New Zealand Border Restrictions – Who is allowed to come to New Zealand?

The New Zealand Government has taken further steps to stop the spread of the COVID-19. Our Prime Minister announced yesterday additional entry restrictions that will mean many foreign nationals will not be allowed entry to New Zealand. However, it is not a complete ban.

The Government will review the restrictions in 14 days.

What is the position right now?

The new restrictions come into effect for passengers boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm 19 March 2020 to 11:59pm 31 March 2020.

Currently, the following people will be allowed entry:

  • New Zealand citizens;

  • New Zealand resident and permanent resident visa holders (BUT entry permission will be refused to residence class visa holders where the visa was granted offshore and the person is arriving in NZ for the first time);

  • The partner, dependent children or legal guardian travelling with a New Zealand citizen, resident or permanent resident visa holder;

  • Australian citizens and permanent resident visa holders whose primary place of residence is New Zealand;

  • Aircraft crew and marine crew;

  • Members of Armed Forces travelling on a military craft.

The New Zealand Government is not restricting freight and goods which are still coming in. Sea freight routes remain open for imports and exports, including essential supplies.

An exception to the travel restrictions can be requested on a case-by-case basis for:

  • Humanitarian reasons

  • Essential health workers, as confirmed by the Ministry of Health

  • Other essential workers, as defined by the New Zealand Government

  • Citizens of Samoa and Tonga, for essential travel to New Zealand

  • Partners and dependents of temporary work or student visa holders who normally live in New Zealand where the temporary work or student visa holder is currently in New Zealand.

All travellers to New Zealand must now isolate themselves for 14 days upon arrival.

Get professional advice

If you are currently overseas and you hold a visitor/work/student visa and you were planning to travel to New Zealand, please contact us if you require immigration advice or assistance with your current predicament.

Likewise, if you have already submitted your visa application and it’s still under assessment or you were planning to apply for a visa, please get in touch and we can provide you with tailored advice concerning your particular circumstances.

We know that these restrictions will have a big impact on New Zealand employers as well as on migrants. At times like these, practical and reliable advice is essential as mistakes can be costly.

We also understand that Immigration New Zealand’s Manila office was closed on 18 March 2020 because the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines has changed. This office usually processes applications including Essential Skills, Specific Purpose and Partnership work visa applications. These applications will be reallocated to other Immigration New Zealand branches for processing.

Talk to us

We don’t just advise on the visa requirements, we can ensure that you receive comprehensive legal advice on to all aspects applicable to your particular circumstances, including compliance and employment.

Contact our Immigration Team for professional legal advice that will give you peace of mind.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended as legal advice. It is important that you seek legal advice that is specific to your circumstances.

Topics: All Select

Elly Fleming

Position: Associate
DDI: +64 3 545 6714