Visa News
April 15, 2020

Immigration remains open for business

While New Zealand is living under lockdown Malcolm Pacific Immigration are still providing immigration advice and lodging visa applications for our clients.
Immigration remains open for business
Immigration remains open for business

While New Zealand is living under lockdown Malcolm Pacific Immigration are still providing immigration advice and lodging visa applications for our clients.

Visa applications already lodged

Immigration NZ (INZ) processing offices in New Zealand and overseas remain closed. This means most visa applications are not being processed until INZ staff can return to work. Visas for essential workers (such as health workers) and border closure exemptions are the only applications being processed by INZ right now.

With the end of lockdown, we expect visa application processing to restart for all categories but there will delays for some time to come.

Some visa categories are now on hold

The government has suspended selections of Expressions of Interest out of the pool for the Skilled Migrant and Parent Visa categories. The Pacific Access and Samoan Quotas along with some working holiday schemes have been placed on hold. This is a temporary measure and we expect this to change sometime post lockdown.

However, Expressions of Interest under the Skilled Migrant and Parent categories can still be lodged during lockdown. Contact the team at Malcolm Pacific Immigration if you want to move forward with an application for yourself or a member of your family.

Visa applications can still be lodged during lockdown

Immigration NZ (INZ) offices remain closed during lockdown. INZ is only processing visa applications associated with the small list of exemptions from the border closure.

However, many temporary visa applications are lodged online. Malcolm Pacific Immigration are right now lodging plenty of these applications for our clients.

Several visa applications are only paper based and need to be lodged manually. These include Skilled Migrant, Residence from Work, Permanent Resident Visa, Variation of travel or work conditions etc. Malcolm Pacific Immigration are also lodging these applications.

Processing of any applications will not resume until INZ reopen. However, by acting now our clients are getting as close to the front of the queue as possible. No doubt there will be very long delays as INZ play catch up on the vast number of applications received during the lock down.

Renewing a temporary visa

Anyone in New Zealand whose visa expired on or before 1 April 2020 need to quickly take immigration advice on how they may regularize their immigration status. Remaining unlawfully in New Zealand for more than 42 days limits all appeal rights against deportation and other options are very limited unless there are confirmed plans to depart New Zealand.

Anyone in New Zealand on 2 April 2020; whose temporary visa (plus those of immediate family) was due to expire between 2 April 2020 and 9 July 2020 should by now have received via email a new visa valid to 25 September 2020. INZ sent these new visas to around 85,000 people. There was technical hitch so if you don't have your visa give it another week after that contact INZ direct or the team at Malcolm Pacific Immigration.

Work visa flexibility for some essential workers

The government has given limited flexibility to workers at major supermarket chains. Work visa holders already employed in supermarkets can work in additional roles beyond those set out on their work visa and international students can work more than 20 hours. This dispensation is set to end on 25 April 2020.

The Healthcare sector has limited flexibility to keep lower skilled healthcare workers beyond the three year maximum period a work visa holder can remain in New Zealand. International students can work more than 20 hours a week until 3 July 2020.

Normal employment law applies to all these situations.

Malcolm Pacific Immigration

Our teams are working remotely, and phones are answered 24/7. Call us anytime on 0800 800 612 to get in touch.

Whether in New Zealand or overseas Kia kaha (stay strong); stay safe and be kind to one another. We will get through this together.

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