Visa News

Reasons You Can Travel to NZ During Covid-19

Unless you are a resident or citizen of New Zealand, only those with a critical purpose to travel are exempt from the current NZ border restrictions. This includes critical workers, dependent children, partners of NZ residents, and those who are exempt under special circumstances.

26/01/20223 min read
Reasons You Can Travel to NZ During Covid-19


Unless you are a resident or citizen of New Zealand, only those with a critical purpose to travel are exempt from the current NZ border restrictions. This includes critical workers, dependent children, partners of NZ residents, and those who are exempt under special circumstances. Read on to learn whether you are eligible to travel to New Zealand during Covid-19 and discover what travel may look like in 2022.


Who Can Travel to NZ in 2022?

Travel to New Zealand is currently very limited due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but there are a few exceptions in place for:


Residents and Citizens

Currently, all residents and citizens of New Zealand are exempt from the NZ border restrictions. But, to help stop the spread of Covid-19 in the country, all New Zealanders must undergo 10 days of managed isolation on arrival.


Critical Health Workers & Other Critical Workers

Critical health and disability workers may travel to New Zealand during Covid-19 because their skills are vital to the country’s well-being. This includes registered health practitioners, technical & support staff, internationally qualified nurses (who meet eligibility rules), workers in charge of medical equipment, ambulance workers, and paramedics. Mental health workers and physician associates are also included in this category.

Some other critical workers outside of the health field are also allowed to travel to New Zealand during Covid-19. This may include short-term workers, long-term workers, and workers for an approved class. However, the employer must make the request for the critical worker to travel.

All critical workers require a border exemption to be approved and visas issued before travelling. Everyone will need to undergo managed isolation upon arrival in New Zealand.


Partners & Dependent Children

With a NZ Partnership Vis, you can travel to New Zealand while the borders are closed. The same exception applies to those who hold a Dependent Child Visa in NZ. Dependent children and partners of New Zealanders are recognised by the Government as having a critical purpose to travel—but these visas aren’t always easy to get. We recommend talking to a licensed immigration adviser before applying for either visa.


Travellers with Compassionate Reasons

In very special situations, you may be able to travel to New Zealand for compassionate reasons. However, cases like these are extremely limited. Immigration NZ is very strict about who they let in the country at this time and will usually only approve cases under ‘exceptional’ circumstances.


Travellers from a Quarantine-Free Country

Travellers from countries that are considered Covid ‘low risk’ can travel to New Zealand during Covid-19. Currently, this includes the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, and Vanuatu.


What the Future Looks Like

2021 was a challenge for many New Zealanders stuck overseas. Managed quarantine facilities have been fully booked for months, making it impossible for some New Zealanders to come home and see their loved ones. 2022 has not started well with future MIQ bookings suspended while the government delays the border reopening due to the arrival of Omicron. We hope to see the border reopen soon and MIQ replaced with home isolation for international arrivals. Watch this space for more updates once the government makes decisions.

The best place to keep up to date with the NZ government response to Covid-19, MIQ, pre-departure Covid testing and the constant changing settings is at www.covid19.govt.nz

Planning to Travel to NZ in 2022? Get in Touch with

Malcolm Pacific Immigration Today

It’s never too early to start planning your trip to New Zealand, whether you’re visiting for the first time or moving to the country as a resident. As licensed immigration advisers in NZ, we understand the complexities of the immigration process and are here to help. Get in touch with our team today for expert visa assistance

Latest Updates

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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