In alert level 2 Immigration New Zealand has changed its rules on this question.
- Onshore applications will be prioritised over offshore, no matter what other factors are involved.
- Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) and Residence from Work (RfW) applications will be prioritised if applicants earn at or above $51 per hour, or $106,080 per year
- SMC and RfW applications will be prioritised for occupations that require registration (eg. nurses, electricians)
Top to bottom priority is as follows:
FIRST PRIORITY (temporary visas)
- Visas and Variation of Conditions (VOC) for workers in essential services
- Visas and VOC which involve urgent humanitarian circumstances (victims of domestic violence, exemptions to the border restriction)
- Other temporary visas where the applicant is in New Zealand
SECOND PRIORITY (temporary visas)
All offshore temporary visas
We note that other than this, visa processing is handled in a “first come, first serve” manner. Therefore, we highly encourage all applicants - no matter what their circumstances - to get their place in the queue as early as possible. Don’t wait until the border reopens, or you could find yourself waiting many months after that to get a decision!