Employers

MIQ gone! Border reopens......slowly

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

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

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


Who can enter New Zealand right now?

  • NZ citizens and residents.
  • Australian citizens or Australian residents where NZ is their primary place of residence (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 rest of the border reopening is:

From 14 March 2022

  • Skilled Workers (see earlier article here).
  • Working Holiday Visas (WHV). WHVs applications open gradually to a limited number of countries. We anticipate the UK, USA, and Canada will be among the first. Great talent pool if you are looking for enthusiastic 18 to 30-year-olds looking to work while on holiday.


From 12 April 2022

  • People onshore holding a valid Work or Student visa can now 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 now 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 holder can enter NZ.


From October 2022

  • Applications for all visas reopen.
  • All or most border restrictions 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.

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 employer team is on standby, ready to help.

Latest Updates

Our team keep ahead of all the latest employment and immigration law developments and post updates regularly. Stay up to date by signing up to our newsletter and get these updates directly to your inbox.

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