Immigration New Zealand announced today that they will resume processing visa applications in Alert level - 2 with enhanced efficiency.
Priorities in processing will be given to onshore applications as described below:
Skilled Migrant Category and Residence from Work Residence Visa Applications will be prioritized if the applicant meets any of the following conditions:
- the applicant has a job offer with an hourly rate equivalent to or higher than twice the median wage (currently $51.00 per hour or an annual salary of $106,080 or more)
- the applicant holds occupational registration required to undertake their skilled employment.
All other Residence Visa Applications where the applicants are already in New Zealand will have the second priority.
Temporary Visa Applications will be prioritized if the applicant meets any of the following conditions:
- Visas (and variations of condition requests) for critical workers to support the Government response to COVID-19;
- Visa applications where there is an urgent humanitarian need due to one of the following reasons:
Visa applications for victims of domestic violence
Visitor visas (and variations of conditions) for the following exceptions to the restriction on entry permission:
humanitarian cases; Tongan and Samoan citizens making essential travel; immediate family of New Zealand citizens and residents travelling with their New Zealand citizen or resident family member; immediate family of temporary visa holders who normally live in New Zealand; Residence class visas for Australian citizens and permanent residents who normally live in NZ;
- Applications to travel under the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) travel card programme made by people who are not New Zealand citizens or residence class visa holders;
- Diplomatic visas;
- All other temporary entry class visa applications where the applicant is in New Zealand.
All other temporary entry applications made by people living outside New Zealand will have the second priority.
Please note that this does not mean that the offshore applications will not be assessed at all. It looks like they will be assessed but with considerable delays.
Also note that everyone working in a business recognized as Essential Business will not considered as a Critical Worker to support the Government response to COVID-19. For example, a Police Officer and Healthcare worker is a critical worker, but a Supermarket worker is not despite working in an essential business.