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Policy update: Suspension of certain visa applications

Immigration New Zealand is temporarily suspending the ability for overseas applicants to apply for certain temporary visas.

You may still qualify under a specific category or exemptions criteria

Who is NOT impacted?

Are you currently in New Zealand? No change

If you are in New Zealand, you can still submit any visa application as long as you meet the requirements of the category applied under.

Residence applications, no change

If you are overseas, you can still submit a residence application under all available categories.

Partnership pathways, no change

Relationship-based visas for partners and dependent children of New Zealand citizens and residents can still be applied for, whether you are currently in New Zealand, or overseas.

Special Exemptions

  • visas for diplomatic, consular and official staff and accompanying dependants
  • Antarctic Traveller Visitor visas and Antarctic Work visas
  • Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Limited visas
  • Exemptions under the border entry restrictions criteria (see below)

I want to study in New Zealand early 2021...

Talk to us today so we can prepare your enrolment and your visa application now, with a view to lodge your application mid-November!

Why this decision?

Since New Zealand has temporarily closed its borders due to COVID-19, Immigration New Zealand has not been processing offshore visa applications as very few applicants meet the border restrictions exemption criteria. However, it was still possible to submit an application. This was deemed unfair as it created expectations that visas would be processed, when in fact, they were not, apart from special cases.

When is this implemented?

These changes are implemented on 10 August 2020, and will remain in effect until 10 November 2020.

What if I meet the border exemptions criteria?

Certain categories of overseas nationals may qualify for a border entry exemption: this includes most health workers, and other critical workers.

Talk to us if you believe you may qualify under these exemptions

INZ has put in place Border exception Expression of Interest (EOI) requests. These requests are now charged (from 10 August 2020) at the following rates:

  • NZD $380 for employers who request exceptions for ‘other critical workers’ (or organisations or agencies that sponsor requests), and
  • NZD $45 for individual requests under all critical purpose categories (including health workers)

A new EOI online form process is being implemented.

Employers or Licensed Advisers will be able to make requests for an exception for ‘other critical workers’ online, replacing the existing manual process.