New Zealand Suspends Offshore Visa Applications

29th October 2020

New Zealand Suspends Offshore Visa Applications

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) have extended the suspension of offshore applications for temporary visas for a further three months until 8 February 2021.

As New Zealand's borders remain closed the large number of applications which cannot be processed has not reduced and INZ does not want to reopen visa applications which they are unable to grant visas for. Legally INZ is unable to grant visas to people who are unable to enter New Zealand.

If you have previously lodged an application it will remain in the queue awaiting the recommencement of offshore processing.

For any questions about your application or visa, please contact Arno Nothnagel at arno.nothnagel@absoluteimmigration.com

Update 3 August 2020:

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) have announced that from 10 August 2020 New Zealand will charge fees for border exception Expressions of Interest (EOIs) as well as temporarily suspend visa applications from people outside of New Zealand.

Temporary visa suspensions for offshore applications

From 10 August for the following 3 months, anyone outside of New Zealand will not be able to apply for a temporary visa.

Since the border closure INZ have received huge numbers of visa applications which they are unable to process unless the applicant meets the strict border exception criteria. Legally INZ is unable to grant visas to people who are unable to enter New Zealand. Despite the strict criteria around border exceptions, large numbers of people have continued to apply so the new suspension will stop further applications being made.

INZ have said that by suspending applications they will be in a better place to process applications when the border restrictions change and applicants will not lose money for paying for applications that cannot be processed.

Some offshore temporary entry class visa applications will not be affected, these include:

  • Relationship-based visas for partners and dependent children of New Zealand citizens and residents
  • Visas for diplomatic, consular and official staff and accompanying dependants
  • Antarctic Traveller Visitor visas and Antarctic Work visas
  • Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Limited visas

The suspensions does not apply to residence class visa applications.

If you have already submitted an application or have any questions about withdrawing your application and requesting a refund please contact us.

Border Exception Expression of Interest (EOI) new fees

Form 10 August 2020, INZ will also be introducing fees for all border exception EOI requests.

  • NZD $380 for employers who request exceptions for ‘other critical workers’ (or organisations or agencies that sponsor requests)
  • NZD $45 for individual requests under all critical purpose categories

Since the border closure, INZ have received over 27,000 EOI border exception requests and around 5,400 visa applications for people invited to apply. INZ have stated that the introduction of the fee is a result of the large volumes of requests coming in. The fee will be payable when the EOI form is submitted online.

For more information visit the INZ website.

For any inquires regarding any of these changes

Contact Arno Nothnagel, Immigration Director | New Zealand