New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden has announced the decision of the NZ Government to close New Zealand’s borders to anyone who is not a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.  

As of 11:59pm 19 March 2020, the only people who can enter New Zealand are the following:

  • Citizens of New Zealand; and
  • Permanent residents; and
  • People who were granted residency and are already still in New Zealand; and
  • People returning to New Zealand for their second or subsequent residency visas; and
  • Immediate family* of any of the above; and
  • Citizens of Australia; and
  • Permanent residents of Australia, where their primary place of residence is New Zealand.

    *“Immediate family” is defined as partners and spouses, legal guardians, and dependent children under the age of 24. Please note that this means that parents do not count as immediate family, and that the term “legal guardian” has strict legal definition under the Instructions.

Please rest assured that this border closure does not invalidate your current visas. For example, if you were granted a work or resident visa and you are outside of New Zealand when the visa was issued, your visa is still active and you will be allowed to enter New Zealand once the border has been re-opened.

For travelers that are allowed to enter New Zealand,  it is important to note that you must continue to follow Government instructions and are expected to self-isolate for 14 days after returning from overseas.

If you are unable to return to work because of the border closer or self-isolation requirements, you are recommended to contact your employer and explain your situation.

Exceptions to the border closure can be made on a case-by-case basis by Immigration New Zealand for the following reasons:

  • Humanitarian reasons; or
  • Health and other essential workers; or
  • Citizens of Samoa and Tonga for essential travel to New Zealand; or
  • The holder of a visitor visa who is the partner or dependent of a temporary work or student visa holder and who normally lives in New Zealand and is currently in New Zealand.

Inconvenience does not form an exceptional case and INZ will be very strict on assessments for exceptions.

Queen City Law is an award winning law firm that specialises in litigation, commercial, property, and immigration law. Our team of experts would be more than happy to help you with your immigration needs.

We have taken care to ensure that the information given is accurate, however it is intended for general guidance only and should not be relied upon in individual cases. Professional advice should be always be sought before any decision or action is taken as Immigration New Zealand’s instructions change on a regular basis.