Visa processing update and Extension of Travel Conditions

Update on visa processing during lockdown

Immigration New Zealand has confirmed that paperbased applications cannot be processed while New Zealand is in level 3 or 4 lockdown. This for privacy and security reasons. We anticipate normal processing to resume progressively as the country eases into level 2, and 1.

As a result, Variation of conditions on temporary work visas are not currently processed. However, Immigration is working on porting VOCs online to facilitate the process. No timeframe has been provided for completion.

As they return to the office, INZ will backdate any paper-based applications received during lockdown, based on the delivery date. Interim visas will also be issued retroactively, if applicable.

Travel conditions extension for resident visa holders overseas

The Minister of Immigration has extended to 11 September 2022 the travel conditions of resident visas set to expire between 25 August 2021 and 10 September 2022. This means if your resident visa was granted from offshore and you are not able to enter New Zealand before the 12 months activation period due to border restrictions, you may be granted another 12 months to reach the border. A similar extension was provided mid-2020 already.

Update on Visa conditions for supermarket workers

To help provide essential services in supermarkets while New Zealand remains at Alert Level 3 or 4, workers who are already employed  migrants in supermarkets can now undertake the following changes without doing a Variation of Conditions on their visa. They can:

  • vary their hours  of work,
  • be redeployed to other roles within their current workplaces
  • be redeployed to workplaces within same region

These changes apply to employees of Woolworths New Zealand Limited, Foodstuffs North Island Limited and Foodstuffs South Island Limited supermarkets that are operating as essential services during alert levels 3 and 4.

My employment has been impacted by lockdown...

Under current policy, an individual must be guaranteed 30 hours per week to be granted or meet the conditions of their work visa. However, Immigration has confirmed that if an individual is unable to work or be paid for 30 hours of work because of alert level restrictions, they will not be considered to be in breach of their work visa conditions.