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#Coronavirus: New Zealand Strengthens Travel Restrictions, Visas to be Extended for Foreigners

The New Zealand Government’s epidemic management notice relating to immigration matters also comes into effect on Thursday 2 April 2020.

Travellers with a temporary (work, student, visitor, interim and limited) visa expiring before 1 April 2020 who are unable to leave New Zealand must apply online for a new visa. An interim visa will be issued.

Travellers with a temporary visa due to expire between 1 April and 9 July 2020 will have their visas extended to late September. Confirmation of extensions will be emailed to all visa holders.

Travel to New Zealand

The New Zealand Government has further strengthened travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travellers from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).

New Zealand citizens, permanent residents, residents with valid travel conditions and their immediate family (partner or spouse, legal guardian and dependent children under the age of 24) can still come to New Zealand. Immediate family must have a valid visa or NZeTA and travel with the New Zealand citizen or resident family member on the same flight to New Zealand.

Australian citizens and permanent residents who normally live in New Zealand can also return to New Zealand.

All travellers must isolate themselves for 14 days upon arrival.

Transiting and departure from New Zealand

Australian citizens, residents and immediate family (partner or spouse, legal guardian and dependent children under the age of 24) are able to transit New Zealand to Australia. Transiting travellers must remain airside and cannot enter New Zealand.

New Zealand citizens, residents and immediate family (partner, legal guardian and dependent children) who normally live in Australia are able to transit New Zealand to return to Australia. If you want to transit, you need to remain airside and not enter New Zealand. If you enter New Zealand, you will be required to self-isolate.

New Zealand citizens, permanent residents who normally live in New Zealand and immediate family (partner, legal guardian and dependent children) are able to transit Australia to New Zealand. Transiting travellers must remain airside and cannot enter Australia. 

The Government has decided that for a time-limited period people who meet certain requirements (described below) will be able to transit or depart New Zealand:

  • Up until 23:59 (New Zealand time) on Sunday 29 March 2020 nationals of the United States and Canada can transit via New Zealand from Australia on flights to the United States and Canada (respectively)
  • Up until 23:59 (New Zealand time) on Sunday 29 March 2020 people travelling from the Pacific who do not need to transit through Australia can transit via New Zealand to their home countries.

Transit or departure from New Zealand of foreign travellers before the end of a 14-day self-isolation period is permitted if the following conditions are met:

  • no positive or pending COVID-19 test result
  • no close contact with a suspected or confirmed case in the previous 14 days
  • no symptoms, especially no fever, in the previous 14 days. Your temperature will be checked
  • an assurance that airlines will permit boarding for the full journey
  • an assurance that the destination country will permit entry

Airlines will not allow unwell passengers to board. Travellers must contact their airlines and other travel providers for the most up-to-date information about flight availability, transit and entry eligibility for areas affected by border measures.

Emergency consular assistance for New Zealanders +64 99 20 20 20 (if overseas) or 0800 30 10 30 (if in New Zealand).

Entry restriction exceptions

Exceptions to the border closure can be made on a case-by-case basis by Immigration New Zealand for:

  • humanitarian reasons
  • health and other essential workers
  • citizens of Samoa and Tonga for essential travel to New Zealand.

If you have a valid New Zealand visa and think you may be eligible for an exception please contact your airline.

No other foreign traveller can enter New Zealand. Returning residents and citizens must isolate themselves for 14 days upon arrival.

Travel to and from the Pacific Islands

New Zealand citizens from Tokelau, Cook Islands and Niue travelling to New Zealand must isolate themselves for 14 days upon arrival.

Travellers to the Pacific Islands must meet the entry requirements of the country they are travelling to. Check flight availability and entry requirements before starting your journey. Health Officers are screening travellers from New Zealand to the Pacific Islands. Airlines will not allow any passenger with COVID-19 symptoms to board.

Visa processing information

All INZ’s overseas offices are temporarily closed. There is a significant impact on visa processing times, but we are establishing processes for dealing with urgent requests.

Residents with expired travel conditions cannot travel to New Zealand. You may apply for reinstatement of resident visa travel conditions.

Air crew and sea travel

Air and maritime crew continue to be exempt from the travel restrictions, including from the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.

Cruise ships cannot enter to New Zealand’s territorial waters effective from 23:59 Saturday 14 March 2020. This will remain in place until at least 30 June 2020.

If travel plans have changed due to the travel restrictions, visa holders can request a change to their travel dates and visa conditions or apply for a new visa. Visa fees or levies paid for completed applications will not be refunded or deferred for another visa.

Immigration Contact Centre is currently experiencing extremely high call volumes and you may face an extended delay in your call being answered.

Urgent immigration queries only call:

+64 9 952 1679 | outside New Zealand

OR

0508 225 288 | within New Zealand

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