New Zealand resumes some offshore visa processing

15th September 2020

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) have announced, after not processing any offshore visas since the border closures, that they will resume processing some visa applications.

There are two visa categories for which INZ have resumed visa processing:

  • INZ are now processing and deciding offshore applications for some relationship-based visas, if they are supported by a New Zealand citizen or resident
  • INZ are also processing, but not approving, offshore applications for selected visa categories

Relationship-based visas supported by a New Zealander

INZ are now processing offshore, supported applications for the following visas:

  • Partnership – Visitor | Partnership
  • Partnership – Visitor | Culturally Arranged Marriage
  • Partnership – Work | Partnership
  • Partnership – Resident | Partnership
  • Partnership – Resident | Partnership – Partner of an Expatriate
  • Dependent Child – Visitor | Child of NZ cit/res
  • Dependent Child – Visitor | Adopted child
  • Dependent Child – Student | Child of NZ cit/res
  • Dependent Child – Resident | Family child dependent
  • Dependent Child – Resident | Family child dependent – Dependant of an Expatriate

If granted a visa, these visa holders will be exempt from New Zealand border restrictions. The visa holder can travel to and enter New Zealand without seeking an approval from INZ and will not need to submit an Expression of Interest for an exception to travel to New Zealand.

Conditions:

  • If INZ determine that an application does not meet immigration partnership requirements, a general Visitor Visa may be appropriate and INZ will place the application on hold until border restrictions allow them to process general Visitor Visas.
  • Given current limitations on international travel, INZ will grant successful temporary entry applicants a six-month ‘first entry before’ date to allow them more time to secure flights and managed isolation or quarantine in New Zealand.
  • If an application is more than three months old when INZ assess it, they may need to request updated information, for example:
    • updated partnership evidence or information about changes in circumstances
    • a new chest x-ray certificate (if the applicant is applying from a location with a high incidence of TB).

Applications under selected visa categories

INZ will process the offshore applications under the following visa categories:

  • Refugee Family Support - Tiers 1 and 2
  • Migrant Investor (Investor 1 and 2), including EOIs for Investor 2
  • Parent Retirement
  • Entrepreneur

Conditions:

  • Because immigration legislation does not allow INZ to grant these visas until current border restrictions are lifted, they will only process these applications as far as they can without approving. However, they will decline any applications if they do not meet immigration instructions.
  • If an application looks like it meets immigration instructions, INZ may request further information and complete another assessment when the border restrictions are lifted. This will ensure the applicant still meets the requirements of the visa they have applied for when INZ make a final decision.
  • Sometimes visas are subject to extra conditions, called section 49 conditions. INZ will process section 49 checks for these visa categories as normal, regardless of the applicant’s location.

For any inquiries

Contact Arno Nothnagel, Immigration Director | New Zealand