Emergency benefit for temporary visa holders


क्या आप अस्थायी वीसा पर है और आपको सहायता की जरूरत है?

न्यूजीलैन्ड रेड क्रोस, न्यूजीलैन्ड सरकार के साथ मिल कर काम कर रहा है ताकी यदि आप कोवीड-19 के कारण गंभीर कठीनाई का सामना कर रहे है तो आपकी सहायता की जा सके.

LATEST UPDATE: People on temporary visas can still apply for up to 4 weeks of assistance until midnight 30 November. We strongly encourage people to apply for Visitor Care Manaaki Manuhiri support as soon as possible before 30 November to ensure applications received can be processed before the programme closes.

From 1 December 2020, as announced by Minister Sepuloni on Friday, the Government is putting in place an Emergency Benefit via the Ministry of Social Development. The Emergency Benefit will be available for eligible temporary visa holders from 1 December 2020 to 28 February 2021. This support may be available for those who are looking for work or are unable to work and can’t return to their home or support themselves. To apply, people should visit Work and Income at a Ministry of Social Development office on or after 1 December 2020 and make an appointment. You can only apply in person, not online or over the phone. There’s more information on the Work and Income website, including how to find your nearest office: www.workandincome.govt.nz/temporaryvisa


Extension of support for foreign nationals in hardship

The Foreign Nationals Support Programme | Visitor Care Manaaki Manuhiri has been extended from 30 September to 30 November 2020.

This extension will continue the support available under the Programme since 1 July 2020, to help visitors in New Zealand who have found themselves in a difficult spot due to COVID-19.

Te Tari Taiwhenua, Department of Internal Affairs, and New Zealand Red Cross have been delivering support across Aotearoa to those eligible and most in need. To date, over 7,000 people have received support from the Programme, helping them access basic needs like food, accommodation and medical support.

“We are really proud to have helped so many, but we know there are still people out there who are struggling, and we encourage them to check their eligibility and apply for support,” says Internal Affairs Programme Director Darryl Carpenter.

“The intention of this Programme is to help people meet basic needs while they explore options to return to their home country or are able to secure alternative means of support for themselves.”

Those eligible for support are visitors to New Zealand who are experiencing serious financial hardship, and as a result are unable to meet their own basic, urgent and immediate needs, have exhausted other options and have no current access to a flight home.

“We are very pleased that the Government has decided to extend Visitor Care Manaaki Manuhiri through to the end of November 2020,” New Zealand Red Cross Project Lead Rachel O’Connor says.

“While some of the people who received support in the first three months of the programme have now been repatriated, found work in New Zealand or alternative means of support, through our work on the ground we know that there are still significant and urgent humanitarian needs being faced by people on temporary visas in our communities. We are proud to be able to continue supporting them.”

Much of this assistance is being made directly to third-parties, such as landlords or power companies. No cash payments are being made. In-kind vouchers are also provided.

People can find more information, including translated materials at, https://www.redcross.org.nz/stories/new-zealand/visitor-care-manaaki-manuhiri/. To check eligibility and apply online visit foreignnationals.services.govt.nz.

Background – eligibility

  • The Foreign Nationals Support Programme | Visitor Care Manaaki Manuhiri provides support to foreign nationals who are on temporary visas and are experiencing serious financial hardship, have exhausted other options and have no current access to flights home.
  • Internal Affairs and New Zealand Red Cross are working hard to ensure support is reaching those eligble and most in need.
  • We understand there are people in difficult situations, and while they may not be eligible for support under this Programme, we encourage them to explore other pathways of support.
  • People of all faiths, ethnicities and citizenships (excluding New Zealand) can apply for support through the Programme.
  • Recognised Seasonal Employer’s (RSE) are encouraged to apply on behalf of their foreign national workers by calling 0800 RED CROSS.
  • People in New Zealand on the Approved In Principle scheme are encouraged to apply online or by calling 0800 RED CROSS.
  • International students must meet the same eligbility criteria as other foreign nationals to receive support through the Programme.
  • People sponsored into New Zealand are not eligible for support under this Programme as their sponsor is financially responsible for them and can apply for support through the Minsity of Social Development.
  • If someone is married to, in a civil union, or in a de facto relationship with a New Zealand citizen they are not eligible for support under this Programme as their their partner can apply for support through the Minsity of Social Development.
  • For questions about eligbility, go to foreignnationals.services.govt.nz or call 0800 RED CROSS.

Visitor Care Manaaki Manuhiri