New Visa Extensions Announced

The government has announced 6 month visa extensions to all employer-assisted work visas due to expire before the end of 2020. This includes those work visas which were previously extended under the Epidemic Management Notice and also includes work visa holders whose visa is due to expire after July 9.

An employer-assisted work visa is a work visa that specifies a particular employer as a condition of the visa. The policy is expected to benefit around 16,500 Essential Skills and Work to Residence visa holders.

A delay to implementing the stand-down period for some low-skilled essential skills visa holders has been announced, as well as a reduction from 12 months to 6 months for low-skilled work visas over the next 18 months.

Immigration (COVID-19 Response) Amendment Bill

The government has introduced a bill to Parliament to amend the Immigration Act 2009 to help deal with the effects and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill provides enhanced time-limited powers to help deal with the crisis:

Minister of Immigration to answer your questions

The Minister of Immigration, Hon. Iain Lees-Galloway, is holding a public ZOOM meeting this Thursday night at 7 P.M (23 April). The Minister is expected to discuss the latest policies and answer questions online.

Grab this rare opportunity to put your questions to the Minister. To join the meeting follow the link below:

If you do not already have ZOOM installed, follow the link and it will guide you through the setup process.

If your question isn’t answered by the Minister, post it to the TDA Immigration forums afterwards.

Update: Alert Level 3

The government has announced that the country will be moved to alert level 3 at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, 27 April. The TDA Immigration offices will remain closed to the public during alert level 3. TDA Immigration will continue to provide services remotely. Consultations with advisers will be held through Zoom.

During alert level 3 physical documents may be delivered to TDA Immigration by dropping them into a secure dropbox on the Lower Ground Floor, 441 Queen Street, AUCKLAND 1010. You may also courier documents to TDA Immigration at: TDA Immigration, Lower Ground Floor, 441 Queen Street, AUCKLAND 1010.

UPDATE 6 MAY 2020: Please note that during alert level 3 there is restricted access to 441 Queen Street and therefore you may not be able to access the drop-box outside our office as previously advised. Please courier documents to TDA Immigration, PO Box 68-761, Victoria Street West, AUCKLAND 1142. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Visa processing update from Immigration New Zealand

TDA Immigration has today received the following advice from Immigration New Zealand regarding visa processing:

“We are contacting you with new information about visa processing.

While we have been working to provide one regular weekly email update from Immigration New Zealand (INZ), we know that visa processing is of great interest to many of you. We have received many questions on this. It is important to us to provide details as soon as possible so we want to share this new information with you immediately, even though you’ve already heard from INZ this week.

As you will be aware, all INZ offices are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some staff are working out of our head office in Wellington or remotely, however visa-processing capacity is currently limited.

To date INZ has focused our processing resources on COVID-19 related applications or requests. We are very mindful that many people are awaiting decisions on their applications and we are now in a position to start processing some visa categories for applicants who are already in New Zealand.

INZ is focusing on processing applications that are a priority and can be processed within the current operational constraints.  We appreciate this will be disappointing news for some people whose visas we cannot process at this time, but we are continuing to review how we operate in this changing environment. We are hopeful we will be able to process more visa types in the near future.

Any changes to our processing priorities will be updated on our website.

Visa types that prioritised for visa processing

  • Visa applications for Victims of Domestic Violence
  • Partnership category temporary visas (including reassessments)
  • Full Fee Paying student visas
  • Post Study work visas

If you or the person you represent has an application in one of the above categories, you do not have to contact Immigration New Zealand to request the application to be processed.

Due to Immigration New Zealand’s limited visa processing capacity, the assessment of these applications or requests may take longer than usual. Applications will generally be assessed in date order and will be allocated to an Immigration Officer as soon as it is practicable to do so.

Applicants will only be contacted if further information is required or once a decision is made on their application. If additional information is required, no deadline will be set to provide this information as we appreciate it may be difficult to obtain documentation in current circumstances.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic there will be some changes to the way applications are processed. This may include:

  • No indicative timeframes for deciding applications
  • No face-to-face interviews or any other activities involving physical interaction
  • Some application types may be progressed quicker than others based on priority
  • Immigration Officers may be unable to progress applications where mandatory information cannot be obtained due to current circumstances

INZ will not be generally processing application types outside of this list at this time. But immigration officers will retain the discretion to prioritise other applications where the circumstances of the application require particular urgency.

INZ is focusing on processing applications that are a priority and can be done remotely without unforeseen difficulties.”