We are now at Covid-19 evel 1, so what has changed?

In terms of immigration, the biggest change is that INZ's onshore offices are open again. This means that visa processing has increased and we can now continue providing pathways for clients to manage their immigration situation more effectively. All focus is now on helping clients continue working, planning solid pathways towards residence and other similar matters to stay lawfully in NZ.

The biggest barrier to this is that INZ is only legally able to issue work visas when they are convinced that there are no NZers available for the job position. Since after Covid-19 unemployment has risen, INZ are convinced that theer should be many more Kiwis who can fill job vacancies rather than migrant workers. This is making work visa applications much more difficult than before. There is definitely a lot more work involved in getting a successful work visa compared to pre Covid-19.

The only other significant difference onshore is that SMC EOI applications are still currently on hold and so new residence applications cannot proceed under this category for the moment.

Offshore clients

The borders are still officially closed and the only people who can travel to NZ are essentially the same as for Covid-19 level 2, but partners of citizens and residents can now travel to NZ by themselves rather than having to travel together with their partner. In most respects the difficulty of offshore non-residents coming to NZ has not eased very much. This is likely to change only when the Government feels that the international situation is suitable to relax border restrictions.