Government announces Recovery Visa

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The Government has announced a Recovery Visa to assist with the response to the recent extreme weather events, which have recently hit the North Island.

Who is eligible?

This visa is intended for people coming to New Zealand for a short period of time to assist with:

  • Providing emergency response;
  • Undertaking immediate clean-up of the weather-related damage;
  • Assessing risk or loss, from an insurance perspective;
  • Repairing or stabilising infrastructure, buildings and houses, which includes planning roles
  • Undertaking work that directly supports the recovery (e.g., producing relevant material for road rebuild and transport drivers).

What will the visa conditions be?

The visa will be valid for a maximum of six months. It cannot be extended.  

However, the visa holder could apply for a further and different type of work visa, such as an Accredited Employer Work Visa.  Also, this is the first stage of the government’s response, so there may be other options to be announced.

What is the application process?

The first step is to identify and recruit a migrant worker to undertake the permitted work.
The employer then downloads and completes the Recovery Visa – Employer Supplementary form and provides this to the migrant worker.  This is available here: Recovery Visa – Employer Supplementary Form (INZ1377).
The migrant worker can then apply online, completing a Specific Purpose Work visa application form. He or she must upload the completed Recovery Visa – Employer Supplementary Form and specifies his or her proposed length of stay as six months or less.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) processes the application and issues an electronic visa.

The length of the visa means that most eligible migrants will not need to obtain medical or police checks, as part of the application process.

How quickly will each visa be processed?

INZ is aiming to process applications within seven days.

How much does each visa cost?

The application fee is NZ$700. However, if the application is approved, this fee will be refunded, through an automated process, within 15-25 days, to whoever paid the application fee.   

We’re here to help!

Our Immigration Team can assist by:

  • advising your employees are eligible for the visa, depending on what work you are undertaking;
  • preparing and submitting the visa application;
  • and advising on longer-term visa options.

For initial advice on how to navigate this new visa pathway, please contact a member of our Immigration Law Team.

Disclaimer: the content of this article is general in nature and not intended as a substitute for specific professional advice on any matter and should not be relied upon for that purpose.

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