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New Zealand COVID-19 visa changes

New Zealand COVID-19 visa changes

Visa extensions

  • Holders of a work, student, visitor, limited or interim visa with an expiry date of 2 April to 9 July 2020 inclusive who were in New Zealand on 2 April 2020 will have their visas automatically extended to 25 September 2020
  • If your visa has been extended you should have received a confirmation email from Immigration New Zealand

Visa changes to support essential services during COVID-19

The Government has changed some temporary work visa conditions to support certain sectors.


  • Visa applications will be prioritised for key roles necessary for the health response in New Zealand
  • Some lower skilled temporary healthcare workers that are currently in New Zealand will be able to work for additional 12 months before they are subject to the stand down period
  • Student visa holders that were employed in an essential health worker role on 3 April 2020, will be able to work more than 20 hours for the period 3 April 2020 to 3 July 2020 in order to support the public health response to COVID-19


  • Up until 25 April 2020 work visa holders working in supermarkets can work in roles in addition to those specified on their visa
  • During the same period student visa holders who work in supermarkets can work more than the current maximum of 20 hours per week if they employed on 23 March 2020

Any amendment to an employee’s conditions of work must still be compliant with normal New Zealand employment law and the individual or collective employment agreement relevant to the employee.

Visa processing

  • All Immigration New Zealand offices are now closed
  • The priority of reduced staff in New Zealand is urgent tasks relating to COVID-19 and other health matters
  • Residents with expired travel conditions cannot travel to New Zealand. You may apply for reinstatement of resident visa travel conditions

Visa programmes on hold

The New Zealand Government has decided to suspend:

  • Selections for Expressions of Interest (EOI) in the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) and the Parent Category
  • Ballot registrations for the Samoan Quota (SQ) and Pacific Access Category (PAC)
  • 19 capped Working Holiday schemes due to open in the next 6 months

Please note this is a temporary measure and the New Zealand Government will notify us when these programmes can resume.

For more information visit the New Zealand Government website.

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