
  • Fair distribution of places across infrastructure, residential and non-residential projects
  • Consideration will be given to critical workers planning family visits after lengthy periods in New Zealand and returning to the same role, and for family members (with the right to enter New Zealand) travelling with critical worker.

If your application is successful

You will receive an email confirming you have been allocated a group allocation at least 3 weeks prior to your departure date.

You will be sent a managed isolation voucher once the travel date has been confirmed.

If your application is declined

You will receive an email notifying you that your request has been unsuccessful. This will be at least 3 weeks prior to your intended travel date.


'Critical infrastructure' is the services, goods, data and their related supply chains that underpin the wellbeing of New Zealanders now, and into the future because they impact on:

  1. the day-to-day lives of New Zealanders
  2. the maintenance of public safety and security
  3. New Zealand's short and long term economic prosperity
  4. New Zealand's international reputation.

'Lifeline utilities' are entities that provide essential infrastructure services to the community such as water, wastewater, transport, energy and telecommunications. These utilities include, but are not limited to, entities described in Part A and Part B of Schedule 1 of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002. If an entity is not listed in the Act, evidence (including the required government agency endorsement) will be required to support the criticality of the service for the public.

For something to be of 'regional or national significance', the consequence of the individual not carrying out their work would, among other things:

  1. cause serious hardship (or significant tangible benefit) for a large number of people in a particular town, region or across the country
  2. likely lead to one or more person's death
  3. economically impact thousands of New Zealanders
  4. result in community facilities used by people throughout one or more regions to fall into disrepair, preventing social and / or cultural practices
  5. cause serious pollution or environmental damage that has serious implications for people and / or biodiversity in the region or country
  6. result in the loss of a high value public asset.

'Unique experience and technical or specialist skills*' can include, but is not limited to, skills and experiences such as expertise gained in a specialist training institution or by working in a highly-specialist firm, or can be shown by having global experience, or skills and experiences inherent to a person.

Skills are considered not readily obtainable if there are no workers in New Zealand who can do the role, or there is a limited pool of available workers who can do the role and they are not available to the employer.

'Reasonable alternative' includes, but is not limited to: using a digital alternative to carry out the work remotely; hiring local staff to carry out the work instead.

Last updated: 13 May 2021