Student visa changes to support essential services

Changes have been made to relax visa restrictions for some visa holders to work in essential services to support New Zealand’s response to COVID-19. Students currently employed by supermarkets and the healthcare sector will be able to work for more than 20 hours per week in certain circumstances, explained below.

Where this applies the student needs to discuss their plans with their education provider as they must still meet the study requirements of their student visa.


If the student was an employee at a supermarket on 23 March 2020, they may work more than 20 hours per week from 25 March to 25 April 2020 (inclusive).

This applies to supermarkets operated by Woolworths (Countdown, Super Value and Fresh Choice)  and Foodstuffs Limited – (New World, Pak n Save and Four Square).

Healthcare sector

If the student was employed in an essential health worker role (including aged residential care) on 3 April 2020, they can work more than 20 hours per week for the period 3 April to 3 July 2020.

For more information visit Immigration New Zealand