New bridging visas for onshore workers on cancelled flights

5 October 2021

From 28 September 2021, the Minister of Immigration has decided to grant new bridging visas for three months for onshore RSE workers whose visas are:  

  • due to expire within 30 days, and 
  • held by RSE workers who are unable to repatriate to their home country before their visa expires (due to cancelled or lack of flights). 

These workers will be allowed to work for an RSE employer who has provided an undertaking to Immigration New Zealand (INZ), which confirms that the worker is awaiting repatriation, and that they will:

  • take all reasonable steps to provide full time work for the duration of the visa
  • arrange for medical insurance to be extended
  • provide pastoral care
  • co-ordinate repatriation on the next available flight.

The undertaking form can be accessed on the Immigration NZ website.
RSE employers will not need to obtain a new Agreement to Recruit (ATR) for these workers awaiting repatriation. There is no application fee.

Click here for more info and eligibility requirements


Reduced stand down

Workers who have been in New Zealand as a result of Covid and repatriate (back to the Pacific Islands) will have their stand down period reduced from four months to two, before they can travel back to New Zealand through quarantine free travel. Workers who are in New Zealand and are awaiting repatriation will be eligible to apply for further RSE Limited Visas.


Health requirements for visa applications

The current chest x-ray requirement waiver for workers from Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu applying in New Zealand for a further RSE visa will remain. 

However, applicants from other Pacific countries who are in New Zealand and all applicants outside of New Zealand are still required to provide a chest x-ray with their RSE Limited visa application.


Streamlined application form

Applicants in New Zealand can now apply for an RSE Limited visa application using a streamlined form - Application from an Onshore RSE Worker (INZ 1269). Passport photos are not required with this form.