In view of the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world, New Zealand has put in place precautionary measures to reduce the risk of importation of COVID-19. Before making a decision to move to New Zealand, it is important to keep up with the latest news on the travel restrictions to help you better plan your relocation.
Last updated: 26 May 2020
Travel Restriction Updates – COVID-19
UPDATE: With the surge in imported COVID-19 cases, all foreign nationals will not be allowed to enter or transit in New Zealand.
Here’s what you need to know about the travel restrictions in New Zealand.
Entering New Zealand Borders
- New Zealand citizens, permanent residents with valid travel conditions (excluding people granted a resident visa outside New Zealand and who are travelling to New Zealand on that resident visa for the first time) may travel to and enter New Zealand.
- The following group of people with limited exceptions to the ban on travelling to and entering New Zealand are required to seek approval before travelling to New Zealand:
- Partners, dependent children (aged 24 years and under) and legal guardians of New Zealand citizens and residents
- Australian citizens and permanent resident who normally live in New Zealand
- People with one of the following critical purposes in New Zealand:
- Essential workers
- Samoan and Tongan citizens making essential travel
- New Zealand-based partners and dependent children (aged 19 years and under) of a work or student visa holder who is in New Zealand
- Critical humanitarian travels
- All other foreign nationals are prohibited from entering and transiting through New Zealand.
- All persons arriving in New Zealand must undergo quarantine at a designated facility.
Visit New Zealand Immigration for more border closure and exception information.
Procedure after entering New Zealand
- All travellers will be subject to mandatory isolation at a Government facility for 14 days on arrival. This does not apply to passengers transiting through New Zealand.
Leaving New Zealand Borders
New Zealand Citizens:
- New Zealanders are advised not to travel overseas at this time regardless of destination.
- New Zealanders that are currently travelling overseas are urged to return home while commercial options remain available.
- Foreign nationals can use international air services to travel home.
- Those who meet strict health criteria can travel to Christchurch or Auckland airport for outbound travel.
Get updates on changes pertaining to visa information here.
Changes to visa applications during COVID-19
- Update as of 13 may: Immigration New Zealand (INZ) expects visa processing capacity to increase significantly under Alert Level 2 as more staff are able to access immigration offices. With increased processing capacity, INZ is now able to resume the processing of residence class visa applications from Thursday 14 May 2020 and prioritise both residence class and temporary entry class visa applications.
- Only accepting temporary visas for victims of domestic violence, partnership category temporary visas (including reassessments), full fee paying student visas, post study work visas who are currently in New Zealand.
- Postponement of the following visa programme: selections for Expressions of Interest (EOI) in the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) and the Parent Category, ballot registrations for the Samoan Quota (SQ) and Pacific Access Category (PAC), 19 capped Working Holiday schemes due to open in the next 6 months.
- Automatic visa extension to 25 September for current work, student, limited interim visa holder with expiry date of 2 April to 9 July 2020.
For more information visit Migrant and refugee information | Temporary postponement of visa programmes
Changes to visa conditions during COVID-19
- Holders of a work, student, visitor, limited or interim visa with an expiry date between 2 April and 9 July 2020 inclusive who were in New Zealand on 2 April 2020 will have their visas automatically extended to 25 September 2020. Confirmation of extensions will be emailed to all visa holders.
- However, Immigration New Zealand cannot extend visa durations other than under the terms of the epidemic management notice.
More information can be found on Visa verification service.
Here is an overview of the travel restrictions in New Zealand.
|Category:||Travel History:||Travel measures:|
|New Zealand citizens, permanent residents with valid travel conditions (excluding granted resident visa holders outside New Zealand & travellers on resident visa for the first time)||All countries/ regions||Allowed entry with mandatory quarantine at a designated facility. |
Not applicable to travellers transiting through New Zealand
|Partners, dependent children (24 and under) & legal guardians of New Zealand citizens and residents||Allowed entry with mandatory quarantine at a designated facility, on case by case basis.|
Required to seek approval before entering.
|Samoan and Tongan citizens making essential travel|
|Critical humanitarian travel|
|Foreign Nationals||Not allowed to enter or transit|
More Information on COVID-19
Emergency consular assistance for New Zealanders:
International: +64 99 20 20 20
New Zealand: 0800 30 10 30
Urgent immigration queries:
Outside New Zealand : +64 9952 1679
Within New Zealand: 0508 225 288
Healthline: 0800 358 5453