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Reconnecting New Zealand: Borders to Reopen from 27th February

Reconnecting New Zealand: Borders to Reopen from 27th February

The New Zealand government has announced its 5-step plan to re-open New Zealand borders, commencing 27 February 2022. The border will initially open to vaccinated New Zealand citizens and visa holders coming from Australia, then from the rest of the world, and finally to all other vaccinated visitors.

Fully vaccinated New Zealanders and other eligible travellers from Australia will be able to enter New Zealand without staying in MIQ from Sunday 27 February. Two weeks later, they can come from all other countries. Critical workers and skilled workers will be eligible to enter New Zealand from this date. The working holiday scheme will also resume.

From 12 April, 5,000 international students and other eligible temporary visa holders will be allowed to enter. After that, the border opens to Australians and other travellers who do not require a visa to enter New Zealand. All other international visitors will be allowed to enter New Zealand from October.

The Five phases are:

Phase 1:

When: From Sunday, 27th February 2022 from 11.59 pm

  • Fully vaccinated New Zealanders and other currently eligible travellers from Australia will be able to travel to New Zealand and, instead of going into MIQ, will be able to self-isolate
  • Eligible travellers must have spent 14 days in Australia and meet the health requirements before travelling.

Phase 2:

When: From Sunday, 13th March 2022 from 11.59 pm

Those who will be allowed to enter New Zealand are:

  • Fully vaccinated New Zealanders and other currently eligible travellers from around the world will be able to travel to New Zealand.
  • Critical purpose work visa holders and skilled workers earning at least 1.5 times the median wage
  • Highly skilled workers’ family members who may have been separated from their loved ones
  • Working Holiday Scheme will reopen in a phased manner.

All travellers must meet health requirements before traveling.

Phase 3:

When: From Tuesday, 12th April 2022 from 11.59 pm

Those who will be allowed to enter New Zealand are:

  • Large international student cohort of up to 5000 students for semester two
  • Temporary visa holders who are currently outside New Zealand and hold valid visas can enter New Zealand as long as they meet the visa requirements.

Phase 4:

When: From July 2022

Those who will be allowed to enter New Zealand are:

  • Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and other foreign nationals travelling from Australia
  • Visitors from visa waiver countries
  • Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) holders

The border exemption pathway for critical workers will be phased down at this time since the new AEWV category will eliminate the necessity for it. In addition, the new AEWV will be restricted to jobs that pay more than the national median wage.

Phase 5:

When:  From October 2022

The normal visa processing resumes.  The border opens for all other New Zealand visa holders, including visitor and student visas, unless the visa is closed or paused.

Key Points:

  1. Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) requirements

Travellers entering New Zealand from all countries, excluding those from a quarantine-free travel zone, must undergo a 10-day stay in controlled isolation and quarantine (MIQ) beginning 23rd December 2021. Before boarding an aircraft, you must get a Managed Isolation Allocation system voucher verifying your spot in a managed isolation facility.

  1. Quarantine-free Travel

Travelling between New Zealand and safe zones is easier with no quarantine. On arrival in New Zealand, visitors from safe zones will not be required to enter quarantine or controlled isolation.

  1. Vaccination and COVID-19 Test

Most visitors to New Zealand must have a negative COVID-19 test result 48 hours prior to their scheduled departure. Before visiting New Zealand, most non-New Zealand nationals must be fully vaccinated.

For more details, please see the link here.

According to Immigration Minister, Kris Faafoi, the reopening of the border to a variety of visa holders is a vital component of New Zealand COVID recovery strategy.  This strategy is a huge step forward in tackling skills and labour shortages, and it will help to get back on our feet faster.

To gain a better understanding of the above changes to the immigration instructions and to learn more about them kindly get in touch with us.

Please do not hesitate to contact Immigration Advisers New Zealand Ltd. at [email protected] or call on +64 09 3790219.  Our experienced team of Licensed Immigration Advisers will be happy to guide you.

Author Details

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Vandana Rai

(LIA 201400900)

Vandana Rai is a Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser and has built a reputation around her rare set of skills, which could be considered ideal for her legal profession.

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