The government of New Zealand has worked in close association and harmony with the immigration and the indigenous employment authorities to curb the COVID-19 situation effectively, without compromising on the peace, prosperity and good health of its citizens and expats. The country has been taking phenomenal steps like creating superlative quarantine facilities, managed isolation, introducing the Critical Purpose Visitor Visa, refurbishing various work visa requirements and application procedures, extending specific visas, and introducing a new form of wage rate in 2021 which safeguards the interests of part-time, full-time and migrant workers.

In this regard, the New Zealand government recently passed several bills and amendments which are modelled to combat the unprecedented situation that has come up due to the viral pandemic. We will shed light on the same.

The latest bills and amendments introduced by the NZ government

The latest bills and Immigration Amendment Act 2020 allow the government of NZ to change the Immigration responses post COVID-19 outbreak. With the introduction of a new bill and amendment, the government can change or cancel the visas of individuals holding a resident permit in NZ. Further, the Immigration laws also allow the government to cancel temporary entry visas due to increasing cases of COVID-19. All the changes and amendments will be automatically repealed after 12 months.

A drastic improvement in the domestic condition of New Zealand is noticed after the implementation of new bills and amendments. The ongoing border closure due to pandemics had a wide range of impacts on temporary NZ visas; however, the border will remain closed until the restrictions are lifted.

Book a consultation with our team of advisors and experts to know more about NZ legislation and amendments. These people are immensely well-versed in every matter regarding the NZ immigration laws and their amendments and can walk you through the details seamlessly. They will also explain to you how these bills and amendments affect you.

Part 1 of the bill and amendment

Part 1 of the bill consists of temporary powers associated with the New Zealand visas. It allows the visas to extend the repeal date of forces at least for two more years, ending by May 2023. Further, the visa time for offshore persons has also increased by six months, wherein the suspension is governed by regulation and can last for three months. The changes in the bill and amendment were a necessary step as the frequency of visa renewal was a tedious process. Moreover, the present suspension provides an intention to the visa applicants that the border can open anytime soon, which is not valid.

To properly handle significant safeguards, it is necessary to execute the powers with the help of particular directions. The decision-maker should understand the importance of exercising power so that they can handle and deal with the consequences promptly. The majority of the controls are exercised to benefit individual visa holders. Further, the exception of an offshore person acquiring a temporary NZ visa should also be regulated by the government. The next part of the bill and amendment is part 2.

  • Clause 1:Part 1 of the bill consist of the Title clause
  • Clause 2:It describes that the bill comes in force on the following date on which it is received.
  • Clause 3:It mentions that the bill amends the principal Act (Immigration Act 2009)
  • Clause 4 amends section 50(4E):Clause 4 allows the Minister to vary the travel conditions and cancel employment conditions for resident visas holders in NZ.
  • Clause 5 and 6 amends section 52(4E) and 53(4E): Minister holds power to impose, vary or cancel the conditions of temporary entry visas for visa applicants due to prevailing COVID-19 conditions.
  • Clause 7 amends section 57(7):Based on this clause, the Minister can exempt the regular visa requirements amid pandemic conditions.
  • Clause 8 amends section 61A(7): Minister has the power to grant a visa to their own volition
  • Clause 9 amends section 78(2B):It amends the principal Act in relation the clause 10.
  • Clause 10 amends section 78A (7):With this amendment, the Minister can extend the temporary class visa for six months for visa holders.
  • Clause 11 amends section 86 (4C): The Minister holds power to waive off the requirements to have a transit visa or suspend a transit visa.
  • Clause 12 amends section 113A (8):The immigration officer has the power to grant entry permission if stated under the principal Act.
  • Clause 13 amends section 378:This amendment is based on other departments such as 50, 52, 53, 57, 61 A, and 78 A.
  • Clause 14 amends section 380:This amendment is based on sections such as 50, 52, 53, 57, 61 A, and 78 A.
  • Clause 15 amends section 401A:Presently the regulation allows suspending for a period of 3 months for a particular type of visa. The effect of the amendment is to extend the suspension for a period of 6 months.
  • Clause 16 amends section 401B: The amendment is directly related to an amendment to section 401 A.

Part 2 of the Bill and amendment

Part 2 of the bill and amendment is a modification of the principal Act relating to the temporary powers in NZ. The part 2 bill is extended till May 15, 2023, where the series of changes made in the principal Act is based on temporary powers associated with the NZ visas.

Clause 17 amends section 403B: The amendment mentions the modifications in schedule 6 of the principal Act. The amendment will be repealed on the new repeal date.

  1. Title: This Act is the Immigration (COVID-19 Response) Amendment Act 2021
  1. Commencement: Like part 1 of the bill, the Act comes in force when received by Royal assent
  1. Principal Act: This Act amends the Immigration Act 2009 (The Principal Act)

Conclusion

The article broadly discusses the government’s temporary power that has been introduced in response to the COVID-19 situation in the country. The bill closes by 15 May 2023. The bill also provides an extended duration for the suspension to temporary entry visa applicants.

Book a consultation with our experts if you are confused about these latest bills and amendments introduced in New Zealand and don’t have a clue about their effects on you. Our NZ advisors and experts will help you to know more about the latest bill and amendments in NZ.