While strict border controls are still in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Immigration New Zealand cannot legally grant visas to people outside of New Zealand who are unlikely to meet the border entry requirements.
The Minister for Immigration, Kris Faafoi, has recently agreed to lapse visa applications in which no decision has been made as at 30 June 2021 and that cannot be approved due to the border restrictions.
Immigration New Zealand expect to refund up to 50,000 application fees and levies, predominantly for visitor, student and work visa applications.
Which applications are being lapsed and refunded?
• People who applied for a temporary visa from outside New Zealand before 10 August 2020.
• People who applied for a temporary visa from outside New Zealand after 10 August 2020, when offshore applications were suspended.
Which applications are not being lapsed and refunded?
• Applications made from a COVID-19 quarantine free travel zone, and who have notified Immigration New Zealand of this by 30 June 2021 and that they would like their application processed.
• Relationship-based applications (partner or dependent children) to a New Zealand citizen, New Zealand residence class visa holder or temporary visa holder.
• Work visa applications under the following categories: Post-study work, Work to Residence, Entrepreneur Work Visa Category and Global Impact Visa Categories.
• Work visa applications pursuant to an application for residence under Investor 1 or Investor 2 Category that has been approved in principle.
• Relationship-based applications (partner or dependent children) to a principal application with a temporary visa application that is listed above.
Immigration New Zealand will contact applicants being refunded via the email address provided with the application to confirm payment details. Immigration New Zealand expect to roll out the refunds in batches over the upcoming months.