New Zealand Immigration Update: Coronavirus update #5
Updated: Mar 25
Background Following the coronavirus outbreak, the New Zealand (NZ) government has announced further sweeping border restrictions.
The key updates are as follows.
1. Borders shut to all but NZ citizens and residents
From 11:59pm on 19 March 2020, NZ borders are closed to all travellers, with the following exceptions: - 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
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) may also make exceptions for:
- Humanitarian reasons - Health and other essential workers - Citizens of Samoa and Tonga for essential travel to NZ - The holder of a visitor visa who is the partner or dependent of a temporary work or student visa holder who is currently living in NZ.
Importantly, all returning NZ citizens/residents and those exempt but still self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.
2. Visa-waiver travel for tourism/business is suspended
Visa-waiver travellers can no longer travel to NZ.
3. Transit through NZ is suspended
Individuals are not able to transit through NZ unless they are Australian citizens or residents (including immediate family) with a final destination of Australia.
4. The Beijing, Mumbai and Manila INZ offices are temporarily closed
INZ's Beijing, Mumbai and Manila offices remain closed during this time.
What if I have recently been issued a visa but haven't entered NZ yet? Unfortunately you will not be able to use your visa until these travel restrictions are lifted.
What if my work visa is due to expire? INZ have advised that temporary visa holders inside NZ can submit a further application, which will be considered.
What if I was granted a residence visa offshore, but have not entered NZ yet? You cannot travel to NZ. Anyone granted a residence class visa offshore who is arriving to NZ for the first time will be refused entry.
What if I am a Australian citizen or resident but live in NZ? You will be able to enter NZ but will need to self-isolate on arrival. What if I am a resident class visa holder, and my travel conditions are due to expire? You can apply for a permanent resident's visa or further travel conditions.
I have applied for a visa, and no decision has been made. Can I withdraw it? Yes. You may withdraw your application if it is undecided.
Can I get a refund or a deferral if my visa application is complete, but I cannot enter NZ? Sadly not, refunds or deferrals will not be given for completed applications.
These restrictions will be reviewed in 14 days, but we expect they may be in place for some time.If you are in NZ and on a current temporary visa, we recommend that you do not travel abroad because you will not be able to re-enter NZ under this temporary ban.
Questions? This is an uncertain time in NZ and we understand that this information may be upsetting and confusing. Please contact us with any questions, we are here to help!
Natasha Rae - Senior Associate
P: +64 3 335 3483
Jackson Hagen - Solicitor
P: +64 3 335 3480
Kendal Cosgrove - Law Clerk
P: +64 3 339 5636