New Zealand closed the border to most travellers at 23.59 on Thursday, 19 March 2020.
The following people can still travel to New Zealand:
Note: Anyone offshore holding a residence class visa who has not activated the visa by arriving in New Zealand for the first time before the border closed cannot travel to New Zealand at this time. Take advice.
There are some exceptions**
** Note: These exceptions will be assessed on a case by case basis and approval to travel should be secured before boarding an aircraft to New Zealand. Take advice from Malcolm Pacific Immigration.
Transiting via New Zealand has been temporarily suspended except for Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and their immediate family (partners, minor dependents and legal guardians) where Australia is the final destination. Anyone else wanting to transit via New Zealand for humanitarian reasons should take advice.
Immigration NZ (INZ) are still processing visa applications. There will be delays due to the temporary closure of INZ offices in Beijing, Manila and Mumbai. Unless there are exceptional reasons once a visa is issued they cannot travel to New Zealand until this travel ban is lifted.
Leaving the visa application in the system to move forward does mean once the border reopens you will get access to their skills quickly.
Keep calm. The team at Malcolm Pacific Immigration will keep you posted on the progress of any visa applications we are managing together along with any news on when the travel ban is lifted.
If a visa is going to expire in the next 3 months talk to us now. Because of visa processing delays it is much better to apply for a new visa early and not leave it to the last minute.
Staff must not let their visas expire under any circumstances. Talk to us now.
Follow normal HR processes in regard any redundancies. Talk to your HR professional.
For staff holding a work visa our usual advice would be for those workers to find a new job as soon as possible and then we apply for a new work visa. However, these are unusual times. At the very least a visitor visa application can be lodged so they remain lawfully in New Zealand while looking for new employment or to make plans to return home once border restrictions are lifted in their home country.
INZ is getting advice from the government if they will allow flexibility for work visa holders to reduce working hours; change jobs/employers and any workers who cannot leave New Zealand due to border closures in their home country. Once we know more, we will pass on the news.
Staff must not let their visas expire under any circumstances. Talk to us now.
INZ are still processing residence applications. This will only change if the government direct INZ to close their New Zealand offices and at that stage processing is likely to be suspended until INZ staff can return to work.
The New Zealand Government has strongly advised against any non-essential travel. They are travelling at their own risk and would be prevented from returning to New Zealand. Our advice is stay here until this situation settles down.
Refer to the Ministry of Health https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus
Our amazing team have responded swiftly to the COVID – 19 situation implementing a robust health and safety plan. On Monday, 23 March we will all work from home to test our IT systems. Our offices will be closed on that day, but phones lines are open.
We ask anyone who has returned to New Zealand in the last 14 days to not come and see us. Please do not be offended if we ask you about your recent travel history.
Our people are working hard to keep clients calm and moving forward with their immigration plans. If we all remain calm, be kind to one another and work together we will get through this.
Kia kaha (stay strong).
The team are here to help support you through these temporary measures. Call us on 24/7 on 0800 800 612.
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:
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.