The world is battling a pandemic of unparalleled extent.
- Who can enter New Zealand while the borders are closed?
- Visas for Critical Workers
- How does the pandemic affect the EOI selection process?
- What can you do now to improve your chances?
While the world is waiting for the pandemic to recede, New Zealand is safe guarding its borders by restricting entry into our country and limiting the number of visas granted accordingly.
We are nearly back to normal life, the only differences are that we wear masks on public transport and we keep a record of shops and restaurants we visit, just in case we need to be contacted if there is a new Covid-19 case in the country.
Update September 2021: New Zealand is currently back in lockdown, as we have a number of Covid cases in our country.
However, the whole of New Zealand is adhering to strict self-isolation rules and the curve of daily new cases is now flattening, which is an excellent sign. While we are now focussing on reaching a high level of vaccination rates and immunity, there are signs, that New Zealand might have once again succeeded to push back against the virus.
We will update this page as new developments happen.
There are four scenarios that will allow you into New Zealand now:
1. You are a partner of NZ Resident or Citizen
2. You are a Health Critical Worker
3. You are an 'Other' Critical Worker
4. You are in a quarantine-free travel zone
Pre-departure COVID-19 test:
A negative COVID-19 test result is required for most travellers to New Zealand.
At NZIC we offer our high priority Accelerate Program to Critical Workers in order to help you to secure the crucial offer of skilled employment and meet Immigration New Zealand’s policy requirements to enter the country now as a Critical Worker.
Join us on our next Webinar where our Lead Licensed Immigration Adviser will explain the Critical Worker definitions and process in further detail.
To ensure that critical services can be provided in New Zealand and to support New Zealand employers who are experiencing difficulties with filling their job openings, New Zealand is inviting certain skilled workers, called critical workers, to enter the country.
Workers in healthcare, maritime and other sectors are considered crucial for New Zealand.
There are 3 categories of "other critical workers", each with their own criteria, under which employers can bring employees into New Zealand.
Those requests for short and long-term critical workers are considered on a case-by-case basis by senior Immigration New Zealand officials.
INZ approval does not guarantee that visas will be granted to the migrant. Visa applicants must still submit an application, pay the application fee and any levies, and demonstrate they meet all criteria to be granted a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa or a Critical Purpose Variation of Conditions.
Holding an Essential Skills work visa is not enough to qualify as an ‘other critical worker’.
Visa applications will be prioritised for key roles necessary for the health response in New Zealand.
Employees will need to be current or new health or disability workers in a role needed to deliver critical services in New Zealand.
As a temporary measure, the Government has also changed temporary work visa conditions to allow some health workers with lower skilled Essential Skills visas, who have worked in New Zealand for three years, an additional 12 months before they are subject to a stand down period where they must leave New Zealand.
Ships may enter if all aboard are New Zealand citizens or permanent residents - quarantine and entry restrictions apply.
Certain foreign-flagged ships with foreign crew are permitted to enter New Zealand without applying for approval from the Ministry of Health or Immigration New Zealand.
While the world is trying to manage and ultimately get on top of the pandamic, Immigration New Zealand has put Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa and Parent Resident Visa decisions on hold for now.
INZ is not selecting Expressions of Interest for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa and the Parent Resident Visa at the moment.
What happens if you have already submitted your EOI?
EOIs are normally valid for 6 months from submission, or until there is a selection, but if you have submitted an EOI after the last selection on 18 March 2020, your EOI will remain valid until INZ begins selecting EOIs again, even if this happens more than 6 months after you submitted the EOI.
Important: If you have submitted an SMC EOI and are currently in New Zealand on a temporary visa, you must ensure that you hold and maintain a valid visa at all times.
Due to the current Covid-19 epidemic Immigration New Zealand is deferring all selections of Expressions of Interests until further notice.
While we are all waiting for the conditions to improve and ultimately for the borders to gradually re open, there is a lot of work we can do to improve your chances of moving to New Zealand as soon as that will be feasible for you.
As the points system is still in place, it is now a matter of time for it to be relevant again. Maximising your chances of migrating to New Zealand given Covid-19 is not that different to before the epidemic struck.
Pre-Covid the minimum points score for an Expression of Interested to be selected was 160.
While we do not know how many points you will need by the time the selections are starting again, the bottom line remains the same: You will need to claim as many points as you possibly can to improve your chances of being selected.
If a point score of 160 appears to be out of reach for you at this stage, there is a good chance that you might be able to reach that score once you can claim 50-110 additional points for an offer of skilled employment in New Zealand.
A lot of work can be done before the borders open.
Ask us how you can get ready for your move. We work with our clients on being ready for their move as soon as that will be feasible.
"When exactly the border will open to business and investor migrants still remains unknown, but there are signs of recovery.
New Zealand’s largest businesses call out for urgent action, to avoid that critical overseas staff will be lost and, as a result, both the economy and employment levels will suffer.
The Government revealed that border restrictions for some resident work visa holders and partners of Kiwis will be eased.
Suggested solutions to facilitate the re-opening of New Zealand's border are:
- A user-pays system for business migrants
- A booking system to manage both, demand and the quality of managed isolation facilities."
We highly recommend that you register your interest in one of our Immigration Webinars to meet our Principal Licensed Immigration Adviser Dr. Carsten Hallwass and one of our Job Search Coaches in a live forum and get the chance to ask your visa and job search related questions. Register your interest in our Immigration Webinar now!
Weekly webinars on Immigration to New Zealand cover Visa Assistance and Job Hunt in New Zealand. These very popular webinars are free, but by invitation only.
To start with, we recommend that you do a quick self-assessment of your chances of migrating under the SMC policy.
Our Points Guide is a comprehensive self-assessment tool. It will give you a good overview over the main criteria of the SMC points system and allow you to take a first glance at your chances
Our recommendation: If you are serious about migrating to New Zealand, do not take the risk of being rejected from the pool and get it right the first time!
Approved migrants may need to wait for a space in managed isolation as there is currently high demand for managed isolation and capacity is limited. A voucher confirming a place in a managed isolation facility needs to be arranged before boarding a flight.
Critical workers might not be able to enter New Zealand and begin managed isolation on their preferred date and at their preferred location – we need to keep sufficient space for New Zealanders, and employers need to be flexible. This will mean some critical workers’ arrivals are delayed.
“In contrast to another Immigration consultancy that we contacted, your company offered a free webinar and an assessment, warm, approachable staff that communicates openly with potential customers. I found your website and it was very detailed and informative. I understand that your company is a fee for services provider, but that has not been conveyed as a prerequisite during the decision making process.”
At first, Maj kindly explained the whole process and what to expect. I was coached and introduced to New Zealand job market by their Job Search team, and getting assistance until I got a job in the country. The Visa team would also follow me up on my pending documents, so I never felt left out. Truly recommended for those seeking out an option to live in New Zealand. Big thanks from me and my whole family for things NZIC did for us..!
NZIC helped me in my way to get a Visa and job search. They were always available to talk to and were open to all sorts of questions. No matter how random they were. Very friendly staff. And even when they had changes in employee and advisors, they always stayed professional and up to date. I can only say good things and recommend them highly.
Very pleased and satisfied with the service we received from NZIC. They assisted me and my family from start to finish. Always willing to assist, and communicated our progress every step of the way. With their assistance we managed to obtain permanent resident visa status.