We had broken the news of the bill to be introduced to provide temporary visa powers to the New Zealand Government on May 4th, 2020.
Today, we bring better news for New Zealand migrants and visa seekers. Due to the country moving to COVID-19 Alert Level 2, which has also resulted in increased visa and immigration processing for the INZ (Immigration New Zealand), new general instructions have been issued to the immigration officers by the Deputy Chief Executive, Immigration on May 13th, 2020.
What do the May 13th, 2020 NZ immigration instructions do for resident visas?
The following general instructions are effective from May 13th, 2020 for the order and manner of processing of visa applications under Government residence instructions:
1. You get first priority if you are already in New Zealand. The following categories get preference under this bracket:
- If you are on a Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) visa, Work to Residence Visa categories, such as Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa and Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa, Religious Worker, South Island Contribution, and Talent (Arts, Culture and Sport), you will benefit:
- If your hourly wages are more than twice the prevalent median wage (NZ$ 51/hour or NZ$ 106,080 annually).
- Also, you will be preferred if you currently hold an occupational registration needed by the immigration law.
2. You get second priority if you submit your residence class visa application while being outside New Zealand.
What do the May 13th, 2020 NZ immigration instructions do for temporary visas?
Note that in addition to the priorities set below, the visa applications will generally be picked up in the order they were submitted. Also, these immigration instructions do not stop the immigration officers from processing any specific visa application as per the emergency warranted by individual circumstances.
The previous section 26(4) general instructions of the Immigration Act 2009 are also revoked for these instructions.
1. You will get first priority for the following types and categories of temporary New Zealand visas:
- Visas and requests for variations of conditions for the critical workers needed by the government to support the response to COVID-19.
- Visa applications dealing with cases of urgent humanitarian need, such as:
- Domestic violence victims.
- Visitor visas and requests for variations of conditions which fall under the following entry restriction exceptions: Samoan and Tongan citizens on essential travel, immediate family members of temporary visa holders who usually stay in New Zealand, immediate family members of citizens and residents travelling with their New Zealand citizen or resident family member, and other humanitarian cases.
- Resident visa holders from Australia and permanent residents who usually stay in New Zealand.
- Applicants traveling under the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) travel card program, who are not New Zealand resident visa holders or citizens.
- Diplomatic visa holders.
- Anyone who is in New Zealand on a temporary visa.
2. You will get second priority if you have a valid visa but not currently in the country.
Professional Visa Solutions is a dedicated team of immigration experts serving all your New Zealand visa needs from their Auckland office. Our licensed immigration consultants understand the challenges you must be facing in these difficult times.