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Thread: Summary of the changes announced by INZ so far

  1. #1
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    Default Summary of the changes announced by INZ so far

    I'll update here with a summary of any announcements made by INZ in relation to the impact of the Covid-19 situation, as and when INZ make them. Please keep in mind that this is a developing situation and there are many aspects of the impact of the pandemic that INZ have not made decisions on yet - but Cabinet and INZ are working together on a daily basis to manage and establish strategies for this unprecedented situation going forward, so there will no doubt be many more announcements made as this crisis rolls on:

    1. The border is effectively closed to all but NZ citizens and residents.

    2. There is an application process available for requesting travel to NZ if you are not an NZ citizen or resident but you do have a critical purpose for travel to NZ - that is, if you have humanitarian reasons (ie. you usually reside here & not being able to return at the moment would negatively impact you) or you are an Essential Health worker with a current offer of employment in NZ.

    3. All temp visas held by onshore workers, students and visitors that were due to expire between 2 April and 9 July have now been automatically extended until 25 September 2020.

    4. If your temp visa expired before 2 April and you did not apply for a new visa before then, you can email your details and an explanation of why you did not apply for a new visa to s61@mbie.govt.nz and INZ will decide if a new visa can be granted to you.

    5. Student visa holders currently working in healthcare roles are now allowed to work for more than 20 hours per week for up to 3 months.

    6. Low-skilled work visa holders currently working in healthcare roles can work for an additional 12 months before they will be subject to the stand-down period (after they have worked in NZ for 3 years).

    7. Up to 25 April, those visa holders working in a supermarket are allowed to work in a supermarket role different to that which is stated on their visa. And Student visa holders working in a supermarket are allowed to work more than 20 hours per week in a supermarket.

    8. INZ offices are all closed, but it is possible to lodge new visa applications online and INZ will begin processing them when they are open again after lockdown. Paper applications will not be lodged by INZ until after lockdown - and it's not really possible to get them to INZ at the moment anyway, due to mail services not being easy to access.

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    9. Selections of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant Category and Parent Category pools are deferred until further notice.

    10. You can check if your temp visa has automatically been extended under the Epidemic Management Notice (if your visa expires between 2 April and 9 July inclusive) by using the Visa Verification Service on the INZ website: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/abou...-service/about.

    11. INZ are looking into the issues of people needing to vary the conditions of their visas (for those based both onshore and offshore) due to their personal circumstances changing, however, these issues are not a priority at the moment and INZ have said that they will need to take changes in the NZ labour market in the near future into account.

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    12. The 19 Working Holiday schemes that were due to open within the next 6 months have been suspended until further notice.

    13. Ballot registrations for the Samoan Quota and Pacific Access Category have been suspended until further notice.

    14. All those entering NZ from now on will be placed in quarantine or managed isolation facilities.

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    15. Work visa holders with employer-specific work visas already employed in essential services will be able to vary their hours and be redeployed to do other roles within their current workplace. They can also perform their current role in a different workplace to help essential businesses keep operating while New Zealand remains at Alert Level 3 or 4 and for six weeks after that.

    16. International students who are already employed in an essential services role will be able to work longer hours for their current employer while New Zealand remains at Alert Level 3 or 4 and for six weeks following. Students who are employed in an essential services role and wish to work more than 20 hours must still meet their study requirements and should discuss their plans with their education provider.

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    17. Instructions have been amended relating to the order of processing of applications, giving first priority to visas for health workers & other essential workers, victims of domestic violence and for those who have a critical purpose or humanitarian need to be in NZ.

    18. Second priority will be given to the processing of applications for full fee paying students, Partner of New Zealander work or visitor visas, Partner of worker or student work or visitor visas, student or visitor visas for children of workers or students & post-study work visas.

    19. Third priority will be given to the processing of applications for essential skills work visas, all other work visas, all other student visas, Variations of conditions, permanent residents.

    20. Fourth priority will be given to the processing of applications for all other temporary entry categories, transit visas and all other Residence categories (including SMC and RFW).

  6. #6
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    what about those Job search visa holders who have started job successfully and their visa has to be converted to residence visa before its expiry? My wife and child will only be able to join me if my JSV gets converted to residence for whole family. Will they be considered under point 18 ?

    My wife is a medical Doctor but she is not yet registered with the NZ medical council as she has not arrived yet. Will she be considered as essential health worker despite having no job offer from NZ yet ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by EGoodhue View Post
    17. Instructions have been amended relating to the order of processing of applications, giving first priority to visas for health workers & other essential workers, victims of domestic violence and for those who have a critical purpose or humanitarian need to be in NZ.

    18. Second priority will be given to the processing of applications for full fee paying students, Partner of New Zealander work or visitor visas, Partner of worker or student work or visitor visas, student or visitor visas for children of workers or students & post-study work visas.

    19. Third priority will be given to the processing of applications for essential skills work visas, all other work visas, all other student visas, Variations of conditions, permanent residents.

    20. Fourth priority will be given to the processing of applications for all other temporary entry categories, transit visas and all other Residence categories (including SMC and RFW).
    Does "17" relate to the SMC?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ML2 View Post
    Does "17" relate to the SMC?
    Point 20 refers to SMC so unfortunately it has the lowest priority. Point 17 refers to keeping essential people, and people who are vunerable legal in a timely matter. SMC is too labour intensive at the moment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by msum View Post
    what about those Job search visa holders who have started job successfully and their visa has to be converted to residence visa before its expiry? My wife and child will only be able to join me if my JSV gets converted to residence for whole family. Will they be considered under point 18 ?

    My wife is a medical Doctor but she is not yet registered with the NZ medical council as she has not arrived yet. Will she be considered as essential health worker despite having no job offer from NZ yet ?
    Sorry to say that your application to have your JSV converted to Residence will be in the group of paper applications that can not be accessed while the Covid-19 restrictions do not allow normal INZ operations to be happening. INZ will get to it, just not in the immediate future. Your wife and child joining you will be subject to a special request for them to travel to NZ if border restrictions are still in place at the time your Resident visa is finally granted.

    Essential health care workers must have an offer of employment in the health sector in NZ to be considered for an exemption to the border restrictions.

  10. #10
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    oh Even when NZ goes into alert 3 , they won't process paper applications? I work in an essential service (also hold a essential worker pass) so will that help if I write an email telling them about this?

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