Notice Type
Notice Title

Special Direction – Grant Work Visas to a Class of Offshore Persons Whose Working Holiday Scheme Visas Have Expired, to Manage Effects and Deal With Consequences of Measures Taken to Contain or Mitigate the Outbreak of COVID-19 or its Effects

Pursuant to section 61A(2) of the Immigration Act 2009 (“Act”) of my own volition, by special direction, I grant a working holiday visa (allowing young citizens of approved countries, whose primary intention is to holiday in New Zealand, to undertake employment and study during their stay) with the following currency and conditions, to the class of offshore persons as described below:

  1. Start Date: 13 March 2022
  2. Duration: Visa valid for 12 months from first arrival.
  3. Travel conditions:
    1. First Entry Before: 13 September 2022
    2. Number of entries: Multiple. Valid for further travel for 12 months from first arrival.
  4. Other conditions: Stay subject to grant of entry permission. You must leave before visa expiry or face deportation. Return/onward ticket not required. The holder may work as part of a Working Holiday Scheme in any employment except permanent employment. The holder shall not study for more than 6 months in any 12 month period.

The following persons are classified as persons to whom this special direction applies. A person who:

  1. was granted a Working Holiday Scheme work visa on or after 20 March 2019 that subsequently expired pursuant to section 63(2)(b) of the Act; and
  2. is outside New Zealand on the day this special direction is made; and
  3. has not subsequently been granted a new visa under a different category.

I am satisfied that the making of this special direction does not disadvantage the recipients and is reasonably necessary to manage the effects, or deal with the consequences, of measures taken under the Act or any other enactment in New Zealand, and other measures taken elsewhere, to contain or mitigate the outbreak of COVID-19 or its effects. This special direction manages the consequences of the border closure that has impacted these visa holders’ ability to travel on the visas held – in circumstances where they may not be able to reapply and enables New Zealand to fulfil commitments made with bilateral partner countries.

This special direction expires on 13 September 2022 unless cancelled earlier.

Dated this 3rd day of March 2022.

Hon KRIS FAAFOI, Minister of Immigration.

Explanatory Note

The effect of this special direction is to grant new working holiday visas to persons who are not in New Zealand and who recently held working holiday scheme visas but were unable to enter New Zealand before their first entry travel date due to the border closure and as a result no longer hold working holiday scheme visas. These persons will have until 13 September 2022 to travel to New Zealand.