Recovery Visa

The Recovery Visa (a Specific Purpose Work Visa) allowed employers to sponsor experts such as engineers, technicians, and insurance assessors to come to New Zealand between 24 February 2023 and 23 September 2023.

This visa has closed to new applicants.

Migrants in New Zealand who already have a Recovery Visa can apply for a further 3-month visa. This will allow them to stay in New Zealand and continue to assist the recovery effort while they consider their options.

Find other visa options that allow you to hire migrants.

Visa options for hiring migrants

Cyclone Gabrielle and other extreme weather events devastated many communities and businesses in the North Island. The further 3-month Recovery Visa (a Specific Purpose Work Visa) is for migrant workers who are continuing to assist with the recovery.

Migrants who have a Recovery Visa and were in New Zealand on 23 September 2023 can apply for the additional 3-month visa under the Specific Purpose Work Visa.

The application fee for the additional 3-month fee will be refunded to successful applicants, as it was with their original Recovery Visa.

Roles covered by this visa

The visa is for migrant workers who have been in New Zealand for a short time (up to 6 months) to do a job that supports the North Island recovery from extreme weather events in January and February 2023. The Recovery Visa provides migrants a further 3 months to complete their job and leave New Zealand, or to consider further visa options.

This support can include:

  • providing emergency response
  • immediate clean-up
  • assessing risk or loss
  • infrastructure, building and housing stabilisation and/or repair (including planning functions)
  • work that directly supports the recovery (for example producing relevant materials for road rebuild or transport drivers).

Employers must confirm that the role supports the ongoing North Island recovery from extreme weather events by completing a Recovery Visa Employer Supplementary Form (INZ 1377). Migrants must include the completed form with their application.

This visa is not available to industries providing indirect support (for example businesses in the affected areas facing an increased demand for services) or to backfill vacancies of people leaving roles to work on the recovery.

These employers will be able to access labour through other visas such as the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). Changes are being considered to the AEWV to support faster processing for identified roles that will support the recovery and rebuild. These roles will be exempt from the labour market test.

The Recovery Visa is not limited to roles in the North Island only, recognising that some direct support industries will be South Island-based. Employers do not have to be accredited.

Applying for the Recovery Visa

Employer extends migrant worker's employment contract

Employer offers their migrant workers who meet the requirements of the Recovery Visa an extended employment contract to continue assisting with the recovery.

Employer completes Employer Supplementary Form

Employer downloads and completes the Recovery Visa - Employer Supplementary Form (INZ 1377) and provides it to the migrant.

Migrant applies for the visa

Migrant worker completes a Specific Purpose Work Visa application.

If applying online they must:

  • select 'Specific Purpose or Event' as the type of work visa they are applying for.
  • select 'Recovery Visa' as the type of specific purpose or event they are coming to New Zealand for.
  • select 'more than 6 months but less than 12 months' as the length of stay in New Zealand. This may prompt a request to provide a chest x-ray certificate with their application.
  • if asked to provide a chest x-ray certificate, upload a chest x-ray certificate exemption letter, which confirms that as they are applying for a 3-month extension of their Recovery Visa. They are not required to provide a chest x-ray certificate.
  • in the ‘Upload Documents’ section, under 'Evidence required for your Special Purpose or Event work visa', upload evidence of their employment (such as their extended job offer). They must provide evidence that their work is related to the extreme weather events from earlier in the year, as well as an Employer Supplementary Form (INZ 1377) confirming this.

We process the application

Immigration New Zealand processes the application and provides the applicant with a decision.

Recovery Visa - Employer Supplementary Form (INZ 1377) PDF 370KB

Recovery Visa - chest x-ray certificate exemption letter PDF 304KB

Specific Purpose Work Visa

If their visa expires while the application is still being assessed, they may be eligible for an interim visa which will enable them to keep working while their application is under consideration.

The NZD $700 fee will be refunded automatically for successful applicants. Refunds are expected to take 15 to 25 days to process, depending on demand for the visa. Once the refund has been processed, confirmation will be provided via the email address listed as the contact in the application.

Refunds will not be provided for new applicants who apply after 23 September 2023.

Help for employers

The employer line is open between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Freephone from NZ landlines:

0508 967 569