As New Zealand looks for economic recovery post-COVID-19, the Minister of Immigration has announced changes to border exception criteria, Skills Match Report (SMR) process, and variation of conditions. Here are the changes, which will come into effect starting 15 June 2020.
- The partners and dependants of New Zealand citizens and residents, who are ordinarily resident in New Zealand or hold a visa based on their relationship, will no longer need to travel with their New Zealand citizen or resident family member to be granted an exception.
- The Skills Match Report process will change from Monday, 15 June 2020. This is an interim process while MSD works on enhancements to the SMR process. It will impact what an employer is required to provide with an essential skills work visa application.
- Any visa holder who received a short-term Variation of Conditions (VOC) for essential services will revert to their original visa conditions at 11:59pm on Wednesday 24 June 2020.
- INZ will stop accepting requests for short term variations for essential services on Thursday 18 June 2020. If a worker who received a short-term VOC wishes to continue in their new role, they will need to apply for a new visa or a substantive variation of conditions as appropriate. Visa requirements must be met.
- New criteria for ‘other essential worker’ exceptions and a new process for decisions will now be made by Immigration New Zealand.
- There’s a new maritime exception, which will allow entry to those arriving by sea, where there is a compelling need for the vessel to travel to New Zealand.
- There will be an extension of the current exception for diplomats to include those who are taking up new posts in New Zealand.
Please feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions about your eligibility or want any assistance with your immigration needs. Our team of experienced and licensed immigration advisers is here to assist and navigate you on all your immigration-related queries and confusions.