Visa News

MIQ gone! Border reopens

MIQ is now only for people arriving in NZ who are not vaccinated. The requirement to self-isolate after arriving in New Zealand is also gone (unless you test positive on arrival). Who can arrive in New Zealand today? NZ citizens and residents.

07/03/20222 min read
MIQ gone! Border reopens

MIQ is now only for people arriving in NZ who are not vaccinated. The requirement to self-isolate after arriving in New Zealand is also gone (unless you test positive on arrival).


Who can arrive in New Zealand today?

  • NZ citizens and residents.
  • Australian citizens or Australian residents where NZ is their primary place of residence (i.e. NZ is their home).
  • People issued with border exemptions or critical purpose visas.
  • Partners, dependent children, or parent of a dependent child*

*We recommend anyone in this group secure visas before travelling to NZ to avoid drama at the border.


The timeline for the border reopening to others is:

From 14 March 2022

  • Skilled Workers. A “skilled worker” is:

- When a job offer pays 1.5 times the median wage (i.e. NZD $84,240 a year OR NZD $40.50 an hour) and;

- The job is for longer than 6 months and at least 30 hours of work a week; and

- The applicant can prove they have experience/qualifications to do the job.

  • Working Holiday Visa applications for some countries gradually will reopen. The list of lucky countries to be announced soon.


From 12 April 2022

  • People onshore holding a valid Work or Student visa can leave and return provided the visa remains valid on arrival back into NZ.
  • Up to 5,000 international students can start applying for border exemptions. Those studying at degree level or higher will normally get work rights.
  • Expansion of the worker criteria for border exceptions.


From July 2022

  • Australian citizens, Australian residents and any other citizens travelling to NZ direct from Australia.
  • Visitors from visa waiver countries.
  • People onshore holding a valid Visitor visa can leave and return provided the visa remains valid on arrival back into NZ.
  • Applications for the new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) are open. Once a AEWV is issued the visa holder can enter NZ.


From October 2022

  • Applications for all remaining visa categories reopen.
  • All or most border restrictions are lifted.


Note 1: When visa applications reopen (including visa-free travellers) it does not mean everyone will be approved. People still need to meet strict rules before a visa is granted. Take professional advice early on to avoid disappointment.

Note 2: These reopening dates may change (i.e. open earlier) as the government watches the impact of the Omicron wave on our health system.

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Update

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
Update

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
Update

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