Member Advisory


Extension of work visas

March 26, 2020

To: All Federated Famers members

Federated Farmers and DairyNZ last week wrote to the Minister of Immigration to ask the government to consider, as part of the response to COVID-19, extending the timeframe of temporary visas for those migrants already working in New Zealand. As our employment spokesperson Chris Lewis pointed out, for many dairy farms these diligent and trained staff are vital for continued operation of their businesses and milk supply, especially when we have closed our borders to other workers coming in from overseas.

We’re delighted that the government has just announced an extension, effective from Thursday 2 April 2020.

The details:

  • If a worker's temporary visa expires between 2 April and 9 July 2020, it will automatically be extended to late September 2020. This will be advised by email in early April.
  • If the expiry date stated in a worker's visa is on or before 1 April 2020 they must apply for a visa online before their current visa expires. If they cannot provide information required by the online form, such as a new medical certificate, they should upload an explanation instead to complete their application. If a temporary worker applies for a visa online it is accepted automatically. This means after you apply, they will be granted an interim visa automatically when their current visa expires. An interim visa will allow them to remain lawfully in New Zealand for six months.
  • People can find their visa expiry date in their eVisa letter.
The relevant information is in the second part of this webpage

Ewan Kelsall
Senior Policy Advisor
Federated Farmers