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‘Recovery Visa’ available immediately for emergency response to Cyclone Gabrielle


In response to the catastrophic devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle, the New Zealand Government has announced the launch of the Recovery Visa (a Specific Purpose Work Visas). Available immediately and processed by Immigration NZ within one week, this short-term visa will allow employers to sponsor migrants to come to New Zealand to work on the emergency response.

Eligibility of visa

Acknowledging the urgent need for specialists from overseas such as engineers, technicians and insurance assessors to support our New Zealand experts on the ground, this visa is intended for people coming to New Zealand for a short period for:

  • Providing emergency response
  • Immediate clean-up
  • Assessing risk or loss
  • Infrastructure, building and housing stabilisation and/or repair (including planning functions)
  • Work that directly supports the recovery (e.g. producing relevant material for road rebuild, transport drivers etc).


Employers must confirm that the role supports the North Island recovery from extreme weather events by completing a Recovery Visa Employer Supplementary Form (INZ 1377). Migrants must include the completed form with their application.

This visa is not available to industries providing indirect support (e.g. businesses in the affected areas facing an increased demand for services) or to backfill vacancies of people leaving roles to work on the recovery.

The Recovery Visa is not limited to roles in the North Island only, recognising that some direct support industries will be South Island-based.


How to apply

  • Step 1 – Employer finds migrant worker/s that meet the requirements to assist with the recovery
  • Step 2 – Employer downloads and completes the Recovery Visa – Employer Supplementary form and provides this to the migrant worker
  • Step 3 – Migrant worker completes a Specific Purpose Work visa application, uploads/attaches the Recovery Visa – Employer Supplementary Form and specifies length of stay in New Zealand as 6 months or less
  • Step 4 – Immigration New Zealand (INZ) processes application and provides applicant with a decision


To find out more about the new Recovery Visa and for immigration assistance and advice, please contact Arno Nothnagel, our NZ Immigration Director, here.

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