Visa News

What to Do About Your New Zealand Visa Expiring

Non-residents and citizens of New Zealand must have a valid visa to stay in the country. Here’s what you need to do when faced with an expiring visa.

26/05/20223 min read

Non-residents and citizens of New Zealand must hold a valid visa to stay in the country as workers, students, or visitors. However, all temporary visas have an expiry date, so what do you do if yours is about to expire? Here’s what you need to know about expiring visas in NZ, and how to avoid serious problems.

Applying for a New Visa Before Your Visa Expires

If your visa expires soon and you want to spend more time in New Zealand, you’ll need to apply for another visa. Like your first application, you will need to meet all requirements and conditions of the visa you are applying for and acceptance is not guaranteed. If you included family in your first visa application, they will need to go through the application process again if they wish to stay longer.

If you know that your visa expiry date is coming up, start your new application as soon as possible. Remember, visa processing periods can be time-consuming; you need to leave enough time for your visa to be processed and accepted before it expires. We recommend applying at least two months before the expiry date with three months in advance of the expiry being best practice.

New Visa Conditions and Extensions in 2022

Immigration New Zealand announced new visa extensions and conditions for 2022, meaning some visa holders will be able to stay in the country for longer than initially allowed. A summary of the new rules:

  • Some work visa and NZ work to resident visa holders whose visas expire on 31 December may qualify for a new two-year open work visa or a six-month extension. To be granted a new visa, you must have been in the country on 9 May 2022. Family members who hold a visa based on their relationship with a visa holder also qualify for a new visa.
  • Work to residence visas expiring between 9 May and 31 December 2022 has been extended by 6 months.

Make sure you secure a copy of your new visa to show employers, airlines etc.

Can You Stay in NZ After Your Visa Expires?

No. You cannot remain lawfully in New Zealand after your visa expires. Be aware of your visa expiry date to avoid breaking the law. Set a reminder in your calendar or on a smartphone. The expiry date is on your eVisa letter. Visa holders that stay in New Zealand beyond their expiry date will not be able to work or study in the country and may even risk deportation.

If you’re in New Zealand on an expired visa, you’ll need to leave the country immediately. However, other actions are possible in certain circumstances. If you believe you have a special case for staying in New Zealand after your visa expires, you can make a special request (usually called a Section 61 request) for a new temporary or resident visa. You will need strong supporting evidence to be approved, and there is no guarantee that Immigration NZ will even consider your request. We recommend getting in touch with an experienced immigration adviser in NZ for advice on the matter.

If your visa request under Section 61 is approved in principle, you will need to pay a fee for the visa. If your request is not approved, you should leave New Zealand right away; if you don’t, Immigration New Zealand has the right to serve you with a deportation order 42 days after your visa expired. Being deported from New Zealand (or any country) will make visa applications difficult for any other countries you may wish to visit.

Need Assistance? Get in Touch with Malcolm Pacific Immigration Today

If you have questions or concerns about your visa conditions, Malcolm Pacific Immigration can help. Get in touch with our team today for important work visa information and advice on your expiring visa.

Get started with a FREE consultation today

Our highly experienced licensed Immigration team will take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of New Zealand Immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our team is on standby, ready to help.

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The Green List

From September 2022 people holding job offers in a small number of occupations may apply for residence. Some occupations are a direct pathway to residence and others require a period of two years or longer before applying.

There are qualification and/or occupational registration requirements to meet. Establishing if an overseas qualification matches the NZ equivalent qualification before applying is paramount for success.

Read more here.

16 May 22

Work Visa Categories Closing

The work visa categories set to close are:

  • Essential Skills Work Visa
  • Essential Skills Work Visa – approval in principle
  • Work to Residence (Talent – Accredited Employer)
  • Work to Residence (Long Term Skills Shortage)
  • Silver Fern Job Search Work Visa (closed October 2019)
  • Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa.
10 Feb 22

Policy Decision Key Dates in 2022

  • February 13. Fully vaccinated Kiwis plus certain other travellers entering NZ from the rest of the world* can skip MIQ.
  • April 30. The border starts a phased reopen to fully vaccinated foreign nationals.
  • April 30. The Productivity Commission reports back to the government on immigration settings.
  • May 9. Applications open for mandatory Employer Accreditation.

*Excludes high-risk countries.

16 Dec 21