INZ Covid Update - Critical Purpose Visitor Visa or Variation of Conditions

What is it?

The New Zealand Government has put measures in place to minimise risks to New Zealand, posed by the COVID-19 virus. The measures prohibit entry to New Zealand for people who are not New Zealand citizens, permanent residents or returning residents.

The New Zealand Government has now allowed limited situations, where travel to New Zealand is allowed, for limited people, while COVID-19 still poses a significant threat to New Zealand. This is by permitting the grant of a:

  • Critical purpose visitor visa or other temporary entry class visa appropriate to a person’s circumstances, to people who do not currently hold a visa; or
  • Variation of conditions to people who already hold a temporary entry class visa.

People who do not have a critical purpose for travel to New Zealand will not be invited to apply for a visa or a variation of conditions.

What is the process?

1. Submit an expression of interest. This must be submitted by:

  • the applicant themselves; or
  • employers, or supporting agencies, on behalf of ‘other critical workers’, with the agreement of the ‘other critical worker’; or
  • the owner of a ship, authorised agent (such as a shipping agent) or employer or principal of marine crew of a ship, on behalf of marine crew, with the agreement of the marine crew member.

2. An immigration officer may invite a person to apply for a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa, another visa appropriate to their circumstances, or request a variation of conditions if they are satisfied that:

  • the applicant does not indicate any health, character or bona fide issues, that would prevent any person who will be included in the application to be granted a visa or variation of conditions; and
  • the people who will be included in the application or request are likely to meet funds or sponsorship and onward travel requirements; and
  • the principal applicant has a critical purpose for travelling to New Zealand.

What is a critical purpose?

The following people are considered to have a critical purpose for travelling to New Zealand.

Click here to read more.

Who is eligible?

You may be eligible for a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa, if you;

  • meet the generic visitor visa requirements; and
  • have a critical purpose for travel to New Zealand; and
  • able to provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that you meet the requirements of a ‘critical health worker’ or ‘other critical worker’.

You may be eligible for another visa (appropriate to your circumstances), if you;

  • meet all relevant immigration requirements for the grant of that visa; and
  • have a critical purpose for travel to New Zealand. 

You may be eligible for a variation of conditions (for holders of a valid temporary entry class visa), if;

  • you have a critical purpose for travelling to and being in New Zealand; and
  • all the other requirements of the visa that you currently hold, continue to be met.

Contact

If you think that you are eligible for any of these exemptions, get in touch with us for a discussion.

Posted: Wednesday 30 September 2020


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