Everything you need to know about the COVID-19 Short Term Visitor Visa

Learn about the application overview, processing, and fees of the recent COVID-19 Short Term Visitor Visa.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tumultuous impact on people's lives. It has disrupted movement, separated families, and severely affected the global economy. A year down the line, the situation does not seem to appear much better.

With its prompt response to the crisis, the NZ government was lauded for adopting immediate and result-driven measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Although the NZ borders are still closed, many new changes to immigration policies are being introduced from time to time. There are exceptions in visa categories that allow one to stay on or enter New Zealand on essential and critical grounds. The Critical Purpose Visitor Visa has an immensely positive reception amongst the NZ citizens and expats because of its utility. One such visa category is the newly introduced COVID-19 Short Term Visitor Visa.

What is the COVID-19 Short Term Visitor Visa?

The COVID-19 Short Term Visitor visa was introduced by the NZ government and immigration authorities in September 2020. This visa category allows individuals to prolong their stay for two months if they cannot depart the shores of NZ due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Migrants can apply for this visa on onshores only, which means they are in New Zealand. This visa will allow visitors an additional time frame of 2 months to legitimately stay in NZ and prepare for their departure at the end of the stay.

Primary Conditions to Avail the COVID-19 Short Term Visitor Visa

  • The length of stay on this visa is two months
  • You must genuinely be unable to depart New Zealand owing to constraints imposed keeping in view the pandemic
  • You cannot work on this visa
  • You can study on this visa for the duration of two months
  • You must be in New Zealand to apply for this visa
  • You must apply online for this visa

Book a Consultation with our experts to learn more about the COVID-19 Short Term Visitor visa application process. They have exceptional knowledge and authority in the relevant departments and will help you navigate the issues with ease.

Documents Requirement for Application

You will be required to make the application for the COVID-19 Short Term Visitor Visa only. The documents and pieces of evidence you will be required to submit along with your application are listed below:

  • You must include proof of your identity, which would consist of your passport details
  • You must include evidence of your good character, which might include a police certificate attesting to your record

You must provide proof of the fact that you are genuinely unable to depart New Zealand. Such evidence can include the following:

  • The closing of borders of your country of residence
  • Proof that you can have tried to book a journey out of NZ
  • Departure date from NZ if your visa expiry date precedes your booked travel date
  • Attempts to correspond with your High Commission, Embassy, or Consulate

The Process to Apply for a COVID-19 Short Term Visitor Visa

You have to be in NZ to apply for this visa, and you have to make the application online. Applying for a visitor visa requires having a RealMe account using which the application and the payment will be made. But if you're already in NZ, you should already have the account because you had required it to make the primary, initial visa application in the first place.

You have to gather all relevant documents and upload them in the visa application form. After filling up the form and uploading the documents, you must pay the application fees to complete the application procedure. All important updates will be mailed to you on a timely basis by INZ, and you will be notified about the approval of your visa as and when the process is completed.

The VAC (Visa Application Centre) will confirm your application via email to you or your representative. Once your application has been successfully submitted, you will be able to access status updates showing the movement of your application from the VAC to Immigration New Zealand.

Fees and Costs

Immigration New Zealand will charge you with

  • An application fee for processing your visitor visa application
  • An immigration charge, which is levied on the application and included in the application cost
  • An International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) of NZD 35 is charged and is included in the cost

These fees are non-refundable and will not get reimbursed if the visa request is turned down.

The cost taking these three cost divisions into account amounts to a total of NZD 246, which needs to be submitted at the time of the visa application.

  • You will also be charged a passport fee of NZD 12 for each visa application. This is charged for the VAC to receive and handle your passport post the submission of your visa application

Conditions After you have Received your Short Term Visa

This visa allows you to stay in New Zealand for a length of 2 months only owing to unavoidable circumstances preventing you from leaving the shores of NZ.

Therefore this is a short-term visa that was introduced to provide visa assistance to those who cannot depart NZ because of the pandemic-inflicted global unrest.

These two months should be taken to make arrangements to leave at the end of the period, and the individual must depart NZ after the expiry of the visa.


The global situation and immigration policies are constantly evolving owing to the dynamic unrest inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, it is advisable to be familiar with the latest changes in immigration policies and visa updates to plan a trip or alter the conditions of an already decided tour. One can never say for sure when the situation will be stable once again, but people must gear themselves with the world's changing conditions to adapt and survive! Hence, book a consultation with our immigration experts to be sure of your next step involving travel to NZ.

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