Pacific Legal Covid 19 Visa Update 9 October 2020:
Good news for some offshore work visa holders and their employers… but with some fish-hooks…

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.  Those holding existing work visas were also unable to be granted border exceptions to return.

In September 2020 the Government announced it will allow some work visa holders who are overseas now but “normally live in New Zealand” to re-enter the country.

This applies to those who:

  • Departed New Zealand between 1 December 2019 and 9 October 2020 and
  • Held an Essential Skills Work Visa based on mid or higher-skilled employment, or assessed as at or above the medium wage, a Work to Residence Visa or an Entrepreneur Work Visa and;
  • Can show they have the same job (complying with their existing visa conditions) or continue to operate a business here and either;
  • Have lived in New Zealand for more than 2 years before leaving, or
  • Have lived in New Zealand between 1 and 2 years and had 1 or more dependent children with them in New Zealand for at least 6 months of that 12-month period; or have parents or adult siblings who are currently in, and who are ordinarily resident in, New Zealand; or submitted their application for their current resident visa by 10 August 2020, and;
  • Have lived in New Zealand for at least 273 days (9 months) of each 12-month period before the date of their departure.
  • If their visa expires before 1 January 2021 have made another visa application before 10 August 2020.

There are quite a few qualifications to meet here.  For example those on unpaid leave because they were trapped overseas or who worked remotely from overseas when the visa gave a location should get advice. The above was up to date as at 9 October 2020 but could change at short notice.

The above is general information only. You should seek qualified advice based on your own circumstances before acting on it.

Pacific legal is very well-placed to assist with all Immigration related matters. Contact us at, by phone at +64 9 666 0440 or through our website for more details.

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