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Immigration NZ announce relaxed visa conditions for essential services

16 April 2020

The Government has agreed to relax visa conditions for a short period to allow temporary migrant workers and international students to further assist with our essential services during the COVID-19 response, says Immigration New Zealand.

The changes come into effect Thursday 16 April 2020.

Work visa holders with employer-specific work visas already employed in essential services will be able to vary their hours and be redeployed to do other roles within their current workplace.

These visa holders can also perform their current role in a different workplace to help essential businesses keep operating while New Zealand remains at Alert Level 3 or 4 and for six weeks after that.

International students who are already employed in an essential services role will be able to work longer hours for their current employer while New Zealand remains at Alert Level 3 or 4 and for six weeks following.

Students who are employed in an essential services role and wish to work more than 20 hours must still meet their study requirements and are encouraged to discuss their plans with their education provider.

The short timeframe will enable employers in essential industries to maintain their labour pool as hiring would be very difficult while New Zealand remains at Alert Level 3 or 4.

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

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.

Confirmation of extensions were emailed to all visa holders by Immigration New Zealand using the most recent email address those visa holders had supplied. Visa expiry dates can be confirmed by checking the Visa Verification Service.

We suggest you confirm your visa expiry date by checking the Visa Verification Service on our website.

Last updated on the 16th April 2020