Visa postponements and restrictions for New Zealand - | Hudson McKenzie

Visa postponements and restrictions for New Zealand

January 27, 2021 | COVID-19, Immigration, Travel

New Zealand’s borders are closed to most travellers, however New Zealand has updated information on their various visa routes due to restrictions caused by the pandemic. The government has passed legislation which allows them to make changes to visa requirements, amendments and extensions during COVID-19.

  • Student visa: The New Zealand government is allowing a limited number of international students to continue their studies in 2021. Those who do not meet the criteria therefore will not be granted a student visa and cannot study in New Zealand until further notice. The New Zealand government has outlined that those wanting to study can undergo a course online with a New Zealand educational institute without a visa. Once travel restrictions are lifted, students can then apply for the visa and use proof of their online studies in support of their application.
  • Temporary visas: Applications for most temporary visas, such as visit visas are postponed until further notice. However, most visitor visas which expired between 4th September and 31st October 2020 are being extended by 5 months from their date of expiry.
  • Employer-assisted work visas: Those people on work visas which are expiring from 1st January 2021- 30th June 2021 will be able to remain in New Zealand and continue working, information will be updated as to further extensions and deadlines.

This applies to the following work visas:

-Essential Skills

-Work to Residence

-Special and Skilled work visas for China, Indonesia, South Korea, Philippines and -Vietnam

-Special category work visas for Japanese Interpreters and Thai Chefs

-Employer-specific work visas granted under section 61 of the Immigration Act 2009

-Religious Worker

-Fishing Crew

-Silver Fern Practical Experience

Those visas that may not be postponed and will still be processed include the following:

-relationship-based visas for partners and dependent children of New Zealand citizens and residents

-visas for diplomatic

-Antarctic Traveller Visitor visas and Antarctic Work visas

-Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Limited visas.

The information provided does not amount to legal advice, if you require legal advice on this matter please contact one of our professionals at Hudson McKenzie. 

Should you have any queries regarding the above information or if you require assistance with your corporate, employment or immigration matter, please get in touch with a legal professional at Hudson McKenzie via email at or by telephone +44(0) 20 3318 5794.