Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Migrant’s With A Critical Purpose Now Eligible For A New Zealand Visa

On Wednesday 1 April Immigration New Zealand announced new criteria to allow migrants to apply for a visa to enter New Zealand. Leading immigration lawyer Aaron Martin explains the ramifications for potential applicants and their families.

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has at long last finalised a formal application process for people to be considered for a visa as an exception to the border closure requirements. This does not expand the existing exemptions or open the border in any way.

The exemptions are limited to those entering New Zealand for a ‘critical purpose’.

In broad terms, this includes essential health workers (INZ confirmed that priority has been given to medical personnel), and workers in other essential services and industries relating to the maintenance of critical infrastructure delivery of the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also includes the family members of citizens, residents, and Australians who normally live here and want to return with their family.

To be eligible if you are applying as a family or partner, you must be travelling back to New Zealand with a New Zealand citizen or resident. If you are not, the message is clear: extended family members should stay where they are until the pandemic is brought under control and our borders reopen.

How do migrants apply?

An applicant must submit an expression of interest to allow INZ to assess whether they fall within one of the exemptions. If so, INZ invites the person to submit a formal residence application using the INZ online application system. The applicant has one month to make the application.

When an applicant completes an expression of interest, they receive a confirmation indicating they will receive a response within 48 hours. However, INZ has already indicated its ability to process visas for medical personnel coming into New Zealand is ‘limited’.

So, again, it appears there will be some backlog in processing these visa applications. Sadly, the status quo everyone experiences when dealing with INZ is that it does not have the resources to process the necessary volume of work.

Perhaps INZ could look at hiring some of the increased number of unemployed skilled New Zealanders to process the backlogs – and not just in relation to this class of visa. Once the lockdown is lifted, if INZ hires those who are out of work, it could get on top of its workflow (especially the 18-month-long queue of resident applications). This would provide meaningful work for New Zealanders who have lost their job as a consequence of COVID-19.

This new announcement provides much more certainty for people in one respect: they have a visa to come to New Zealand. It doesn’t, however, solve the practical difficulty of how to get a flight. That is becoming increasingly complex as international airlines shut down their international services.

The changes will also give certainty to people when attempting to board inbound aircraft.

Previously, people who were exempt from the border closure (for example, medical personnel, dependent children, and partners of New Zealand citizens or resident visa holders who were returning) were being refused boarding at check-in by the airlines, because of confusion about whether a person would have been permitted entry.

More information including the full list of exemptions can be found at: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/covid-19/border-closures-and-exceptions

For help in applying for this or any other visa, get in touch with our office.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Sam Uffindell’s Sorry Excuse For An Apology

Most of us believe in redemption and atonement… But the timing, the nature and the semantics of Sam Uffindell‘s apology for his role in a gang that beat a younger kid (reportedly) with wooden bed legs, has left much to be desired. The victim seems pretty clear about the motivation behind Uffindell’s apology, which came out of the blue 22 years after the event...


National: Sam Uffindell Stood Down Pending Investigation
Tauranga MP Sam Uffindell has been stood down from the National Party caucus pending an investigation into further allegations about his past behaviour, says National Party Leader Christopher Luxon... More>>

Auditor-General: Submission On The Water Services Entities Bill
We have published our submission to the Finance and Expenditure Committee on the Water Services Entities Bill. Because water services are critical to everyone, our focus is on how the public and Parliament are able to influence the performance... More>>

Luxon: Speech To The 2022 National Party Annual Conference

Kia ora! What a brilliant conference! The energy wave from this weekend will carry us right through to election year and I say: bring it on... More>>

Green Party: Abuse Revelations Leave No Choice But To Overhaul RSE Scheme
The Green Party is calling on the Government to overhaul the Recognised Seasonal Employers scheme in the wake of revelations of shocking human rights violations... More>>

Government: More Women On Public Boards Than Ever Before

“Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees is now 52.5 percent, the highest ever level... More>>

Te Pāti Māori: Debbie Ngarewa-Packer Calls On PM To Support Bill To Ban Seabed Mining

Te Pāti Māori Co-leader, Ngāti Ruanui and Ngā Rauru uri Debbie Ngarewa-Packer is today celebrating that her Prohibition on Seabed Mining Legislation Amendment Bill has been drawn from Parliament’s biscuit tin... More>>




InfoPages News Channels