If you are unable to leave New Zealand

Visa options if you are in New Zealand and your visa is about to expire.

Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) Work Visa

You can apply for an SSE visa if you have previously held or hold a current work visa, if you apply before 31 March 2022.

SSE visa holders will be able to work in seasonal horticulture and viticulture roles where there are not enough New Zealanders available to do this work. An SSE visa will enable the visa holder to be employed by an employer with an approved SSE Approval in Principle (AIP).

Current student and visitor visa holders can also apply for this visa.

If approved, SSE visas will be granted for a period of 6 months.

Supplementary seasonal employers list

Visa Verification Service

COVID-19 short-term visitor visa

Temporary visa holders in New Zealand can now apply for the new COVID-19 short-term visitor visa. You will need to pay a fee when applying. You can apply more than once.

Applicants must show they:

  • hold a valid passport
  • are of good character 
  • have a genuine reason for remaining in New Zealand
  • cannot leave New Zealand now but will make plans to leave at the end of their stay.

Temporary migrants do not need to show they have:

  • enough money to support their stay in New Zealand
  • existing onward travel arrangements
  • good health
  • met any time-limits for how long they are able to stay in New Zealand on a visitor visa.

COVID-19 Short-term Visitor visa

If your visa is about to expire and you are in New Zealand

If you hold an open work, student, visitor, limited or interim visa that is due to expire you need to:

  • leave the country before your visa expires, or
  • make an application for a new visa.

You cannot apply for a new visa if you hold an interim visa.

If you are in New Zealand and your visa has expired

If you do not have a current visa or are unable to apply for a visa before your current one expires, you will be unlawful in New Zealand. 

You cannot apply for another visa in New Zealand while you are unlawful. You can either:

  • leave the country immediately if possible, or
  • make a request for a special temporary or resident visa under Section 61 of the Immigration Act.

Making a section 61 request

Repatriation assistance for migrants

Immigration New Zealand has limited funds available through its Repatriation Fund to help migrants with the cost of their travel home.

Who to contact first

If you need assistance while in New Zealand or cannot afford to travel home you must contact your foreign mission first. Foreign missions are your countries High Commission, Embassy, or Consulate.

There may already be help available from your own Government to support your repatriation.

Your foreign mission will be able to advise whether they can provide a letter of support for access to the Immigration New Zealand fund.

Contact details for your foreign mission in New Zealand can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

Embassies -  Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

If you are unable to pay

The Repatriation Fund is for migrants who are unable to pay to leave New Zealand themselves and their foreign mission (High Commission, Embassy, or Consulate) is unable to meet these costs for them.

This help can be given to migrants in New Zealand on valid temporary entry visas and people who do not currently hold valid visas.

If you are illegally in New Zealand you are able to use the repatriation scheme.

If you have already been served with a Deportation Order or Deportation Liability Notice and all relevant appeal periods have expired, a period of prohibition on entering New Zealand will still apply.

If you have not been served with a Deportation Order one will be served and a period of prohibition on entering New Zealand will apply.

How to apply

To apply for this help you need to get a letter from your foreign mission that includes:

  • Your full name, date of birth and confirmation of your nationality (it is not necessary for the letter to include your passport details)
  • A statement that you are unable to meet the cost of your travel home
  • A statement that the foreign mission is unable to help with the cost of your travel.

Email this letter to: covid19repatriations@mbie.govt.nz

We will verify the letter directly with your foreign mission.

Once Immigration New Zealand has received your email, we will send you a ‘Repatriation consent and information’ form. Complete this form and send it back to us with a scanned copy of the photo page of your passport.

We will then work towards purchasing tickets for you to travel home.

If you do not provide all of the requested information in the form or fully complete the form, we may be unable to consider your application, or your application may be delayed.

Immigration New Zealand’s ability to pay for and book flights will be limited by the availability of funding, flights out of New Zealand, any transit or entry requirements for the return to your home country, and whether you hold a valid travel document.


The money paid for the flights by Immigration New Zealand must be repaid by you, on request by Immigration New Zealand, at a later date. If you do not repay the costs of the flights you may not be granted a visa to travel to New Zealand in the future.


Your information will be shared with airlines and MBIE’s travel agent to book travel for you.

MBIE will handle your information in accordance with the Privacy Act 2020. Your information will be securely stored by MBIE.

You have the right to request access to and (if applicable) correction of information MBIE holds about you, at any time. Please write to Privacy Officer, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, PO Box 5488, Wellington 6011, to do so.