Leaving New Zealand?  Think Again

 In Coronavirus, immigration, immigration issues, opinion, Studying in NZ


11 February 2021

Leaving New Zealand?  Think Again


The story of Greens MP Ricardo Menéndez March in the news this week highlights the difficulties faced by people who have to travel.


Those unfamiliar with the story, the reported facts are that Mr Menéndez March travelled to Mexico in mid-December for ‘serious personal family matters’ and returned to New Zealand on 01 February 2021. There are also suggestions that Mr Menéndez March made a request for a priority place in MIQ.


While this blog is not a political one – the travel goes against the advice of the government -which is for all non-essential travel to be avoided. New Zealander’s and visa holders have had to put off non-essential travel even for serious personal family matters.  


Can I travel yet?


New Zealand is the leader in fighting Covid-19 which means that the rest of the world is still catching up.


All arrivals in New Zealand have to spend two weeks in quarantine. Although a ‘travel bubble’ to the Cook Islands has opened.  Australia and other nations in the Pacific to open soon. 

There are very limited places in quarantine with all spaces booked up until June with limited places opening before then for cancelled travel plans.


Furthermore different countries have different conditions for quarantine on arrival. Australia does not require New Zealanders to quarantine on arrival – but other countries do.


Border entry for temporary Visa Holders


Temporary entry visa holders even those who have lived in New Zealand for many years have found themselves since the pandemic unable to return to New Zealand. It is not advisable at this time to travel away from New Zealand.


It should also be noted for people who have current applications for visas in New Zealand and those who are on Interim Visas that travel overseas may void such applications.


Additionally, visa extensions announced for Work Visa holders do not apply to those who are offshore. So those who leave New Zealand may not be able to benefit from an extension of a work visa that others have.


But I really need to go?


First you need to ask yourself if you really do need to travel. Can it wait 3, 6, 9 months? Can I risk the health situation where I’m going?


Secondly you will have to wait a substantial amount of time for a place in Managed Isolation and Quarantine. You will need to add wait times for a place in MIQ as well as two weeks in managed isolation to your travel arrangements. 

Thirdly if you hold a temporary visa, whether it be a work, visitor, student or residence visa. You may not be able to get an exemption to return to New Zealand.

We don’t know when quarantine free travel will return to pre-Covid times, but at the moment the advice is not to travel unless it is unavoiable.

If you are a holder of a temporary visa and you need to travel contact Idesi Legal Limited for assistance.

Please contact Idesi Legal at admin@idesilegal.co.nz for more information.

Leaving NZ
At Idesi Legal we provide help for migrants and refugees coming to New Zealand. If you’re a NZ migrant and need help with the immigration process, get in touch.

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