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INZ Covid Update - Stand down deferred by one year

Updated: Dec 10, 2020


From 28 August 2017, all holders of low skilled visas were only eligible for 3 x 12-month work visas, before they were subject to a stand-down period of 12 months outside of New Zealand.

What’s new?

The government wants to help maintain existing health workforces and minimise disruption to New Zealand’s COVID-19 public health response. The Immigration instructions will now allow eligible healthcare workers to hold essential skills visas for an additional year, four years in total, before they are required to stand down for 12 months.

The stand-down requirement has therefore, been deferred. It is only for some lower skilled critical healthcare workers on essential skills work visas but includes all visa applications, paid below the median wage, made after 27 July 2020.

This decision only applies to healthcare and support workers who were employed in the specific occupations and sectors on 23 March 2020. The list for the specific occupations and sectors can be found here.

Who does this apply to?

You are eligible if:

  • you held a low skilled work visa for one of the specified roles; and

  • you were employed in this occupation and sector on 23 March 2020.


This is not a visa extension so you will still need to apply for another visa when your current one expires. Contact us for assistance.