Pacific Legal Covid 19 Visa Update 9 October 2020:
Restrictions eased for partners and dependants from visa free countries: Voucher system for managed isolation
Post Covid19 change seems to be the only constant in immigration. Since our September update there have been further changes. There are likely to be further changes over the coming months. Check our website and Immigration New Zealand’s Covid19 page https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/covid-19 for details.
Visa applications from overseas: October 2020: most still suspended but exceptions are growing.
Currently, people who are overseas cannot make a temporary visa application until 10th November 2020. This is a 3 month suspension on applications from August 2020. It is not clear whether it will be renewed beyond 10 November.
Relationship based visas now being processed
However, Immigration New Zealand is accepting and processing relationship-based visas for partners and dependent children of New Zealand citizens and residents. Relationship-based visas are:
- Culturally Arranged Marriage Visitor Visa
- Partner of a New Zealander Visitor Visa
- Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa
- Partner of a New Zealander Resident Visa
- Child of a New Zealander Visitor Visa
- Dependent Child Student Visa
- Dependent Child Resident Visa
- Adoption Visitor Visa
Adoption Pre-citizenship Visitor Visa
Those granted a visa are exempt from border restrictions.
This does not include General Visitor Visa applications made on the basis of a relationship, which does not meet the “living together” requirements.
Border entry for those from visa waiver countries
From early October 2020, Australian citizens or citizens of visa waiver countries living outside New Zealand, but who are partners and dependants of New Zealand citizens and residents, may be granted an exception to travel to New Zealand. They need to apply for a Critical Purpose Visitor visa.
There is no need for the partner to come and accompany them if they do not have a current visa.
Already submitted an application?
Further, those who are from visa-waiver countries and had previously submitted a relationship-based work or visitor visa, do not need to apply for a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa. As above Immigration New Zealand has resumed the processing of the relationship-based visa application.
Changes to managed isolation: book your place first
Travellers to New Zealand from all countries are tested for COVID-19 and a 14-day managed quarantine or isolation, in a hotel and overseen by the New Zealand Defence force and Police, is mandatory.
Pacific Legal has been involved in discussions on behalf of major projects seeking to establish private isolation facilities that meet Ministry of Health requirements. This is a future possibility but has not been agreed to at this stage.
For New Zealand residents and citizens, their partners and dependents returning long-term managed isolation remains free. For others, details of charges can be found here.
From October 2020 a voucher system was established to book places in a managed isolation facility online. For a short transition period this was optional. If arriving in New Zealand after 12am on 3 November 2020, you must present your voucher to airlines to board your flight. For more details see this link: Border measures | Managed Isolation and Quarantine
Pacific legal is very well-placed to assist with all Immigration related matters. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at +64 9 666 0440 or through our website www.pacificlegal.co.nz for more details.
Senior Associate Diana.Bell@pacificlegal.co.nz