Hon Kris Faafoi
Minister of Immigration
- Automatic two-month visitor visa extension for most visitor visa holders
- Temporary waiver of time spent in New Zealand for regular visitors
Visitor visa holders will be able to stay in New Zealand a little longer as the Government eases restrictions for those still here, the Immigration Minister announced.
“The government acknowledges that some visitor visa holders want to stay in New Zealand longer while the COVID-19 pandemic is still attacking people in their home countries,” said Kris Faafoi.
“We are also listening to New Zealand’s business sector, including tourism businesses, that say foreign visitors who are still here can help our local economy.
“So, if people are here on visitor visas that expire on or before March 31, 2021, the Government will allow their visitor visas to be automatically extended for two months. During the two month extension, which will be applied from the expiration date of their current visa, they will need to apply for a new visa for a longer stay, ”said Kris Faafoi.
Auto-renew will apply to approximately 12,500 visa holders.
Extensions do not apply to visitors on Covid-19 specifically for the short term two-month visitor visa, which was introduced in September last year.
In a second interim change to immigration arrangements, the Government has agreed to temporarily waive a rule stating that visitor visa holders can only be in New Zealand for nine months out of an 18 month period.
“Most of the current visa holders in New Zealand have been here for more than nine months now, which will make them unable to apply for another visitor visa.
“Ignoring the nine months of 18 year rule means that visa holders who are still here can apply for a visa in another six months.
“Even though applicants with visitor visas that expire after 31 March 2021 will not be eligible for a two-month automatic renewal, they can still apply for a new visa which gives them an exemption from the nine months 18 rule if they apply for their new visa previously. June 30, 2021. That’s because the temporary waiver of the nine months 18 rule will end on June 30, 2021.
“Applicants still have to meet all other requirements for a visitor visa, including proof that they have sufficient funds to support themselves in New Zealand, as well as pay for their return journey at the end of their stay,” said Kris Faafoi.
“Although we have made these changes to help many visitors who are facing uncertain and worrying situations in their home countries due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government wants to make it clear that people who are here on visitor visas are here as guests for limited guests. . time. We cannot guarantee further extensions or waivers when these changes expire, ”said Kris Faafoi.
He pointed out that the Government expects all migrants in New Zealand to ensure they are here legally and are able to support themselves.
“Temporary migrants who are in New Zealand without the means to support themselves, or who break the law, are at risk of being exploited or unable to meet their basic needs. Migrants who stay here after their visas expire are also at risk of breaking the law if they wish to travel to New Zealand or elsewhere in the world in the future, ”Kris Faafoi warned.
Immigration New Zealand will email affected visa holders to confirm visa extensions before March 5, 2021.
Further information on visitor visas will be available at immigration.govt.nz
Frequently Asked Questions:
How much money should a visitor visa holder have?
To get a visitor visa, applicants must have at least NZ $ 1,000 per month, or NZ $ 400 per month if they have already paid for accommodation, or have an acceptable sponsor.
How much does a visitor visa cost?
The visitor visa application fee is NZ $ 246 per application for one person. This fee includes an immigration fee and an International Tourism and Visitor Conservation Fee of NZ $ 35.
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