With increased processing capacity and the ability for some staff to access INZ offices, INZ is now able to resume the processing of paper applications such as residence class visa applications and formally prioritise both residence class and temporary entry class visa applications. All offshore offices remain closed for now.
For residence applications, priority will be given where the applicant is in New Zealand. Priority will be given as below:
Applicants who have an hourly rate equivalent to or higher than twice the median wage (currently $51.00 per hour or an annual salary of $106,080 or more);
Applicants who hold current occupational registration where registration is required by immigration instructions.
For Residence from Work Category applications (Talent (Accredited Employer), Talent (Arts, Culture and Sport), South Island Contribution, Religious Worker and Long-Term Skill Shortage List), priority will be given as below:
Applications which include a job offer with an hourly rate equivalent to or higher than twice the median wage (currently $51.00 per hour or an annual salary of $106,080 or more);
Applications which include a job offer which requires occupational registration where occupational registration is required by immigration instructions.
Second priority will be given to residence class visa applications where the applicant is out of New Zealand.
In terms of temporary entry class visa applications, priority will be given to applications for critical workers to support the Government response to COVID-19 and for other temporary visa applicants that are in New Zealand. Offshore temporary visa applications will be given lower priority.
Immigration officers still retain the discretion to prioritise other applications where the circumstances of the application require particular urgency.