NZ reopens to the World

New Zealand’s border fully reopens on Monday, 1 August 2022. This means anyone who requires a visa to enter NZ can lodge a visa application from that date onwards.

17/05/20221 min read
NZ reopens to the world

New Zealand’s border fully reopens on Monday, 1 August 2022.

This means anyone requiring a visa to enter NZ can apply from 1 August onwards. This includes visitors (tourists, business visitors, family and friends reconnecting with people based in NZ) and international students. There are changes to student visa policy and you can read more here.

The maritime border reopens on the same date to welcome back cruise liners, superyachts and other sailing vessels visiting our shores.

People living in Pacific Island Forum countries (excluding Australia) can apply earlier for visitor visas. Applications opened on Monday, 16 May 2022. The biggest difference is that visa applications for people living in this region must be made online. The days of paper-based visa applications have come to an end.

This is exciting news for our tourism industry but also for thousands of people separated from loved ones for over two years since the border closed in March 2020.

While the border reopening is a good reason to cheer it is still important to remember that non-New Zealand citizens who require a visa or electronic travel authority must apply before travelling to New Zealand. Many will have forgotten how the rules apply to satisfy Immigration NZ they are genuine visitors. Go here for a refresher on visitor visa requirements

The Prime Minister announced the requirement for pre-arrival Covid testing will be removed before the border fully reopens. More news to come once health advice has been considered by the government and decisions are made.

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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