The New Zealand government plans to reopen the borders fully in July 2022. This is three months earlier than originally planned. Earlier, the border opening for tourists and business travellers with a valid New Zealand visa (NZeTA) was also moved up, after one of the strictest border closures of the coronavirus period. New Zealand is therefore much later in reopening its borders than, for example, its neighbour Australia.
Tourists already welcome in New Zealand
Tourists in possession of a valid NZeTA are already welcome in New Zealand again. Since October 2019, it is no longer possible to travel to New Zealand without a visa. Tourists can easily fulfil this visa requirement, with the NZeTA. This electronic visa can be easily applied for online and is digitally linked to the passport. Travellers who meet the NZeTA requirements do not need to visit an embassy or consulate.
Students welcome as of July 2022
The New Zealand government is trying to rebalance immigration, after the long period of COVID-19 lockdowns. An important part of this is restoring the inflow of international students. It was actually scheduled for October 2022, but it has now been decided that student visas will be made fully available again on 31 July 2022. Currently, New Zealand has room for 5,000 international students holding student visas. From July, this maximum number will disappear. A larger fund will be made available for so-called post-study work visas, which will make studying and working in New Zealand easier and more attractive. Anyone with a valid previously issued visa is already welcome in New Zealand.
From 4 July 2022, all types of New Zealand work visas will again be available to apply for, including the Accredited Employer work visa. This accredited employer work visa is for employers who can show that there are no native workers available for certain positions. This puts New Zealand workers first, but then makes it easier for employers to fill the position with overseas, high-skilled workers. There are two exceptions to the "New Zealanders first" rule. It does not apply if the salary offered is twice the minimum wage, or if it is a Green List job. Examples include senior positions in construction, health, IT, and engineering.
Since 14 March, the Working Holiday visa New Zealand can already be applied for. This working visa is usually valid for 12 months and is for young people between 18 and 35 years of age. Before the corona pandemic, about 50,000 people a year came to New-Zealand with the Working Holiday visa, mainly for the tourist sector. The reopening of the borders should strengthen this sector.
Apply for your New Zealand visa
For tourists or business trips, the NZeTA is sufficient. This electronic travel authorisation for New Zealand has a validity period of 2 years from the date of issue. However, any stay with this visa is limited to a maximum of 3 months, so it is not suitable for longer travel purposes. For more information on all other visas, please visit the New Zealand website.
Take note: this news article about the visa for New Zealand is more than one year old. It might contain outdated information and advice, and no rights can therefore be derived from this article. Are you going on a trip soon and do you wish to do know what rules currently apply? Read all about the up-to-date information about the visa for New Zealand.