Feb 24, 2023

Recovery Visa announced

Firstly, our thoughts are with those impacted by the recent extreme weather events.

We have been taking calls from many North Island employers this week, following the devastation of Cyclone Gabrielle.

There is no doubt that the magnitude of this event will have severe repercussions on New Zealand trade, supply, manufacturing, infrastructure and beyond.

We offer our support to those affected.

The government’s announcement this morning of a new Recovery Visa (a Specific Purpose Work Visa) is a very timely one and will allow employers to sponsor new arrivals to New Zealand to work on much needed emergency response.

Below is a snapshot from Immigration New Zealand on this newly announced visa.

Please do get in touch if you need support or advice.


This visa is intended for people coming to New Zealand for a short period for:

  • 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 material for road rebuild, transport drivers etc).

Those currently offshore who are going to assist with the recovery efforts can apply through the Specific Purpose Work visa, which will last up to six months.

Employers will need to confirm that the role supports the North Island response to the extreme weather events. The $700 fee will be refunded for successful applicants.


Employers wanting to recruit migrant workers for longer term roles are encouraged to use the existing Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV).

Changes are being considered to this visa to support faster processing for identified roles that will support the recovery and rebuild.

These roles will be exempt from the labour market test.


Migrants already in New Zealand who need to change their role and location will be able to do so for up to two months without breaching their visa conditions.

They must stay with the same employer.

Migrants wanting to move to another employer will still need to apply for a Job Change or Variation of Conditions.


The initial accreditation periods for the AEWV will be automatically extended by 12 months if you apply before 4 July 2023.


New Zealand will need all manner of additional experts and workers from overseas.
We are here to support and offer advice to affected businesses, from an immigration, recruitment or settlement perspective.

Get in touch if your business needs support or advice.


Nassim Lalehzari
Chief Commercial Officer – Visas
IAA License #201200100

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