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Visitor visas extended and new COVID-19 short-term visitor visa

The Government is changing the visitor visa system to help temporary migrants and visitors to remain in New Zealand lawfully while they arrange to leave the country.

4 September 2020
2 minute read

Visitor visas to be extended

The Government is automatically extending current onshore visitor visas that are due to expire between 4 September and the end of October 2020 by five months. 

Some visitor visa categories will not be extended. These include the critical purpose visa holders, guardians of students, and partners or dependants linked to a work visa holder whose visa was extended previously.

Visitor visa holders eligible for the extension have been contacted and their visas have extended for five months.


An issue with extending the visitor visa holders from visa waiver countries and territories has been identified. INZ is working to resolve this issue and will contact those visa holders once the extension is implemented.

Visa waiver countries and territories  

New COVID-19 short-term visitor visa

We are introducing a new two-month COVID-19 short-term visitor visa to allow temporary migrants stranded in New Zealand more time to arrange their travel home. Employment while on this visa is not permitted.

The COVID-19 short-term visitor visa is intended to help people reaching the end of their current visitor, work, student or partnership visa who may not meet the criteria for another visa, and need time to arrange travel home.

Individuals can apply for the COVID-19 short-term visitor visa from mid-September. They will need to pay a fee when applying.

More details on how to apply for the COVID-19 short-term visitor visa will be available on the Immigration New Zealand website by mid-September

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 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.