“We’re ready to welcome the world back,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced at a recent press conference.
The end of managed isolation in New Zealand is finally here! The NZ border is reopening throughout 2022, which means Kiwis living abroad can reunite with their loved one’s isolation-free, and international travellers will have the opportunity to visit our beautiful country once more.
Planning to study in New Zealand in 2022 or apply for an NZ temporary work visa? Find out who can enter New Zealand today and what the next phases are for the NZ border reopening in 2022.
The NZ border is reopening in five phases, which began on February 27, 2022. As of now, the border is open to New Zealanders and eligible travellers coming from anywhere in the world. Eligible international travellers include people with a border exemption, Critical Purpose Visa holders, or those on a working holiday visa. People arriving in New Zealand are expected to self-test on arrival.
Neither managed isolation nor self-isolation is required for vaccinated travellers arriving in New Zealand. Non-New Zealand citizens must meet the vaccination requirements to enter the country unless exempt.
There are currently three more phases to go in the NZ border reopening process. Keep in mind that the following dates could be subject to change, depending on what our health system looks like in the coming months. Predictions are the final phase in October reopening will happen earlier but we will keep you posted on these pages.
From 11:59pm 12 April 2022, all vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents can enter New Zealand and self-test on arrival. People onshore holding a valid work or student visa can also leave and return, provided they meet their visa requirements. Up to 5,000 international students can apply to study in New Zealand at this phase.
On May 1, 2022 at 11.59pm, the border reopens to visa-waiver travellers and those holding a valid visitor visa (onshore and offshore).
The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) opens to new applications. This visa replaces the Essential Skills work visa among others. From July, all AEWV holders are eligible to enter the country.
From October 2022, almost all border restrictions will be lifted. Applications for all visa categories will open, including visitor and student visas.
If you’re visiting New Zealand for the first time since the pandemic began, you’ll need to know what to expect from the country’s Covid restrictions.
The traffic light system is New Zealand’s COVID-19 Protection Framework. The framework aims to minimise the impact of Covid-19 through three traffic light settings: green, orange, and red. We are currently at the red level setting at the time of going to print, which means there are still some restrictions to normal living. However, the Government has recently eased some of these restrictions, as explained below.
From March 25, 2022, at the red level traffic light setting, outdoor gathering limits are removed and indoor gatherings are increased from 100 to 200 in the hospitality sector. However, face masks are still required in most indoor settings. If you have Covid-19 or live with someone who does, you will still be required to self-isolate for 7 days.
From April 4, 2022, vaccine passes will no longer be required to enter public venues and attend public events. Vaccine mandates will also be lifted in some industries, including the police and defence workforce, education, and businesses operating vaccine passes. A review of the traffic light setting takes place on this date.
Read more about the traffic light system and find updates about Covid rules in NZ on the official NZ COVID-19 website.
While visa applications are reopening, it doesn’t mean that every application will be accepted. No matter what visa you’re applying for, you’ll need to meet all the strict requirements that come with your application. Meeting these rules can be a challenge for many, so we recommend seeking advice early. As experienced immigration advisers in NZ, Malcolm Pacific Immigration are here to help with every step of the application process. Get in touch with our knowledgeable team today for assistance.
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.
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.
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Today the government announced a pathway to residence for migrant workers who are living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave who are eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else they will miss out on this one off opportunity.
Today the government announced a pathway to residence for people living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else you miss the boat.
The government has moved the introduction of the new employer accreditation process across to mid-2022. At the same time, the Minister of Immigration announced new work visa rules for migrant workers who are already in New Zealand and working full time.
The government has increased the median wage to $27 per hour from 19 July. Any Skilled Migrant residence application lodged after this date will need to include a skilled job offer that pays at least $27 per hour. For some lower-skilled occupations, the minimum pay rate increases to $40.50 per hour.
From 19 July 2021
From 30 June 2021
Employers of migrant workers must become accredited from 1 November 2021 before work visa applications can be processed. Most employers are not accredited. Those that are accredited will have to roll into the new system when it goes live in late September.
From mid-2020 (delayed)
Skilled occupation "Dairy Cattle Farmer" spilt into three occupations. New occupations are: "Dairy Farm Manager", "Assistant Dairy Farm Manager" and "Dairy Herd Manager". Each sit at different skill levels, therefore, the award of points will depend on pay rates, job tasks and other requirements.
From 15 February 2021
The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool for six months (to be reviewed in April 2021). Invitations to Apply for Residence remain suspended. The last selection from the Skilled Migrant pool took place on 18/03/2020.
From 7 October 2020
The government added four new occupations that are now regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. These are:
Aged or disabled carer, Bicycle mechanic, Driller and Nursing Support worker.
From 27 July 2020
Anyone invited by Immigration NZ to apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category where their invitation is dated between 1 November 2019 and 15 April 2020 (inclusive) has now been granted an additional six months to lodge their residence application.
From 27 May 2020
The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool. This means Invitations to Apply for Residence are also suspended. Malcolm Pacific Immigration does not anticipate selections to resume until after the general election held on 17 October 2020.
Immigration NZ is now prioritising Skilled Migrant Residence applications where the main (principal) applicant meets the criteria:
From 24 February 2020
From 7 October 2019
The government recently added more occupations that are now to be regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. In order to qualify for points, the job must be paying at least the current median wage (or higher for certain occupations) at the time the residence application is lodged.
From 1 November 2021
From 1 November 2021 anyone who is not a NZ citizen must be fully vaccinated (unless exempt) before travelling to New Zealand. Fully vaccinated means your last dose of vaccine was given at least 14 days before travelling and it was an approved vaccine.
Applications for employer accreditation closed at the end of June 2021. Applications lodged before the closure date are still being processed. New applications for accreditation open on 9 May 2022. The process will be quite different to what employers have experienced in the past. Businesses will need to meet minimum standards.
Wednesday, 1 December is fast approaching and it is estimated that around 16,000 individuals and families can apply in the first wave for the 2021 Resident Visa opening next month. It is exciting for the thousands of people who have been waiting patiently to become residents that finally the finish line is in sight.
The first wave of applicants can apply from 1 December 2021. Around 16,000 applications are expected in this first wave. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. In total, the government expects approximately 110,000 applications that will include about 165,000 people.
The second group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 March 2022 are those who hold an eligible work visa and either meet "Settled", "Skilled" or "Scarce" as set out above. In total Immigration NZ estimate around 110,000 people will qualify to apply for this visa.
The first group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 December 2021 are those that on 29/09/2021:
Is this the only requirement to qualify for residence? No. In addition to the eligible work visa criteria workers also need to be regarded as one of the following:
People who were lawfully in NZ (or in Australia when the travel bubble closed between April and July 2021) on 29/09/2021 need to meet the visa eligibility criteria:
The government has introduced a limited pathway to residence for people who are already living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave of people eligible to apply. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. The deadline to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa is 31 July 2022.
A small number of critical health workers (taking up jobs for six months or longer) or specialist workers (taking up jobs that are for longer than six months) who were granted border exemptions may also have eligibility for the 2021 Resident Visa. They will need to have arrived in NZ and lodge a 2021 Resident Visa application.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
The work visa categories set to close are:
In order to address labour shortages in New Zealand's crucial industries the NZ government has implemented a "Green List" of sought-after high-skill occupations. This list offers a prioritised pathway to residency.
There are qualification and/or occupational registration requirements to meet. Occupations are broken down into two tiers:
The recent additions in May 2023 across many sectors on the Green List NZ can be found here