Exceptions apply to those who hold “key clinical or non-clinical positions”, including those who work for local health councils (DHB), New Zealand Blood Services, palliative care hospitals, primary care practices, or care facilities in older homes.
Migrant applications for entering New Zealand will be considered if they have a job offer signed and have a start date from March to June 2020.
Migrants must have roles that meet the criteria, and that includes doctors, nurses, midwives, psychiatrists, physiotherapists, as well as certain types of technical medical workers and support staff.
Partners and dependent children of important health workers who will accompany them can also be included in the request.
People are also allowed to enter New Zealand if they are family members of residents and residents, or if they are Australians who usually live in New Zealand and want to return to their families.
Those who apply as family members or couples must travel back to New Zealand with citizens or residents. Those who will not be told to remain until the pandemic ends.
“This process will give this group of people certainty that they can travel to New Zealand rather than risk being refused a flight to New Zealand,” INZ said.
Samoans and Tongan citizens are also allowed to make important trips to New Zealand, but that does not apply to their spouses or dependent children, because they must have their own critical destinations to travel.
The government closed the New Zealand airport to transitional passengers, with the exception of Australians on March 25, as part of COVID-19 restrictions.
Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand will now enter into transit arrangements with a number of countries to make it easier for individual citizens to go home.
Get a visa when locked
Immigration lawyer Aaron Martin explained how if a migrant meets INZ requirements, they will be invited to submit a formal residence application online within one month.
After they complete the application, they will receive confirmation that a response will be given within 48 hours, however, INZ has indicated that its ability to process visas for medical personnel coming to New Zealand is “limited”.
“It seems that there will be some guarantees in processing this visa application,” Martin said. “Unfortunately, the status quo that all people experience when dealing with INZ is that they don’t have the resources to process the volume of work required.”
He suggested INZ sees employing some increase in the number of skilled New Zealand unemployed people to process deposits.
“After the lockdown is revoked, if INZ employs those who don’t work, it can get better from its workflow – especially the 18-month resident application queue.
“This will provide meaningful work for New Zealanders who have lost their jobs as a consequence of COVID-19.”
Martin said while the updated INZ border regulations will also give people certainty when trying to board an incoming plane, it does not solve practical difficulties on how to get flights.
“It becomes increasingly complex when international airlines close their international services.”
Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield has confirmed that stronger border measures for New Zealand “are being actively considered” after increasing concerns about the arrival of the spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand.
The National Party calls on the Government to require all people who arrive in New Zealand to undergo at least 14 mandatory quarantine days.
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