New recovery visa for New Zealand

A new specific purpose 'recovery visa'

The Recovery Visa is a new Specific Purpose Work Visa which allows employers to sponsor experts to come to New Zealand and assist with the rebuild.

Early 2023, New Zealand's North Island has been severely affected by cyclone Gabrielle and other extreme weather events. To assist with the recovery, the Government is supporting business by allowing them to quickly bring overseas experts.

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When is the Recovery Visa available?

Migrants can apply right now through the Specific Purpose Work visa scheme.

How long is the Recovery Visa valid for?

This Specific Purpose Work visa is granted for up to 6 months at a time. Workers may not apply for a further Recovery visa after their mission is complete, however they may apply for another work visa under a different category, subject to securing a new job offer.

Who is eligible for a Recovery Visa?

Eligible roles include occupations that cover:

  • emergency response
  • immediate clean-up
  • risk or loss assessments
  • infrastructure, building and housing stabilisation and/or repair (including planners)
  • any roles that is deemed as directly supporting the recovery, which may include building materials, heavy truck drivers, etc.

Can employers apply for this visa?

No, employers will be expected to demonstrate how the migrant workers they wish to bring in will provide relevant support.

Migrant workers will apply for the visa themselves or with the help of a Licensed Immigration Adviser.

Does this visa cover the whole of New Zealand?

Yes, although only the North Island was affected, the Government recognises that some businesses in the South Island directly support the recovery, hence the Recovery visa may be granted for roles in both North & South Islands.

How long does Recovery visa take to process?

Immigration New Zealand aims to process these within 1 week. It is paramount to have all relevant documentation to ensure prompt processing.

How much does the Recovery visa cost?

A fee of NZD$700 is payable upon lodgement of the application, and will be refunded for successful applications.

What visas are available for indirect support or other roles?

Migrant workers needed for indirect support such as backfilling vacancies for displaced staff, will not be eligible for this visa. However, they may apply under another visa category, such as the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) The Government is considering facilitating the grant of AEWV visas under certain occupations for fast processing.