Financial support for foreign nationals stranded in NZ

Help is available for eligible foreign nationals who cannot return home and are experiencing serious financial hardship due to COVID-19.

Emergency benefit if you have a temporary visa

If you have a temporary visa and cannot support yourself or return home due to COVID-19, you may be able to get an Emergency Benefit.

The Emergency Benefit is a weekly payment to help with your basic living costs while you arrange to get home as soon as you can.

Who can get it

You may be able to get the Emergency Benefit if you:

  • have a current temporary New Zealand visa that is not sponsored, for example a visitor visa, student visa or work visa
  • are in financial hardship with no other means of support — money to buy a flight home does not count as support
  • either:
    • are arranging to return home as soon as you can, or
    • cannot get home because of COVID-19 travel restrictions but will do so as soon as flights are available
  • are taking all reasonable steps to find other means of support, including looking for work; consular assistance; or support from family, friends and organisations in NZ or overseas
  • have a valid passport
  • have a New Zealand bank account
  • have an Inland Revenue (IRD) number.

You can apply for the Emergency Benefit from 1 December 2020 to 28 February 2021.

Find out if you can get the Emergency Benefit, and how to apply (external link)

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