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I hold a valid visa, how does COVID-19 impact me?

Update 28 January 2021

The temporary lockdown and travel restrictions may an have impact on your situation

Get in touch today to discuss your circumstances

Automated temporary visa extensions

The Government automatically extended onshore visitor visas that are due to expire between 4 September and the end of October 2020 by five months.

If your employer-assisted work visa expires from 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021 inclusive, it will be automatically extended by 6 months from its expiry date. The partner and dependent child(ren)'s visas will also be extended, in line with the principal applicant's.

COVID short term visitor visa

The Government is introducing a new two-month COVID-19 short-term visitor visa to allow temporary migrants stranded in New Zealand more time to arrange their travel home. You may not work on this visa as the COVID-19 short-term visitor visa is intended to help people reaching the end of their current visitor, work, student or partnership visa who may not meet the criteria for another visa, and need time to arrange travel home.

I am offshore and have been offered a job, can I apply for a work visa?

Temporary visa applications from offshore are paused until May 2021. However, some exemptions apply which allow certain categories of people to seek a border entry exemption. These include family/partners of New Zealand citizens and residents, and certain categories of critical workers.

Contact us to find out if you meet these requirements

I have just been granted a valid temporary visa but it says i must enter New Zealand within 3 months. What will happen if this date lapses?

Immigration New Zealand is currently looking into this issue.

I’m a New Zealand resident; can I travel to New Zealand?

Yes.  If you hold a residence visa and this is not your first time travelling to New Zealand on your residence visa you can enter the country. If you are a 'new' resident and have not yet travelled to New Zealand on this visa you will be subject to current travel restrictions unless you obtained your visa offshore as the partner/dependent child of a NZ resident/citizen.

I was granted a resident visa while offshore but cannot travel within the 12 months activation date...

The Government has extended the activation period by 12 months for certain visa holders.

More info here

I am an Australian citizen/Australian permanent resident and normally live in New Zealand; can I travel to New Zealand?

Yes, Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents who normally live in New Zealand can travel to New Zealand. However, you will have to make a request to INZ to do so.

The Government also allows exemptions for Australian citizens or citizens of visa-waiver countries, who are partners of a New Zealand citizen or resident, to travel under Critical purpose criteria.

More info here

I am on a work visa and left New Zealand to holiday/visit family offshore. Can I travel back to New Zealand?

Unfortunately, unless you meet the strict exemption criteria, you will not be allowed to travel back.

Will this impact on the validity of my work visa then?

As long as your job is still available, then the visa will remain valid and you will be allowed to travel back to New Zealand when the travel restrictions are lifted (unless you meet the strict criteria to request an exception and travel now).

However, if your job is no longer available, then your work visa is no longer be valid.

I need to renew my work visa but I cannot get the required documentation, what can I do?

Talk to your licensed adviser 🙂 We will have to provide an explanation as to why certain documents cannot be provided. INZ will consider your circumstances and act accordingly. Remember that only essential visa applications (related to COVID-19) are processed currently.

I was granted a visitor visa but cannot travel due to current restrictions. Can my entry date be extended?

At this point in time, it appears those visas will need to be reapplied for.


Committed to excellence: our consultants are Licensed New Zealand Immigration Advisers