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4 September 2020

Visitor Visa Holders Afforded More Time

INZ has today announced two updates to the visitor visa system, to help those currently in New Zealand remain here lawfully while they make arrangements to leave the country.


Those updates are as follows:


1. Anyone currently in New Zealand on a visitor visa expiring between 4 September and the end of October, will have their visa extended by five months.

  • Confirmation of this extension should be notified to all those affected by mid-September.
  • For those that do not receive notification, but believe they are eligible for this extension, you will need to follow up with INZ to ensure that your extension has been generated.
  • This extension does not cover all categories of visitor visas. Specifically, it will not cover critical purpose visa holders; guardians of students; or partners or dependants of work visa holders whose visas have already been extended.

2. A new category of visitor visa, the COVID-19 short-term visitor visa, has been announced. This is a two-month visitor visa intended to assist people who are currently in New Zealand on a valid temporary visa of any type, but who do not meet the criteria to apply for a further visa. This visa is intended to allow applicants additional time to arrange travel home so that they are not left stranded in New Zealand unlawfully after the expiry of their current visa.

  • Unlike a general visitor visa application, applicants for the COVID-19 short term visitor visa will not need to show evidence of funds, outward travel, standard of health, or that they are within the time limits for remaining in New Zealand as a visitor.
  • They will however need to demonstrate that they have a genuine reason for remaining in New Zealand and that they are unable to depart  now but will do so at the end of their stay.
  • Applications for this type of visa will be open from mid-September. Further details on how to apply, and the applicable fee, will be released by INZ in due course.

If you would like clarification on whether the above updates may impact you, or for any other immigration assistance, please contact us.