New Zealand Border Closure Exceptions – All You Need to Know

If you are affected by the border closures, then you must educate yourself about the border closure exceptions that are in force.

To fight the spread of COVID-19, the New Zealand government has closed the borders for most people. This applies to both air and sea travel. However, there are exceptions to this rule.

Do you need to get a New Zealand COVID-19 border closure exception approval?

You do not need to seek approval before entry if you are:

  • An NZ resident, permanent resident, or citizen – there are some conditions if you are a resident, we can help you make the determination of qualification.
  • Partners and dependent children of NZ residents and citizens – again, there are some additional parameters you need to satisfy to qualify. Contact us to see if you meet the conditions.
  • Diplomats holding a position in New Zealand.

Even if you do not qualify under the above, INZ (Immigration New Zealand) may grant you a visa if they find that you must travel for a critical purpose. These exceptions apply not only to people who already hold a New Zealand visa but also to the ones who need one. Book a consultation to see if you qualify.

Do you qualify for the New Zealand border closure exception?

Here are some of the categories of people who may qualify for approval from the INZ to travel to New Zealand despite the COVID-19 forced border closure. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list.

  • Health workers needed in the country for critical services.
  • People travelling on critical humanitarian grounds.
  • Permanent residents and citizens from Australia who usually reside in New Zealand.
  • Citizens from Samoa and Tonga travelling on essential grounds agreed upon by their respective governments and the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  • Dependent children (<19 years) and partners of someone already in New Zealand on a student or work visa – INZ may want you to already have a valid visa and show that you usually live in the country.
  • Legal guardians, partners, and dependent children (19 years of age or less) of NZ residents or citizens, who did not get their visa based on the relationship. You will need to show that you:
    • are travelling with your family member who is a New Zealand resident or citizen, or
    • you usually live in New Zealand.
  • Employers can also apply to bring workers for critical functions – the border closure exception approval may not be used for individual workers though.

As mentioned above, this is not a comprehensive list, you may still qualify. Book a consultation to determine if you may be eligible for the New Zealand border closure exception approval.

How can you gain approval to travel to New Zealand under COVID-19 border restrictions?

In order to get an NZ border closure exception approval, you need to:

  • Request INZ for travel approval, and
  • Get invited to make an application for an appropriate NZ visa or seek a variation of conditions.

Once you get approved, you can travel to New Zealand.

INZ will need to be convinced that your travel request meets the criteria they have laid down. The conditions for border closure exception for each allowed category are different, so make sure you understand what the INZ may look for to adjudicate your case.

You must provide satisfactory evidence with your approval request. The INZ is going to make their decision based on your application, and may not provide detailed reasons for rejection (as they are bombarded with a large number of requests).

Professional Visa Solutions is an Auckland based dedicated team of the best immigration minds in the country. Our licensed immigration consultants are following the changing New Zealand immigration environment closely, and know how to deal with challenging COVID-19 situation.

Book a consultation with our advisers to discuss your case.

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