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Company receivership and liquidation

Key information for migrant workers about staying in New Zealand lawfully when a company they work for goes into liquidation or receivership.

18 June 2024
3 minute read

All workers on temporary visas have the same employment rights as all New Zealand workers.   

Paying less than the minimum wage or taking payment for providing a job, is unacceptable and breaches New Zealand law.

Visa options for employees

Job Change 

If you have a job offer from a different employer, you can apply for a job change. If approved, your visa conditions will be changed to let you work for a new employer. It does not make your visa longer.

Application for a Job Change or a variation of conditions for work visa holders

Your new employer must be accredited to hire migrants for the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) and have a valid job check for your new job.

If you need more information or support you can contact our Customer Service Centre.

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If you have been granted a visa to work for an employer who has gone into liquidation/receivership and you have not travelled to New Zealand yet, do not attempt to travel on this visa. Anyone in this situation will have received further information directly from us.

You find yourself unlawful in New Zealand

You are breaking the law if you stay in New Zealand after your visa expires. You may not be able to come back to New Zealand again if you are here without a visa for 42 days or longer.

Making a Section 61 request

If you are still in New Zealand after your visa expires, you should: 

  • leave the country immediately, or
  • make a request for a special temporary or resident visa under section 61 of the Immigration Act 2009 if you believe you have a special case. 

Put your request in writing and email it to:

Explain your circumstances as fully as possible and attach evidence to support your request.  Do not provide credit card details with your request. We will contact you for payment if we decide to grant you a visa. 

Section 61

If you do not leave New Zealand before your visa expires

Partner/Dependents of AEWV holders

If your dependent or partner already holds a visa based on their relationship to you as the primary applicant on your AEWV, they may not need to do anything further at this stage. They can contact us via our INZ contact centre to discuss their situation.

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Migrant exploitation

The Migrant Exploitation and Protection Visa (MEPV) is for migrant workers who have successfully reported worker exploitation. The visa allows you to leave your current job quickly while the exploitation is being investigated.

It is important to note that migrant exploitation does not generally include situations where a company has gone into receivership/liquidation or made staff redundant. Issues arising as a result of a receivership, liquidation or redundancy are not usually considered to be exploitation. This includes:

  • non-payment of previous week’s or final pay
  • individual or one-off breaches of employment agreements

Examples of migrant exploitation include when:

  • your employer bullies or threatens you
  • someone keeps your passport and money from you
  • you cannot leave your workplace because the doors and windows are locked
  • you must ask permission to eat, sleep, or go to the toilet
  • you have no time off from work
  • you are paid too little money or none at all
  • your employer forces you to work to pay off a debt
  • your employer threatens to harm you or your family if you do not do as you are told.

More information on migrant exploitation can be found here:

Migrant exploitation

Migrant exploitation — Employment New Zealand

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