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New visa to help with recovery efforts following Cyclone Gabrielle

The Government has announced the launch of a new visa to facilitate the availability of specialist migrant workers to help in the recovery efforts following Cyclone Gabrielle and other recent weather events in the North Island.

24 February 2023
2 minute read

The Recovery Visa (a Specific Purpose Work Visa), will allow employers to sponsor migrants to come to New Zealand for a specific event or purpose, including working on an emergency response.

The full picture of labour demand is still emerging but we know that in the short term we’re going to need specialists from overseas such as engineers, technicians and insurance assessors to support our New Zealand experts on the ground.

INZ will aim to process applications for the Recovery Visa within a week and many of them will be decided even quicker.

The initial visa will last up to 6 months. The $700 fee will be refunded for successful applicants.

Similar pathways have been used for the responses to the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes and insurance assessors have already been applying for Specific Purpose work visas after the first Auckland flooding event.

Employers wanting to recruit migrant workers for longer term roles are encouraged to use the existing Accredited Employer Work Visa. Changes are being considered to this visa to support faster processing for identified roles that will support the recovery and rebuild. These roles will be exempt from the labour market test.

Migrants already in New Zealand who need to change their role and location for up to 2 months will be able to do so provided they stay with their same employer. As long as employers and their workers agree between themselves to vary the location or role the migrant is working in, there is no need to let Immigration New Zealand know.

This measure is only for situations where the worker needs to work outside their conditions as a direct result of extreme weather events. Migrants wanting to move to another employer will still need to apply for a Job Change or Variation of Conditions.

In the case of the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) schemes employers have additional obligations towards their workers. INZ has communicated directly with RSE employers about options for flexibility within the RSE scheme.

Migrants wanting to move to another employer will still need to apply for a Job Change or Variation of Conditions.

Recovery Visa