Immigration Updates

February 19, 2021

Some relief for Visitors still in New Zealand

Today, Minister Kris Faafoi announced TWO changes to visitor visa holders.

  1. visitor visas which expire on or before 31 March 2021 will be automatically extended by TWO months. However, the extension does not apply to visitors on the special covid-19 short term visitor visa.
  2. waiving the rules around the visitor visa policy where one can only stay a maximum of nine months in a 18 month period. These visitor visa holders can now apply for a further SIX month stay [15 months in total].

With the current flight restrictions, many visitors cannot leave New Zealand as they near the expiry of their visas.

This is welcome news for many Parents [Grandparents] visiting their New Zealand children [grandchildren] and wanting to stay longer as they are risk to the pandemic.

Read the rest of the announcement here.

January 14, 2021

International Students to return to Study

Effective April 2021, a cap of 1000 priority returning degree and post-graduate international students and their families will be able to return to New Zealand to continue their studies.

The Ministry of Education will determine criteria for distributing the cohort. Places will not be restricted to universities. Students can also return to their studies at institutes of technology and polytechnics, wānanga or private training establishments.

Eligible students will have already completed some of their study in New Zealand but were unable to return to New Zealand due to the border restrictions.

International students entering New Zealand under this exception are required to apply for and be granted a new student visa in line with immigration requirements. Successful applicants will be required to complete standard Managed Isolation and Quarantine. They will need to book their space through the allocation system and are liable for the standard charges for managed isolation.

Due to employment pressures as a result of COVID-19 and increased living costs, eligible students will need to prove that they have $20,000 per annum to support themselves for the duration of their visa, as well as additional funds to pay for Managed Isolation and Quarantine.

Partners and dependent children of nominated students may be included in applications, in line with current visa requirements.

The Government has previously approved a border exception for up to 250 PhD and post-graduate international students.

Further information can be obtained here.

Feel free to contact us should you require assistance.

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