Foreign nationals in New Zealand

Foreign nationals travelling in New Zealand should consider returning home as soon as they are able to.

How to get home

You can use international air services to travel home. There may, however, be limited commercial options available. 

If you're unable to secure a ticket, please contact your country's High Commission, Embassy or Consulate in New Zealand.

Before you head home

  • Check your home country’s border restrictions. You may be required to self-isolate when you get home, so it’s best to check it out now. Embassies will be able to help you with that.
  • Check any stopover country border restrictions. Yoou may find that you are not allowed to transit via certain countries. Embassies will be able to help you with that.
  • Contact a travel agent to talk about your travel requirements. Even if you didn’t book your travel through a travel agent, they will be able to let you know what is happening with your flight, or how to book a flight.
  • Check your flights. Use airline and airport websites to check your flight. Airline schedules have been disrupted so check that your flight is going ahead as scheduled.
  • Book a flight before turning up to an airport. Airline staff at airports are very busy trying to assist travellers, make sure you book your flight before you turn up to the airport. Do not turn up at the airport more than 3 hours prior to departure.

If you're unable to return home

Check your visa

We're sympathetic to individuals who are currently in New Zealand and are unable to return to their home at the moment.

Some visas have been automatically extended. Your visa will have been extended to 25 September 2020 if:

  • you hold a work, student, visitor, limited or interim visa, and
  • your visa has an expiry date of 2 April to 11:59 pm, 9 July 2020, and
  • you were in New Zealand on 2 April.

Confirmation of extensions have been emailed to visa holders.

If you now wish to work while in New Zealand because your situation has changed, please ensure you have the correct visa. You can apply for a new work visa while you are in New Zealand.

For more information:

Other visa changes

Immigration New Zealand has increased its visa processing capacity, and has resumed processing temporary entry and residence visa applications. Visa processing will be prioritised for those already in New Zealand.

The Government has postponed:

  • selections for expressions of interest (EOI) in the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) and the Parent Category
  • ballot registrations for the Samoan Quota (SQ) and Pacific Access Category (PAC)
  • 19 capped Working Holiday schemes due to open in the next 6 months.

This is a temporary measure. Immigration NZ will continue to reassess and determine when these programmes can resume.

Accommodation for international travellers in New Zealand

The Government is providing support in finding temporary accommodation for those required to self-isolate who are unable to do so in their own homes or are travellers visiting New Zealand and don't already have suitable self-isolation accommodation arranged.

There's a cost for temporary accommodation and the Government will work with each individual or household who uses the service on how to meet this cost.

How to get temporary accommodation (external link)

Consular assistance for foreign nationals

If you require assistance, you can contact your embassy, high commission or consular representative.

Find an embassy or foreign representative to New Zealand (external link)

Financial help available to foreign nationals

Help is available for eligible foreign nationals who are experiencing serious financial hardship due to COVID-19. 

Assistance to Foreign Nationals Impacted by COVID-19 Programme

Temporary assistance is available to eligible people to help meet basic needs, such as food and accommodation. Assistance will be paid directly to third-parties, such as landlords or power companies, and no cash payments will be made.

All classes of temporary visa holders are eligible. These include:

  • visitor visas
  • student visas
  • work visas.

Find out if you are eligible and begin your application by using the COVID-19 financial support tool.

COVID-19 financial support tool

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