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Notice Type
Departmental
Notice Title

Special Direction—Extension of Certain Visitor Visas to Manage Effects and Deal With Consequences of Measures Taken to Contain or Mitigate the Outbreak or Effects of COVID-19

Under section 78A of the Immigration Act 2009 (“Act”), by special direction, I extend for two months from the date on which they would otherwise expire, the visas held by the following class of people:

Every person in New Zealand on 19 February 2021 who holds a temporary visitor visa with an expiry date (or an event or period based expiry, in accordance with section 62(2)(c) of the Act), of 19 February 2021 to 31 March 2021 (inclusive), with the exception of holders of visitor visas granted under the COVID-19 Persons departing New Zealand during COVID-19 immigration instructions (V3.155).

To avoid doubt, visas that expire in accordance with section 63(2) of the Act are not included.

I am satisfied that the making of this special direction is reasonably necessary to manage the effects, or deal with the consequences, of measures taken under the Act or any other enactment in New Zealand, and other measures taken elsewhere, to contain or mitigate the outbreak of COVID-19 or its effects.

As a result of the ongoing border closures required to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand, many visitor visa holders who were onshore before the closures have been unable to return home due to travel restrictions imposed globally. To ensure these people could remain onshore lawfully, action was previously taken under this Act to extend their visas.

I am certifying changes to immigration instructions (in accordance with powers delegated to me under the Immigration Act 2009) to enable this group time to apply for new visas should they wish to continue their visit, under new immigration settings.

This Special Direction manages the risk that they will not have time to do so, and be required to depart (or unable to apply if unlawful).

This special direction expires on 31 March 2021.

Dated this 18th day of February 2021.

Hon KRIS FAAFOI, Minister of Immigration.

Explanatory Note

The effect of this special direction is to extend the visas of the class of persons described in this direction (being people who are onshore in New Zealand on some temporary visitor visas that expire during a specified time) to provide time for them to submit visitor visa applications under amended visitor visa requirements. Visitor visas the COVID-19 Persons departing New Zealand during COVID-19 immigration instructions are not included. Certain other visitor visa holders whose visas have already been extended are not affected as the extension of their expiry dates means they fall outside of the class of persons this direction applies to. Any conditions attached to these visas continue.