Information for Visa holders and their sponsors
From 17 October 2022, Ukrainians in New Zealand under a 2022 Special Ukraine Visa are eligible for a free initial health check.
In this health check the Visa holders will:
- be supported to enrol with a general practice (if they have not already)
- be assessed for tuberculosis (TB), including being offered testing to exclude TB
- find out what vaccinations they may be eligible for and where to get them.
Free interpreter services in the language of the Visa holder’s choice will be available. The Visa holder can ask for an interpreter if required.
Tuberculosis (TB) screening
TB treatment is free in New Zealand.
TB is considered a priority because Ukraine currently has a high rate of TB, and it can be passed on without people realising it. Others in the household can then become sick from it – especially children and people who are immune-compromised.
How to get the health check
If you're already enrolled with a general practice
- Visa holders can do an in-person consultation at a general practice, they just need to get in touch with the practice and say they would like to have the free health check being offered to 2022 Special Ukraine Visa holders.
If you're not enrolled with a general practice
- If they would like a phone consultation or are not enrolled with a general practice, they can get in touch with a service called Healthline by calling 0800 945 375 or 09 306 8739. A Healthline doctor will do a consultation by phone and support the Visa holder to enrol with a general practice.
What the doctor needs to know
It is important to tell the doctor about any symptoms of feeling unwell. These could include:
- coughing – including coughing up blood
- night sweats
- swollen glands, usually in the neck
- weight loss
It is also important for the Visa holder to tell the doctor about any past medical history, including any vaccinations they have had or medical conditions they may have and the medication they are taking.
After the assessment
TB test results
- If the Visa holder’s TB test results are normal, the health check is considered complete once the general practice or Healthline informs the Visa holder of the results.
- If the Visa holder’s TB test results are not normal, they will be offered a free second consultation with the doctor to discuss the results and next steps.
Other health concerns
- If any other health concerns are identified, they will need to book another appointment with a doctor at a general practice to talk about these concerns. There will be a payment required for these further consultations. Seeing a doctor at a general practice they are enrolled with will be cheaper than seeing one at a practice that they are not enrolled with.
Why have the health check
The free health check is voluntary, but it is best to have any health conditions – like TB – diagnosed and treated early, to protect the Visa holder and their family and ensure future visa applications are processed smoothly.
Current 2022 Special Ukraine Visas will not be affected if any health issues (including TB) are found during this health check.
If the Visa holder has their free health check with Healthline, the information will be shared with the general practice the Visa holder enrolls with.
Positive TB result
If TB is suspected or confirmed, the Visa holder’s information will be shared with the local Public Health Service so they can make sure the person and their family stay healthy. The Service will contact the Visa holder to find out if anyone in their family is at risk of getting TB. This is to protect their family and the wider community.
Future New Zealand residency applications
If the Visa holder has TB, they can get free treatment. Any future visa applications will be assessed by Immigration New Zealand at the time of that application to determine whether the person has an acceptable standard of health.
It would be better for 2022 Special Ukraine Visa holders to have had TB diagnosed earlier and treatment completed well before a future visa is applied for.
Vaccinations and the health check
Getting vaccinations that you are eligible for in New Zealand is usually free through your enrolled general practice and is also your choice.
It is important to be vaccinated against these preventable diseases, especially measles and whooping cough. The health check will work out what vaccinations the Visa holders are eligible for, and they will be told where and when they can get them.
New Zealand health services available to 2022 Special Ukraine Visa holders
Visa holders are eligible for all publicly-funded health care. Government funding of health and disability services means they may receive free inpatient and outpatient public hospital services, subsidies on prescription medication and a range of support services for people with disabilities.
They are also eligible to enrol with a general practice. If they enrol with a general practice, their care will be subsidised – so they will pay a reduced consultation fee.
For more information: