New Zealand time: ,
Currency: NZD : 0.65 USD
immigrant.kiwi.nz
Book a consult Apply now
HomeNewsExtension of travel conditions for offshore resident visa holders

Extension of travel conditions for offshore resident visa holders

The Minister of Immigration has agreed to extend the travel conditions of some offshore resident visas for 12 months and to grant a new 12 month resident visa to holders of recently-expired resident visas.

Individuals with travel conditions about to expire will receive a 12 month extension to travel to New Zealand. Individuals whose travel conditions expired on or after 2 February 2020 will be issued a new visa valid for 12 months.

INZ will advise relevant visa holders by email by the end of September, using the most recent email address that they have on file.

Individuals who have not been able to travel to New Zealand under the current border restrictions (including people granted residence offshore wanting to travel to New Zealand for the first time) will still need  a border exception before they can travel to New Zealand.

Why INZ are making this change

People who are granted a resident visa while they are not in New Zealand must travel to New Zealand within 12 months timeframe to activate their resident visa. People who are granted a resident visa in New Zealand can have their resident visa expire if they are outside New Zealand 24 months after it was granted.

Due to the current border restrictions, many individuals have not been able to travel or return to New Zealand within the relevant timeframe. As a result, their visa has expired or will soon expire. This change will help alleviate concerns for these visa holders.

This has affected around 5,600 resident visa holders. These individuals have invested a lot of time and money to be granted a resident visa and they are either settled, or plan to settle, in New Zealand long term. The Government recognises that these individuals have recently met residence criteria and there would be no question of their ability to be in and contribute to New Zealand had they arrived before the borders closed.

 

Q and A

Why is the Government extending these visas?

Due to the current border restrictions, many individuals who have been granted a resident visa have not been able to travel or return to New Zealand before the travel conditions on their visa expire. These are individuals who have invested a lot of time and money to be granted a resident visa and they are either settled, or planned to settle in, New Zealand long term. The Government recognises that these individuals have recently met residence criteria and there would be no question of their ability to be in and contribute to New Zealand had they arrived before the borders closed.

Does this mean these individuals will now be able to travel to New Zealand?

Individuals will only be able to travel to New Zealand if they are exempt from the current border restrictions or have been granted an exception. Extending their travel conditions or issuing a new visa does not mean they are exempt from the current border restrictions if they were not previously exempt.

How will individuals know if their resident visa has been extended or they have been issued a new one?

Holders of a resident visa who have had their travel conditions extended or have been granted a new resident visa will be contacted by INZ via email before the end of September. The email will be sent to the most recent email address held by INZ.