The suspension of offshore visa applications and processing has been suspended by the Immigration Department of NZ. While the country has shown progressive changes to recuperate from COVID-19, the Immigration Department is also working proactively to introduce new processes and refurbish old ones. These measures are meant to help the country and its public stay safe during the pandemic situation and safeguard their livelihood as well.

The Government has been rejigging the policies for managed isolation and quarantine. In the midst of this, the extension of suspended activities regarding offshore visa applications is also a critical step.

Offshore Visa Application and Processing Update

Though the INZ had declared about suspending the application and subsequent processing of offshore visa applications until November 2020, the same has been extended till the first week of February 2021. Offshore visa processing remains suspended till the 8th of February.

There are various offshore visa types that will not be impacted by this announcement. These include the following.

  • The relationship-based visas where the visa holder is dependent on the NZ citizens and residents
  • Visas that cater to the officials, including the consular staff and diplomats. It also includes their dependent family members
  • Individuals who are traveling for some significant reason
  • Antarctic work and traveler visitor visa.
  • Recognized Seasonal Employer or RSE limited visas

If you want thorough advice on the application and processing of offshore visa activities, you can book a consultation with some of the most esteemed immigration advisers in NZ. Our team of immigration advisers and consultants are the most experienced in such matters and will provide you, valuable counsel.

What Should Be the Ideal Step Following This Update?

There are several people submitting offshore visa applications. But our Auckland immigration consultants would request them to wait for some time. If they do not meet the criteria for border exemption or are not applying under one of the above-mentioned categories, they should submit their visa applications after February 9.

What if you were waiting for the suspension period to get over by November? Have you already prepared your offshore visa application?

In such a case, applicants should thoroughly check the supporting documentation they have prepared for their offshore visa applications. It could be possible that some of the documents are valid after November 10, 2020, but could lose their authentication and validity by February 2021. Thus, you should keep a tab on this matter.

In certain cases, the validity of medical documents is based on their age. While you are submitting your applications, those medical documents should not be more than three months old. If you need guidance for the timeframe of submission or need experts to walk you through the application process, feel free to reach out to us.

Suspension of Offshore Applications- Bane or Boon?

The way INZ has framed all its policies and adjusted them has been instrumental in deciding the fate of the country in this unprecedented pandemic situation. The Government and its Immigration Department have played a major role in defining the country’s growth and progress during these periods of uncertainty. The several visa adjustments and border restrictions have helped people to stay safe and secure.

On the other hand, the extension of such suspension could deeply impact some of the people who are eager to kickstart their activities in New Zealand, whether it be academic, religious, political, social, or professional. The further suspension of visa applications is definitely going to create certain roadblocks for people who do not pertain to the categories provided by INZ and others who do not cater to the border exemptions rule.

Hence, take your time out. Don’t rush into things. Think about the entire situation thoroughly. And then make an informed decision.