Immigration New Zealand has urged international citizens stranded in the country, whose visas are expiring before April 1, to contact the agency urgently.

Border closures and travel restrictions applied by most world countries, amid coronavirus pandemic, have left a massive number of foreign citizens stuck in New Zealand. Some of them have even run out of money to pay for food and accommodation VisaGuide.World reports.

Immigration New Zealand encouraged all international citizens who need to renew their visas to contact the agency.

“Holders of work, student, or visitor visa with an expiry date of April 1, 2020, or earlier, and who are unable to leave New Zealand must apply online for a new visa. An interim visa will be issued,” an INZ spokesperson pointed out.

She also clarified that foreign citizens who are not able to get in touch with Immigration New Zealand should email their circumstances, with personal information, copy of their passports, the type of visa requested and other details to [email protected]

The Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment, which includes Immigration New Zealand, is continuing to work with the Ministry of Social Development and other competent agencies around to help travellers and temporary migrants, amid coronavirus crisis.

An epidemic management notice which came into effect yesterday indicated that holders of the student, work, visitor, limited or interim visas that are set to expire on April 2 until July 9, will be automatically extended to September 25.

But the new decision did not include those whose visas expired before April 1.

Ministry of Social Development (MSD) urged internationals stranded in the country, who are facing financial difficulties under COVID-19 alert level four, to contact their embassies or consulates for assistance.

This includes students, tourists, short-term visas, working holiday and seasonal employer schemes.

The Temporary Accommodation Service operated by the  Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment is assisting all persons who are having difficulties in finding accommodation these days.

The service is planned for persons who are ineligible to self-isolate in their homes or internationals who don’t have suitable self-isolation accommodation after the users meet a cost set for the temporary housing.

Foreign citizens are also advised to check the website of the ministry to provide new information.

Last week, Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern announced that foreigners stranded in New Zealand whose temporary visas will be expiring before April 1, will be eligible to extend them to late September.

New Zealand also introduced visa extensions that will be applied under these extreme circumstances.

Visa extensions amid coronavirus, include humanitarian reasons, essential health workers, essential workers agreed by the Government, residence visa holders travelling to New Zealand, etc.