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NZ’s immigration changes after 11.59pm, 31 July 2022

After 11.59 pm on 31 July, the final steps of Immigration New Zealand’s Reconnecting Strategy will be reached.

  • those outside New Zealand will be able to apply for student and visitor visas, and
  • the border will be reopened to travelers arriving by air and sea.


In this article, we provide you with a summary of the changes and in particular, to the following areas:

  • Visitors to New Zealand
  • Students in New Zealand
  • Maritime border
  • Phasing out border restrictions
  • 2021 Resident Visa closing
  • COVID-19 restrictions in New Zealand



Every non-New Zealand or Australian citizen travelling to New Zealand needs a visa or New Zealand Electronic Authority (NZeTA) to enter the country.

Visitor Visas

From 11.59pm on 31 July (NZST), applications for Visitor Visas will reopen.

Group visitor visa fees will increase:

  • Approved Destination Status (China) will be NZD $90 per person (previously NZD $45)
  • Other group visitor visa will be NZD $110 per person (previously NZD $65)


With an NZeTA you can travel to New Zealand without first applying for a visa if you are:

  • a cruise ship passenger,
  • travelling on a passport from a visa waiver country, or
  • a permanent resident of Australia.



Student visa applications reopen from 11:59pm 31 July 2022 (NZST) to support the rebuilding of a high-value international education sector.


From 11.59pm on 31 July 2022, Immigration fees and levies for student visas will increase.

The new costs for a student visa will be:

  • $375 for Band A (New Zealand)
  • $315 for Band B (Pacific)
  • $395 for Band C (rest of world)


The amount students need for living costs while in New Zealand will also increase to:

  • NZD $20,000 a year for tertiary, English language students and other non-compulsory education
  • NZD $17,000 a year for students in compulsory education (years 1-13 at a school)
  • NZD $5,000 for applicants for post-study work visa.


Application process

Applications online should be made between one and three months before intending to travel.


Maritime border

The maritime border will reopen to foreign-flagged vessels at 11.59pm on 31 July 2022 (NZST).

Travellers on cruise ships must apply for an NZeTA.


Phasing out border exceptions

Most border exceptions will close at 11:59pm on 31 July (NZST).

The full timeline for INZ’s transition back to standard visa processing was announced earlier this month.

Click through to our article for further information – click here


2021 Resident Visa category closing

The Government created the 2021 Resident Visa to recognise the contribution migrants made during COVID-19.

Among those eligible to apply are critical workers in longer-term roles who:

  • held a visa as a critical health worker or other critical worker on 29 September 2021, or
  • were granted a visa as a critical health worker or other critical worker after 29 September 2021.


The 2021 Resident Visa category closes at 11:59 pm on 31 July 2022 (NZST).


COVID-19 restrictions

COVID-19 restrictions still apply when travelling to New Zealand. Check the New Zealand COVID-19 website for up-to-date details on entry requirements.


Get in touch with Arno and the team to find out how we can help:

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