Last minute reprieve for onshore visitors

Around 12,500 people remain in New Zealand holding visitor visas after the border closed last year. Many are elderly parents visiting children, others are tourists at high risk of COVID-19 infection if required to leave.

The Minister of Immigration just announced a further two month visitor visa will be automatically granted to this group if their visas were due to expire before 31 March 2021.

The government has temporarily eased the maximum stay rule for visitors. This normally allows a maximum stay of 9 months in an 18 month period. Provided people apply before 30 June 2021 they may get a further six month visitor visa subject to meeting certain conditions. Anyone who has already applied for a further visitor visa and is waiting on a decision from Immigration NZ does not need to take any action at this stage.

However, groups of elderly parents and those with underlying health conditions are naturally concerned about air travel in a COVID-19 world. We are managing special visa applications for this group and field calls every day to help others. It can be confusing, but we are here to help. Contact us.

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