How does the Covid-19 pandemic affect your Visa for New Zealand?

The world is battling a pandemic of unparalleled extent.

What does this mean for your migration to New Zealand?

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- 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?

Who can enter New Zealand while the borders are closed?

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.

New Zealand citizens and permanent resident visa holders, partners or dependent children of New Zealand citizens or permanent residents and Australian citizens normally resident in New Zealand are currently able to arrive in New Zealand.

Anyone else coming to New Zealand must be coming for a critical purpose and they must request approval from Immigration New Zealand first.

Pre-departure COVID-19 test:
A negative COVID-19 test result is required for most travellers to New Zealand from 11.59pm (NZDT) on 25 January 2021.

Critical Purpose Visas:

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.


Other Critical Workers

There are 3 categories of "other critical workers", each with their own criteria, under which employers can bring employees into New Zealand.

Criteria for short term critical workers

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(For less than 6 months in total)
This includes critical workers who:
  • Have unique experience and technical or specialist skills that are not readily obtainable in New Zealand, or
  • Are undertaking a time-critical role for:
  • The delivery of an approved major infrastructure project, or
  • A government approved event or a major government-approved programme
  • An approved government-to-government agreement
  • Work that brings significant wider benefit to the national or regional economy.

Skills are considered not readily obtainable if there are no workers in New Zealand who can do the role, or there is a very limited pool of available workers who can do the role and they are not available to the employer.

Examples of workers meeting this standard may include:
  • Some highly specialist veterinarians
  • Vendor-appointed engineers required to install major equipment
  • Actor in a key film role

Criteria for long term critical workers

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(For more than 6 months)
They must meet one of the criteria for short term workers and:
  • Earn at least twice the median salary (currently NZD $106,080 a year), or
  • Have a role that is essential for the completion or continuation of a science programme under a government funded or partially government-funded contract, including research and development exchanges and partnerships, and has the support of the Science, Innovation and International Branch at MBIE to travel to New Zealand to carry out their work, or
  • Are undertaking a role that is essential for the delivery or execution of a government-approved event, or a major government-approved programme, or an approved major infrastructure project.

Criteria for approved classes of workers

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A worker coming to New Zealand may be considered an ‘other critical worker’ if they:
  • Are in a class of worker approved by Ministers
  • Have been nominated by an authorised government agency or an industry group – a list of nominated workers will be provided to Immigration New Zealand.

Requests for approval of critical workers must be made by the employer, not the migrant.

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.

Please note:

Holding an Essential Skills work visa is not enough to qualify as an ‘other critical worker’.

Healthcare Sector

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.


Maritime Sector

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.

Job Seekers

Ask our Licensed Immigration Advisers whether you can qualify to be a critical worker.

NZ Employers

Ask our Licensed Immigration Advisers how you can request an approval for a critical worker you would like to employ.

How does the Covid pandemic affect the Expression of Interest Selection process?

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.

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Due to the current Covid-19 epidemic Immigration New Zealand is deferring all selections of Expressions of Interests until further notice.  

How can you maximise your points potential now?

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.

Our advice to you: Start working with our visa and job search teams now to make the most of the time before your arrival!

A lot of work can be done before the borders open.

  • Develop your immigration strategy
  • Talk to our Licensed Immigration Advisers now to ensure that you will be "document ready" when time will be of the essence.  
  • Attend our pre-arrival Job Search Webinars
  • Attend our Immigration and Job Hunt Webinar
  • Get to know the job market
  • Work actively on becoming the best candidate you can be in the NZ job market
  • Talk to our Job Search Professionals about how you can start searching for a job in New Zealand now.
  • Start networking with key players in your industry


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.

update from Dr carsten hallwass

Immigration and Job Hunt Webinars

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!

Immigration and Job Hunt Webinar

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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.

What does our webinar cover?

Our Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser Dr. Carsten Hallwass will explain the process of migrating to New Zealand and every step involved on the way.
He will cover all aspects of the visa application process as well as the job hunt in the New Zealand employment market.
You will hear about the challenges most migrants will face at some stage along the way and how we can help you overcome hurdles in the maze of visa regulations and in an unfamiliar labour market.
Following this detailed overview, you will have a chance to ask our Licensed Immigration Adviser questions and also hear answers to questions put forward by fellow participants of the webinar.
By the end of the webinar you will have a good understanding of the immigration process, how to get started, and all further steps involved. You will feel empowered to make a solid decision on your move to New Zealand.

Interested in attending?

If your chances of migrating successfully are assessed as realistically good,  you will have the opportunity to attend our live webinar and ask our immigration experts your visa and job search-related questions.
Please note that our webinars are limited to 15 people to ensure a good flow of communication and give everybody a chance to participate and learn.

Webinars are held at different times of the day throughout the week to meet different time zones.

Feedback:

"I loved your webinar! Within forty minutes your team explained exactly what to expect and took the time to patiently and competently answer lots of questions. I think I can say that I now have a clear picture of what lies ahead on my way to New Zealand! It is a huge comfort to know that NZIC will be at my side throughout the entire process. Thank you, Carsten and Anna!"
“Thank you for the webinar, it was definitely fruitful. I was highly impressed by the clarity in which guidance was provided in today's webinar by yourself and Dr. Carsten. It gave a boost to my confidence in the pathway towards NZ.” H.M
"Wanted to thank you for the very informative webinar yesterday! Finally feeling optimistic about this transition process and my situation after attending yesterday and I appreciate that, especially in these times of such uncertainty." S.S USA
"I found the webinar very informative and I was impressed with your Advisers knowledge and professionalism too!"
R.S South Africa
"It was very useful to get an overview about the most important topics. Also the opportunity to ask some questions during the presentation was very good." N. W Germany


Do a Quick Self-Assessment

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!

What you need to know about Managed Isolation

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.

How does Covid-19 affect your Job Search?

In these unprecedented times and no one can predict what will happen, and you'd probably be asking... "Should I continue my job search?" Simple answer, YES! But you might want to read further as things aren't simple as before.

Read more about becoming a New Zealand resident through the Skilled Migrant Category:

Ready to get started?

Base your move on solid grounds: Ask us for a Free Assessment first!
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“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.”

CJ
USA
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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..!

AF
Indonesia
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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.

CK
Germany
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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.

BV
South Africa