The New Zealand (NZ) government has increased our level of alert and announced further immigration updates, in response to a government epidemic notice being issued.
The updates are as follows.
1. Interim visas for temporary visa holders expiring before 1 April 2020
Temporary visa holders due to expire before 1 April 2020 must apply online for a new visa if they are unable to leave NZ. Interim visas will be granted while decisions are pending.
2. Extensions for temporary visa holders expiring between 1 April and 9 July 2020
Temporary visa holders due to expire between 1 April and 9 July 2020 will automatically have their visa extended until late September. Extension emails will be sent through to all visa holders.
3. Entering NZ
NZ borders remain closed to almost all individuals. Only those listed below are able to enter NZ during this time:
- NZ citizens
- NZ permanent residents
- NZ residents with valid travel conditions
- Immediate family (partner or spouse, legal guardian and dependent children under the age of 24) of NZ citizens/residents, if travelling with their NZ citizen or resident family member
- Australian citizens and permanent residents who normally live in NZ
- Aircraft crew and marine crew
Exceptions may be made for:
- Humanitarian reasons
- Health and other essential workers
- Citizens of Samoa and Tonga for essential travel to NZ
Note: the threshold for any exceptional travel has been set very high.
Anyone still allowed to enter NZ must still self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.
4. Transiting through NZ
NZ is limiting who can transit through the country to:
- Australian citizens, residents and immediate family on their way home to Australia
- NZ citizens, residents and immediate family who usually reside in Australia
Until midnight on Sunday 29 March 2020, the following individuals can also transit NZ:
- Nationals of the United States and Canada, if returning to the United States and Canada
- Anyone travelling from the Pacific, if returning home and if they do not need to transit Australia.
Anyone transiting through NZ must remain at the airport, and not enter NZ.
5. All Immigration New Zealand (INZ) offices offshore are closed
All INZ offices overseas remain closed during this time. This means visa processing will take longer than usual.
We understand that this is a confusing time, and you may have further questions. Please get in touch with one of our experts today.