Festive Season Update

Holiday period information request deadlines

Deadlines for information requests or letters identifying potentially prejudicial information (PPI) issued on or after Monday 7 December 2020 has been extended to 20 working days, to allow an individual, licensed immigration advisers and immigration lawyers enough time to respond during the holiday period. Should other circumstances prevent an individual, adviser or lawyer from responding, such that they require an extension, the usual process of requesting an extension applies.

Public holidays for the 2020-2021 Christmas/New Year period are:  

  • Christmas Day – 25 December  
  • Boxing Day – observed 28 December  
  • New Year’s Day – 1 January 
  • Day after New Year’s Day – observed 4 January 

So, for example, a PPI letter issued on 9 December 2020 will have a response date of 12 January 2021. Normal response timeframes will resume from Monday 11 January 2021.

Requests to reconsider a decision made on a temporary entry class visa remain fixed at 14 days after the date on which the applicant received notice of the decision to decline the further visa. 

Operating hours over the holiday period

Immigration New Zealand’s (INZ’s) onshore visa processing offices will be closed for statutory holidays but will be open with limited processing capacity on 29, 30 and 31 December 2021.

For urgent escalations during the holiday period it is recommended that advisers phone the Immigration Contact Centre (ICC) in the first instance. Over this period you may experience higher than usual wait times as the ICC will also be operating at a reduced capacity. The ICC’s operating hours are 6am Monday to midnight on Saturday, however they will be closed on 25 December 2020 and 01 January 2021.

Border exception visa applications over the holiday period

Individuals who are invited to apply for a visa based on a successful expression of interest for a border exception must submit their application within one month of the date the invitation to apply is issued. Immigration New Zealand (INZ) does not have discretion to extend the timeframe specified within restricted temporary entry instructions.

If this timeframe is likely to hinder your ability to submit a visa application, you may wish to delay making an expression of interest for a border exception until a more suitable time.