As you may be aware, the Minister of Immigration recently announced help for residents offshore to keep their residency status while COVID-19 travel restrictions remain in place.
It has been recognised that New Zealand’s current border restrictions have significantly impacted offshore visa holders, especially those unable to travel here to start their new resident visa or those with a resident visa recently expired or expiring soon.
People affected by the special directions
Those affected by the special directions include the following people who are offshore as of 11 September 2020:
Variation of travel conditions: resident visa holders with valid travel conditions expiring within one year of 11 September 2020 are having their travel conditions (‘first entry before’ or ‘expiry date travel’) extended until 11 September 2021. Example: a resident visa expiry date travel or first entry before on 15 November 2020 will be extended to 11 September 2021.
Grant of new resident visas: former resident visa holders whose travel conditions expired between 2 February 2020 and 10 September 2020 (inclusive) are being granted a new resident visa with travel conditions valid until 11 September 2021. Example: someone with a resident visa which expired on 15 June 2020 will be granted a new resident visa expiring on 11 September 2021.
Immigration New Zealand is working through implementing this change and will contact eligible visa holders via email soon to confirm their new travel conditions. Emails will be sent to the client’s latest contact email address in our system which may not belong to the representative (if there was one) on their latest resident visa application.
If a person was granted a resident visa overseas and have never used it to travel to New Zealand, this person may still need permission from us before they can travel.