Immigration terminology on extensions

 
It seems there is some misinformation and confusion around if your visa wasn't automatically extended then you may be deported. The only reason that someone would be deported would be if they didn't apply for a new visa and were in NZ with an expired visa. Post Covid, some types of visa are being extended and some are not. When people call INZ and ask whether their visa will be extended, if the reply is no, it is often followed up with "if your visa expires you may be liable for deportation".
 
This sounds kind of scary, so what does this mean? All it means is that just as usual, if your visa is expiring soon then you need to apply for a new one (unless it is being extended) If you do not apply for a new visa and your immigration status becomes unlawful, then you will be liable for deprtation. So it is kind of true that if your visa expires you will be liable for deportation, but what the call centre person is not telling you is that if you apply for another visa you can still stay in NZ.
 

INZ's terminology on extensions and applications can be a little confusing, so here is an easy guide:

Extended visa

This is when INZ increases the duration of the visa without you making a new application. Some work visa expiry dates have been extended post Covid-19 for example. 

It is important to note that the expiry of travel conditions date has not been extended with the expiry date though.

You cannot apply to extend your visa and there is no process for this. An "extended" visa is always at the discretion of INZ. If you have a certain type of visa and want to stay longer on the same type of visa, then you apply for a new visa. You cannot extend the visa. E.g. if you were on a work visa and you want to continue on the same type of work visa for the same employer, you apply for a new visa. This is not an extension of the old visa, it is a completely new visa.
 
This may sound a little counterintuitive to some people because the new visa is just an extension of the old one. In a normal sense this is correct, but even though the new visa is the same type, for the same employer and usually has the same conditions, the most important thing is that the new visa is seen as a separate visa. Being a separate visa makes it possible to apply new instructions to the visa and allows INZ to make any adjustments they feel is necessary. An extended visa will be under the instructions or immigration law at the time the application for that visa was made, so this means that INZ can't apply new instructions to an extended visa, but they can to a renewed visa.
 

Apply for a new visa

This is the process where you make any application for any further visa of any type. It includes applications for the same type of visa you have now as well. If your visa is not extended then you will need to apply for a further visa. We can do this through the usual process and though it may be more difficult than usual in some cases, it is still possible.
 
When you apply for a new visa, even of the same type it is a completely new application and it is assessed as a new application. So you need to supply new supporting documentation and other evidence, even though you may have sent in the same information before. This also means that even though your application was successful before, this does not mean it will be successful this time. each application is unique and depends on the whims of the case officer assessing the specific application. In general INZ only refer to information they already hold when they want to find a reason to decline a visa. You must supply all the information that you want to be assessed with each application.
 
 
Extended visas are unusual, but these are unusual times, so it can happen. There is usually some reason to extend visas, such as INZ offices being closed and unable to process applications at the start of the pandemic. The work visa and partnership visa extension is aligned to the big change in immigration instructions and can be positive or negative depending on your individual situation. In any case INZ does not extend visas just because they are kind, there is always some reason behind it. To properly care for your immigration status, you should always be aware of the need to have a valid visa.