If you have a work to residence visa

If you cannot complete the requirement to work in New Zealand because of the border closure you may be able to reapply and work through to residence on your return.

Work to residence eligibility 

If you are outside New Zealand and your work to residence visa conditions have not been met, you may no longer be eligible for a resident visa. In some cases, you can reapply for another work to residence visa. 

Talent (Accredited Employer) or Long Term Skill Shortage List work visas

Both of these visas closed for most applicants on 31 October 2021, but if you have been stuck outside New Zealand due to the COVID-19 border closure, they will remain open for you to reapply on your return.

Extensions issued May 2022

If you were in New Zealand on 9 May and your work or work to residence visa expires between 9 May and 31 December 2022 (dates inclusive) you may have been granted a:

  • new open work visa, or
  • six month extension of your work to residence visa.

Visa extensions and visa conditions

Criteria for reapplications

You need to have:

  • a Talent (Accredited Employer) or Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa
  • been outside New Zealand on 19 March 2020 when the borders closed
  • not returned to New Zealand by 31 October 2021, and
  • started work in New Zealand, in the role the visa was issued for, before leaving New Zealand.

If your visa has since expired you can reapply if you meet these criteria.

Your job offer can be from any accredited employer, the employer who supported your initial work to residence visa application, or an employer whose accreditation expired after 31 March 2021.

The 2 years work for residence allowed by these visas restarts with the new application.

This does not guarantee you can enter New Zealand

You need to wait until you can return to New Zealand before you can reapply.

You will only be granted a border exception if you meet the criteria for one — otherwise you need to wait until the border reopens.