New travel exception for split families

21st April 2021

New travel exception for split families

The New Zealand Government has announced the introduction of border exceptions for families of some temporary visa holders. From 30 April 2021, partners and children, who are currently outside New Zealand, may be eligible to travel to the country under this border exception.

Who can apply for a border exception?

If you fall into one of the three following groups, you can apply for a travel exception:

  1. Partners and dependent children who held (and continue to hold) a visa for New Zealand, but were unable to join their partner or parent in New Zealand before the border closed.
  2. Partners and dependent children of workers employed in critical health services.
  3. Partners and dependent children of highly-skilled workers.

Requirements

The requirements vary for each group and we have listed all the criteria here:

1. Partners and dependent children who held a visa before the border closure

To be eligible to enter New Zealand:

  • You must hold a current visa based on their relationship to the person in New Zealand.
  • Your partner or parent must be currently in New Zealand and have 12 months or more remaining on their work or student visa when the request to travel is submitted.

2. Partners and dependent children of workers employed in critical health services.

To be eligible to enter New Zealand, you must:

  • Be the partner or dependent child of a person who is currently in New Zealand on a temporary visa.

Your partner or parent in New Zealand must:

  • Be currently in New Zealand.
  • Have a visa specifying they work in an occupation needed to deliver critical health services in New Zealand.
  • Hold a visa that is valid for 12 months or more after the date the request to travel is submitted.

If your request for a travel exception is successful, you will be invited to apply for a visa. Your visa application must include, evidence of your relationship with the primary visa holder.

*3. Partners and dependent children of highly-skilled workers *

To be eligible to enter New Zealand, you must:

  • Be the partner or dependent child of a person who is currently in New Zealand on a temporary visa.

Your partner or parent in New Zealand must:

  • Be currently living and employed in New Zealand, and
  • Earn at least twice the median salary — currently NZD $106,080 per year
  • Hold a visa that is valid for 12 months or more after the date the request to travel is submitted.

Your partner or parent in New Zealand must also meet one or more of the following:

  • Have unique experience and technical or specialist skills not readily obtainable in New Zealand
  • Have a role essential for the completion or continuation of a science programme under a government funded or partially government-funded contract, including research and development exchanges and partnerships, and have the support of the Science, Innovation and International Branch at MBIE to carry out this work
  • A role essential for the delivery or execution of one of the following:
    • An approved major infrastructure project, or a government approved event or a major government approved programme
    • An approved government-to-government agreement
    • Work with a significant wider benefit to the national or regional economy.

In your request to travel you will be asked to provide information from the employer of your partner or parent in New Zealand to prove eligibility.

If your request for a travel exception is successful, you will be invited to apply for a visa. Your visa application must provide evidence of your relationship with your partner or parent who is in New Zealand.

If you would like to reunite with your family and apply for a border exception, please get in touch with our NZ Immigration Director Arno Nothnagel to support you in this process.

For any inquiries

Contact Arno Nothnagel, Immigration Director | New Zealand