New Zealand Border Entry Exemptions
The story on 13 July 2020 of Sergeant Matthew Moore and the rejection of his border entry exemption by Immigration New Zealand highlights the difficulties visa holders and people who under ordinary circumstances would be automatically entitled to a visa have in entering into New Zealand.1
Sgt Moore is a long term holder of a responsible job in defense in Australia. Sgt Moore has a New Zealand based partner and a job lined up in New Zealand Defense. Under ordinary circumstances this person would be welcomed with open arms. His experience is having his travel exemption declined, approved then withdrawn.
What is going on?
What are the exceptions?
Covid-19 has forced the closure of New Zealand’s borders. Entry into New Zealand is strictly prohibited unless you meet the following class of exemptions.
- Partners, dependent children (aged 19 years or under) or legal guardians of New Zealand citizens or residents who do not hold a visa based on their relationship and either:
- are travelling with their New Zealand citizen or resident family member, or
- ordinarily reside in New Zealand.
- Australian citizens and permanent residents who normally live in New Zealand.
- Critical health workers.
- Samoan and Tongan citizens making essential travel which has been agreed to by their government and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
- Partners and dependent children (aged 19 years and under) of a work, student or visitor visa holder in New Zealand who hold a valid visa and are normally resident in New Zealand.
- Critical humanitarian travel.
What is happening with INZ?
Judging by the case of Sgt Matthew Moore the bar is set extremely high for obtaining a border exemption.
While Australians have not had to obtain a visa to enter New Zealand for a very long time, and Australia has a relatively low instance of Covid-19 cases – Immigration New Zealand is taking an extremely tough line.
How do I obtain a Border Exemption?
While the process to request an exemption is simple – filling in a webform and submitting supporting documents. Approvals are very difficult to obtain and cannot be left to chance.
Speak to Idesi Legal to get advice on submitting a travel exemption.