Temporary Visa Holders & Healthcare Eligibility

As New Zealand Government has called a state of national emergency, eligibility has changed for healthcare services relating to COVID-19.

COVID-19 is now registered as an infectious or quarantinable disease under the New Zealand Health Act 1956. This means that all people in New Zealand, regardless of their visa status, are eligible for publicly funded services to treat COVID-19. All acute care relating to COVID-19 in New Zealand will be managed by the public health system. We have been advised by Accuro Health Insurance that there is currently no provision for this type of care in the private sector.

For regular healthcare needs (for example everything unrelated to COVID-19) only certain temporary visa holders are eligible for free or subsidised public healthcare in New Zealand. You can check your eligibility on the Ministry of Health’s website. You can also contact Pitt & Moore Lawyers for personalised advice.

If you are not eligible for publicly funded healthcare services, you may be able to get the services, but you will have to pay for them, and should have health insurance.

Private Health Insurance

The New Zealand Government strongly recommends that people who do not meet the eligibility criteria take out private medical insurance. We also note that just being eligible for public healthcare does not mean you will receive it. The Ministry of Health are clear that eligibility is not an entitlement to receive any particular service, but a right to be considered. Individuals will need to meet certain clinical and other assessment criteria to receive services, waiting periods can apply.

For people whose temporary visas have been extended due to COVID-19, we recommend that you ensure your private health insurance will continue to apply throughout the duration of your stay in New Zealand.

Talk to us

If you hold a temporary visa please contact us if you require immigration advice or assistance with your current circumstances.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended as legal advice. It is important that you seek legal advice that is specific to your circumstances.

Topics: All Select

Mike McMellon

Position: Consultant
Email: mike.mcmellon@pittandmoore.co.nz
DDI:  +64 3 545 6710