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Following Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi's statement, INZ have released an update outlining further border exceptions. This is an interim alert, with additional information scheduled for release later this month.

There are two new border exceptions to be introduced, summarised below.

1. Temporary work visa holders normally resident in NZ

Individuals who have been living in NZ for at least two years, and are returning to the same job they held before they left, or continue to run a business as part of their entrepreneur work visa may soon be eligible for a border exception.

Eligible applicants must have:

  • Departed New Zealand on or after 1 December 2019; and
  • Held either a work to residence or essential skills visa (mid-skilled or higher) which will not expire before the end of 2020.

​​​​If the essential skills work visa is expiring before the end of 2020, the visa holder must have applied for a new visa to remain in the same job when they left, and before 10 August 2020.Successful applicants will need to spend 14 days in managed isolation or quarantine.

Temporary visa holders who were ordinarily living in New Zealand in the last 12 months, and who left New Zealand on or before 19 March 2020 will not have to pay isolation or quarantine charges. Individuals who left after 19 March 2020 will be charged for their time in managed isolation.

2. Partners of NZ citizens and residents

Partners of NZ citizens or residents who hold a passport from Australia or a Visa Waiver country may soon be eligible for a border exception, with significantly relaxed criteria. The couple will need to show that they have been living together in a genuine and stable relationship.

Important notes:

  • Dependent children may be included in the same border exception request.
  • Australian partners will be charged NZ$45 for the travel request and will typically be granted a resident’s visa on arrival.
  • Partners from visa waiver countries will be charged NZ$45 for the travel request fee, along with a subsequent partnership visa application fee.
  • All individuals will need to spend 14 days in managed isolation or quarantine and will be invoiced for the associated costs.

Our advice

These two new border exception categories will come into effect in early October, with specific dates and further information to follow before this time.

Importantly, any request made before these new exceptions come into effect will be assessed against existing criteria.

Our experts

If you have any questions or would like assistance with a border exception request please get in touch with the team.

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