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Recovery Visa – a Specific Purpose Work Visa

Recovery visa – a Specific Purpose Work Visa

On February 2023, severe Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle hit New Zealand and had a devastating impact, causing an estimated NZ$13 billion (US$8.12 billion) in damages.

The Government, in response, has announced the launch of the Recovery Visa (a sub-type of the Specific Purpose or Event Work Visa) for migrant workers, effective 24 February 2023, to assist with recovery efforts in the wake of the devastation left behind.

This is a short-term visa which will allow New Zealand employers to sponsor migrants to come to New Zealand to work on the emergency response.

New Zealand requires specialists such as insurance assessors, infrastructure and utilities engineers and technicians, heavy machinery operators, and debris removal workers to work with their onshore experts.

Information about how the new visa can be found here.

What is the Recovery visa – Specific Purpose Work visa

The New Zealand government has put in place a Recovery Visa to assist in the relief efforts of North Island. This specific purpose work visa allows migrant workers to help out for up to six months. To apply for this visa, employers must confirm that the role supports relief efforts, and applicants must submit a Recovery Visa – Employer Supplementary form along with their other documents. There is also a NZ$700 fee associated with the application; however, applicants will be refunded this amount when successful.

Who is this visa for

The visa is for migrant workers coming to 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.

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 (e.g. producing relevant materials for road rebuild, transport drivers etc).

How to apply

When employers have identified migrant workers to contribute to recovery efforts, they and the worker must each complete specific forms required by INZ. First, the employer needs to complete the Recovery Visa – Employer Supplementary form and provide it to the migrant worker. The worker then needs to submit a Specific Purpose Work visa application, including the Recovery Visa application form as an attachment, specifying how long they intend to stay in New Zealand (6 months or less). INZ estimates that most applications will be processed within a week, with some decisions being given even faster.

Click here for detailed information about the Recovery Visa.

Long-term roles

Employers looking to recruit migrant workers for long-term roles must apply for an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). Changes are being proposed to the AEWV instructions to expedite the processing of certain positions to aid recovery and rebuilding.  These positions will be exempt from labour market testing.

More information on this is yet to come.

Migrant Workers in New Zealand

Migrants already in New Zealand can change their role and location for up to two months without violating visa conditions; however, they must stay with the same employer throughout.

Migrants wishing to move to another employer must apply for a Job Change or Variation of Conditions.

Get in touch with Immigration Advisors New Zealand Ltd, which provides up-to-date immigration information so you can consider opportunities and prepare yourself for the future. To know all the required procedures, contact us at [email protected]  or call on +64 09 3790219.

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Vandana Rai

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Vandana Rai is a Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser and has built a reputation around her rare set of skills, which could be considered ideal for her legal profession.

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