The below information is provided to us by Immigration New Zealand:
As previously announced, the New Zealand border will be fully reopened by 1 August 2022.
This means migrant workers separated from their families by the border closure can reconnect.
Other major policies and reforms of immigration settings announced in 2022 will affect New Zealand’s migrant workforce, new residents and members of their families.
Below we summarise the developments and their impact on migrant communities.
Partners and dependants of temporary visa holders
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has restarted processing on-hand visa applications for offshore partners and dependants of temporary visa holders.
We have contacted those outside of New Zealand who applied for a visa before entry was restricted in 2020 to let them know they can have their application processed or withdrawn.
Family who have yet to apply for a visa can do so from 1 August 2022.
Health and travel requirements apply.
The Minister of Immigration has varied the travel conditions of critical purpose visitor visas from single to multiple entry. This means visa holders can leave New Zealand and re-enter while their visa is valid.
Visa records will be updated by 20 June 2022.
Visa records can be viewed through the Visa Verification Service on the Immigration New Zealand website.
Partners do not have to be in New Zealand to be included in a 2021 Resident Visa application.
INZ recognises the COVID-19 pandemic and current border restrictions have meant some partners have been separated for genuine reasons. In these cases, INZ will consider the personal circumstances including relationship history and how the relationship has been maintained during that time.
A partner in a newly established relationship where the couple has not previously met or lived together will not be eligible as a partner under the 2021 Resident Visa.
Partners outside of New Zealand granted a resident visa will be eligible to travel to New Zealand as they have a partnership-based visa with a New Zealand citizen or resident.
Applications for the 2021 Resident Visa close on 31 July 2022.
At 23:59 (NZST) on 31 July 2022, the maritime border will reopen, as will applications for student and visitor visas.
The Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) is being introduced on 4 July 2022.
The visa will be available mainly to workers earning over the median wage. From 4 July the median wage will be $27.76 per hour.
From December 2022, most partners of temporary migrant workers will need to qualify for their own AEWV or Visitor Visa.
Open work visas
On 9 May 2022, open work visas were granted by special direction to those in New Zealand holding one of the following visas expiring between 9 May and 31 December 2022 (inclusive):
· Essential Skills Work Visa
· Post Study Work Visa
· Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa
The new open work visas:
· are valid from 9 May 2022 until two years from the expiry date of the previous visa,
· allow the holder to work for any employer anywhere in New Zealand and,
· allow the holder to leave and re-enter New Zealand.
Eligible Ukraine nationals granted a temporary visa on 10 March 2022 who previously held a visa expiring between 9 May and 31 December 2022 were also granted an open work visa.
New visas have also been granted to partners and dependent children of the new open work visa holder.
To be eligible, family must have:
· been in New Zealand on 9 May 2022, and
· held a visa expiring between 9 May and 31 December 2022 (inclusive) that was based on their relationship to the work visa holder
The new visa is valid from 9 May 2022 until two years from the expiry date of the previous visa.
Partners and dependent children who held work, student or visitor visas based on their relationship to the work visa holder will be granted the same type of visa.
Work to residence visas
On 9 May 2022, the following types of work to residence visas expiring between 9 May and 31 December 2022 (inclusive) held by those in New Zealand were extended by special direction by six months:
· Talent (Accredited Employers)
· Talent (Arts, Culture and Sports)
· Long Term Skill Shortage List
· Skilled Migrant Category Job Search Visa
· South Island Contribution.
The extensions are valid for six months from the date of expiry of the previous visa.
Visas expiring between 9 May and 31 December 2022 (inclusive) held by partners and dependent children were also extended by six months.
To be eligible, family must:
· hold a visa based on their relationship to the work visa holder, and
· have been in New Zealand on 9 May 2022.
We will contact those eligible by email.
There is no cost to the visa holder for these extensions or new visas.
Visa conditions stay the same. Any visa conditions that have been varied also stay the same.