September 10, 2020

New Zealand: Offshore Immigration Applications Temporarily Suspended

Following the impact of Covid-19, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has introduced a temporary suspension of offshore immigration applications until November 10, 2020.

What has changed?

Immigration New Zealand has suspended accepting immigration applications temporarily, in an effort to help combat the spread of Covid-19. No applications will proceed from now through November 10, 2020, unless they fall under one of the limited exceptions to the border closure.

The following categories of visa applications are exempt from the suspension:

    • Visas for dependents of New Zealand citizens or residents;
    • Visas for diplomats, consular and official staff, and their dependent family members;
    • Antarctic work and traveler visitor visas; and
    • Recognized Seasonal Employer (RSE) limited visas

Currently, despite the suspension, the online portal still appears to be functioning, and individuals have been able to submit their visa applications and join the queue for processing while they wait for the suspension to be lifted.

Who is affected?

All those wanting to submit visa applications from outside of New Zealand and who do not fall under the exemption requirements noted above will be forced to wait until after November 10 to complete their submission. To avoid any further delays, it is recommended that individuals prepare their application for the INZ so they can progress as soon as the suspension is lifted.

What you need to do

For further information on current immigration restrictions for New Zealand, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team.


Leanne Cottrell

Leanne Cottrell

As Head of Immigration with Sterling Lexicon, Leanne leads a team of specialists who are responsible for ensuring the entire immigration process is smooth and stress-free for clients, assignees and their accompanying family members. She brings over ten years of experience in strategic immigration management, planning and consultation to her role, and has cultivated invaluable knowledge and experience in processing countless global migration applications. As a trusted partner, she consults with clients on everything from policy considerations and cost or efficiency improvements, to the impact of opening offices in new locations. Leanne is a frequent presenter and author on global immigration topics and trends.

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