INZ Staying the Course for Offshore Visa Applications
INZ has provided an update this week that all of its offshore processing offices, aside from Apia, remain closed. Due to the current border restrictions in effect INZ is not currently processing visa applications for individuals who are offshore unless they meet the strict border exception criteria, as they do not want to grant visas to individuals who are unlikely to meet the current restricted entry requirements.
In line with this, the ability of applicants outside of New Zealand to apply for temporary visas has been suspended for 3 months, from 10 August 2020.
There is some movement though; from 7 September 2020 INZ will commence a phased reopening of its Visa Application Centre (“VAC”) network, dependent on country conditions. As the VACs reopen, they will be able to accept applications from applicants that meet the strict border exception criteria currently in place.
INZ will be encouraging those applicants to send their documents via post/courier. A mandatory appointment system will be put in place for any applicant wanting to submit documents in person, to ensure health and safety and contact tracing protocols are observed. A full list of the VACs and their status can be accessed via the VFS Website (https://www.vfsglobal.com/en/individuals/index.html).
For anyone considering a request for an exemption to the current border restrictions, please contact a member of the team. We can discuss your eligibility under the strict criteria currently in place, and can assist you with this process.