You are a migrant or refugee

Visa, work, and welfare information for migrants or refugees currently inside New Zealand.

Visa information 

Changing your job and your work visa

Some work visas mean you must work for a specific employer in a specific occupation. It will be difficult to vary the conditions of your visa.

Visa extensions and conditions

Applying for a new visa

If you intend to apply for a new visa to continue working, studying or visiting in New Zealand after your current visa expires, you need to submit an application online for a new visa.

If you are unable to leave New Zealand

Work information

Employment rights and obligations

Migrant workers have the same employment rights and obligations as all other New Zealand workers. Employers and employees must discuss any impact of COVID-19 on their working arrangements.

Employment New Zealand

If you hold a New Zealand resident visa and have lost your job, you may be able to get financial support from Work and Income while you look for work. 

Made redundant | Work and Income 

Employment programmes

Employment programmes are available to support migrants who are looking for work. These include:

Welfare information

You may be eligible for free healthcare services

Public hospital services are currently free for anyone who is suspected to have COVID-19. This includes all visitor visa holders and temporary visa holders who would normally not be eligible for free or subsidised health and disability services in New Zealand.

Migrants in New Zealand who have or who are suspected of having COVID-19 are eligible for funded services relating to:

  • diagnosis
  • treatment
  • follow-up services, and
  • contact tracing services.

Your information will not be shared with other agencies.

People receiving treatment for infectious diseases | Ministry of Health

Welfare resources

Temporary Accommodation Service: assistance for people required to self-isolate to find suitable accommodation.

Temporary Accommodation Service 

If you are in New Zealand on a temporary work visa, your employment has been affected, and you are experiencing financial difficulty talk to your Embassy or Consulate for help.

MFAT I Embassies

You can contact the COVID-19 support service for financial information: 

Financial support | COVID-19

Translated resources

Translated information and resources about COVID-19

The COVID-19 website has all the information you need to know about COVID-19. This includes translated information and advice, and translations of the Prime Minister's press conferences. 

COVID-19

The Office of Ethnic Communities
Video messages explaining New Zealand’s current COVID-19 situation in the following languages:

Arabic, Cantonese, English, French, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Mandarin, Persian/Farsi, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Urdu.

The Office of Ethnic Communities communities

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples
Key information about COVID-19 for Pacific communities in the following languages:

Fijian, Kiribatian, Niuean, Rarotongan, Rotuman, Samoan, Tokelauan, Tongan, Tuvaluan.

Ministry for Pacific Peoples

Red Cross New Zealand
Resources in 13 languages prepared by the community as part of their response to COVID-19.

Red Cross New Zealand

NOTE

All government helplines have professional interpreters available for over 180 languages.

For general help related to COVID-19 call the government helpline on 0800 779 997.

InfoNOW
A free service providing information to migrants settling in New Zealand in 17 different languages. Contact them by:

  • phone: 0800 4636 669
  • email: info@infonow.nz
  • online chat.

InfoNOW

Chinese Settlement Information Services
Chinese New Settlers Services Trust offers bilingual support for Chinese migrants online and by telephone. This includes settlement information services and education classes. They also have a dedicated multi-language support service available in:

Cantonese, English, Greek, Hakka, Korean, Malay, Mandarin, Mongolian, Shanghainese.

Chinese New Settlers Services Trust

Citizens Advice Bureau
The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) can help you with information about COVID-19 in English. The service is available for free. You can contact them by:

  • phone: 0800 367 222
  • online chat.

Citizens Advice Bureau 

Family violence prevention

The Police and other agencies in New Zealand continue to take family violence and sexual violence very seriously. Family violence and sexual violence services are essential services and will remain available, even if services need to be delivered in different ways.

ALERT

If you are worried for your own or someone else's safety, contact one of the helplines listed on the COVID-19 website.

COVID-19 I Family violence and sexual violence prevention

The following NGO helplines currently provide an interpreter or help in different languages:

Shakti New Zealand – a multilingual 24-hour crisis line for Women of Asian, African and Middle Eastern origin: 0800 742 584.

Shakti International

Safe to Talk – sexual harm helpline. Call 0800 044 334, text 4334, or email: support@safetotalk.nz.

Safe to talk

Need to Talk? 1737 – free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor who can provide information and support and referrals to another service.

1737 I Free counsellor