AUCKLAND (Sachin Sharma): From August 10, people outside of New Zealand will not be able to apply for temporary visas for three months.
Immigration New Zealand, on Friday said, if people have already submitted a temporary visa application and are overseas, they can withdraw their application and request a refund.
INZ in a press communiqué said, “Since the border closure due to COVID - 19, we have not been processing visas for overseas applicants unless they meet the strict border exception criteria. This is because legally INZ is unable to grant visas to people who are unlikely to meet entry requirements. However, people have continued to submit visa applications expecting their applications to be processed.”
The following offshore temporary entry class visa applications are not affected: Relationship-based visas for partners and dependent children of New Zealand citizens and residents, visas for diplomatic, consular and official staff and accompanying dependents, Antarctic Traveller Visitor visas and Antarctic Work visas, Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Limited visas.
INZ said temporarily suspending visa applications means they will be in a better place to process new applications when border restrictions change and applicants will not lose money on paying for applications that cannot be processed at this time. Also, essential documents submitted with applications such as medicals or police certificates will not become out of date that are an additional cost to the applicant.
“This suspension does not apply to residence class visa applications as these applications take longer to process and may be less impacted by border restrictions,” said INZ.
In addition to this, from August 10, INZ will be charging fee for all Expression of Interest (EOI) applications seeking border exception to enter New Zealand.
The fees are fixed as NZD $380 for employers who request exceptions for ‘other critical workers’ (or organisations or agencies that sponsor requests), and NZD $45 for individual requests under all critical purpose categories.
“Over the last few months, INZ has received more than 27,000 EOI border exception requests and around 5,400 visa applications from people who were invited to apply. While these requests have been free of charge, it is not feasible to continue to process border exceptions and requests for visa applications free of charge”.
One will have to pay the fee while submitting the EOI form online. Employers will be able to make requests for an exception for ‘other critical workers’ online, replacing the existing manual process.