NZ Border Exemption Processing Times

NZ Border Exemption Processing Times
New Zealand has been a nation that has surprised the entire world during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic with its minimum fatalities, job losses, and all the provisions it has taken to mitigate these risks. Amongst these measures, the NZ visitor visa and work visa extensions, Critical Purpose Visitor Visa introduction, and employment law reforms have stood out as some of the most progressive decisions taken by any government.
Based on the revised visa formulation developed by the NZ government, you can now apply for an NZ border exemption if you are eligible for one of the newly-exempted NZ visas. To avoid the spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand, travelers from any other country are not permitted to enter New Zealand. However, in some cases and for some specific countries, there are NZ border exemptions that apply. According to these border exemptions, you can travel to NZ even if the borders are closed.

Critical Purpose Visitor Visa NZ

The NZ government only allows you to travel to the country during closed borders if you have one of the critical purposes for visiting New Zealand. These are discussed below for your convenience.
  1. Partners and Family
  2. Normally resident work visa holders
  3. Critical Healthcare workers
  4. Other critical workers
  5. Travel to and from Pacific Islands
  6. Humanitarian reasons
  7. Student Visa
  8. Ship crew
The Critical Purpose Visitor Visa includes different visa categories such as the NZ visitor visa, student visas, work visas, and residence visas applicable for citizens and expats.

New Zealand Visitor Visa

This type of visa allows an individual to enter New Zealand simply for visiting purposes or enjoying holidays in a new country. Generally, a tourist visa in New Zealand takes around 10-15 days to process. The processing duration can vary depending upon the conditions of the embassy. Apart from tourist visas, there is yet another class of visas known as Business visas which different people can avail of. This visa takes the same processing time as that of an NZ tourist visa.

Student Visas

Like student visas in any other country, the NZ student visa is also divided into two categories requiring different processing times. Firstly there is a category of fee-paying students that involves a period of about 14 days to complete 50% of the applications submitted by students across the world. 75% of the total student visa applications are completed within 31 days of the application.

It takes about 55 days for 90% of the total applications to process New Zealand student visas. Depending upon some emergency conditions on a student visa, the processing time can vary. If the student visa conditions differ depending upon different circumstances, 50% of the total student visa applications are processed in 10 days. Further, it takes 14 days to process 75% of the student visa after applying for an NZ student visa. Finally, it takes 22 days of processing time to complete 90% of the student visa NZ.

Book a consultation with our NZ immigration experts for detailed information on NZ border exemption processing time for various visa categories. Our experts are well-versed in every matter related to NZ immigration and will be happy to walk you through the entire procedure.

Work Visas

This visa category also has NZ border exemptions if you have a critical purpose of traveling to New Zealand when the international borders are closed. The processing time for all the visa categories that fall under the purview of work visas depends on visa types’ eligibility.

The Essential Skills Work visa requires a minimum of 22 days to process 50 % of the total essential skills visa applications. Moreover, 75% of the Essential Skills Work Visas are processed in a period of 38 days. It takes about 2 months to complete 90% of the total Essential Skills Visa NZ. However, the processing times may vary depending upon the conditions and rules of the embassy.

Partner of a Worker Visa is also included within the category of the work visa. An individual is eligible for this type of visa if their partner is in New Zealand on a work permit. A minimum of 45 days is required to process 50% of the total application in this category. The NZ embassy takes around 70 days to complete the visa process of 75% of applicants who have applied for the Partner of Worker Visa NZ. If there is no alteration in visa conditions, then 90% of work visas in this category can be completed in a timeframe of 3 months.
However, it would help if you know that depending upon various visa conditions, all the visas’ processing time is subjected to change. It usually takes around 20 days to process a visa under varying conditions and circumstances. Additionally, 75% of the work visas are processed within 1 month if the visa condition changes. Lastly, it takes 36 days to complete 90% of the total applications processed under the category of work visas.

Residence Visas

This is the last category of visa that also undergoes specific border exemption policies. Any individual can apply for this visa if they hold a residence in New Zealand or if their partner holds a Residence Visa in NZ.

The Partner of a New Zealander Visa also falls under the broad category of an NZ Residence Visa. The partner of a New Zealander can request a resident visa if they want to come and stay in New Zealand along with their partner. Usually, it takes around 6 months to process 50% of resident visa applications in New Zealand, but the processing time can vary in emergency cases.

Further, a skilled migrant can also apply for a resident visa if they fulfill all the eligibility criteria set forth by the government and the immigration authorities. Under this section, the visa processing time is 20 months for 50% of visas and 23 months for 90% of the total applications.

Permanent Resident Visa is yet another residence visa category in New Zealand that eligible applicants can apply for. A period of 2 weeks can be expected to process a visa from this category. Moreover, 69 days are sufficient to complete 90% of the total permanent resident visa applications in NZ.

Book a consultation with our immigration advisors to know more about residence visa processing times. Under these altered situations that persist due to the pandemic, every visa processing time is bound to change. Hence, you should reach out to our credible consultants to understand if the visa you currently hold enjoys specific border remissions.