Visa processing update  

From next week, some staff will be in most of Immigration New Zealand’s offices receiving and processing priority temporary visa application categories. Please expect some delays. 

We are redirecting mail to offices outside the Auckland region to ensure applications can be lodged.   

Expect further information next week about the prioritisation of paper visa application categories. 

Most of our staff continue to work remotely and are focusing on processing online applications. We strongly encourage applicants to use online channels where available. 

 

New Variation of Conditions form online 

Work visa holders can now apply online for a Variation of Conditions of their visa - staff will be able to process these requests when working remotely. 

Changing work visa conditions | Immigration New Zealand 

 

A new application can be submitted online now for VOC paper applications sent before the Alert Level 4 nationwide lockdown that have not been acknowledged with an email, and those sent after. They will be returned when staff become available. No fees will be charged for those paper applications.   

We will be in contact with applicants when paper applications for a variation of work visa conditions that have been lodged and accepted for processing are allocated to an immigration officer. 

 

Travel conditions extension for resident visa holders overseas on 22 August 2021 

 The Minister of Immigration has extended to 11 September 2022 the travel conditions of resident visas set to expire between 25 August 2021 and 10 September 2022. 

 Resident visa holders overseas must be eligible for an exemption from border restrictions before they can travel to New Zealand: 

 Entry to New Zealand | Immigration New Zealand 

 

Frequently asked questions

My temporary visa (work, student or visitor) is expiring and I would like to apply for a further temporary visa to remain lawfully in New Zealand. What are my options?

Where possible, applicants are encouraged to apply for a further visa through Immigration Online:  

Online enabled visas | Immigration New Zealand  

 

I've submitted a paper visa application and haven’t received confirmation that it has been accepted for processing. Will the application be lodged and will I be granted an interim visa?

Upon returning to offices, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) staff will lodge applications based on the date the application was received (including backdating where applicable), if the mandatory lodgement requirements are met. For backdated applications, interim visas will be granted retrospectively.    

 

What happens if my current visa expires and my further application is still in transit / yet to be received by INZ?

Upon returning to the office, INZ staff will lodge applications based on the date the application was received at the NZ Courier depot (including backdating where applicable), if the mandatory lodgement requirements are met. For backdated applications, interim visas will be granted retrospectively.

INZ encourages individuals to apply for a visa online, and we will reconcile applications upon the return of INZ staff to offices.

 

Can I still make an application to vary the conditions of my visa?

The new form to apply for a Variation of Conditions of a visa is now available:

Changing work visa conditions | Immigration New Zealand 

Individuals can also contact our Immigration Contact Centre (ICC) to discuss options available.

 

What if I cannot provide a mandatory lodgement requirement (such as a medical certificate) due to alert level restrictions?

Applicants should delay submitting an application which doesn't include all mandatory lodgement requirements. However, if it is urgent, applicants are advised to submit an application through Immigration Online where possible and explain why the document cannot be provided and when it can be expected.

 

I previously held an open work visa and have applied for an employer-specific work visa, will my interim visa have work rights?

No, applicants who previously held an open work visa and have subsequently applied for an employer-specific visa (e.g. Essential Skills) will be granted an interim visa with visitor conditions.

If urgent, applicants can submit a request via the Employment Visa Escalations process:

Employment Visa Escalations | Immigration New Zealand 

  

Due to alert level restrictions, I am not working or being paid for at least 30 hours a week. Is this a breach of my work visa conditions and will it prevent me from obtaining a further visa with this employer?  

If an individual is unable to work or be paid for 30 hours of work because of alert level restrictions, they will not be breaching their work visa conditions.

For visa categories where paper-based applications cannot be processed, can/will a special direction be given to people whose visas are expiring to extend the expiry date instead of requiring them to lodge a Section 61 request?

 

We are still assessing options for those who hold visas expiring shortly. More information will be available in the coming weeks.

Immigration New Zealand contact information

The Immigration Contact Centre can assist with policy queries, technical issues, updating contact details and similar enquiries.

Visa applicants can also register for our voice identification (Voice ID) service, which will help to protect privacy and save time on calls:

Immigration Contact Centre | Immigration New Zealand