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.”

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) NOTICE

TDA Immigration will be partially operational during the COVID-19 alert level 4 shutdown. The TDA head office is not open or accessible for any reason. TDA staff will continue to operate remotely to carry out client services. Enquiries may be made by phone or e-mail in the first instance:

Phone: 09 337 0380

Consultations are available via ZOOM video conference by appointment. Phone or e-mail to make an appointment. Initial consultations are free of charge.

Expiring Visas

Visas expiring between 1 April 2020 and 9 July 2020 will have their visas automatically extended to late September. Notification of visa extensions will be e-mailed by Immigration New Zealand. TDA will continue processing client applications whose visas are expiring to extend them beyond September.

Clients whose visas are expiring before 1 April 2020 must apply to extend their visas and will be granted an interim visa on application.

Required Documents

If required documents are unable to be provided to support an application due to the COVID-19 lockdown (e.g. medical), this will be notified to INZ on application. We understand INZ will accept the application without required documents where necessary. Required documents may then be supplied to Immigration New Zealand when practicable.

Immigration and Protection Tribunal Appeals

Immigration and Protection Tribunal appeal deadlines remain legally in force and cannot be extended by the Tribunal. Notice of appeals can be e-mailed to the Tribunal to meet the statutory deadline with hard copy of documents being couriered after the lockdown is lifted.

Sending documents to TDA Immigration

All clients must e-mail all documents to their immigration adviser first. When the lockdown is lifted documents can be couriered to TDA Immigration at:

TDA Immigration
Lower Ground Floor
441 Queen Street

Permanent residence for people affected by the Christchurch terrorist attacks

“A special visa category, Christchurch Response (2019) has been created to let people directly affected by the terrorist attacks at the Masjid Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch on 15 March stay permanently in New Zealand.

This new visa category recognises the impact of the tragedy on the lives of those most affected, and gives people currently on temporary and resident visas some certainty about their immigration status in New Zealand.”


Changes to post-study work rights

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is lees-galloway.jpgEffective 26 November 2018 a range of changes are being implemented to post-study work rights for international students.

These changes include:

  • remove the employer-assisted post-study work visas at all levels
  • provide a 1-year Post-study open work visa for students studying Level 4 to 6 and non-degree Level 7 qualifications, with an additional year for Graduate Diploma graduates who are working towards registration with a professional or trade body
  • provide a 2-year Post-study open work visa for students studying Level 4 to 6 and non-degree Level 7 qualifications outside Auckland, provided study is completed by December 2021, at which point the entitlement for post-study work rights reverts to a 1-year Post-study open work visa
  • provide a 3-year Post-study open work visa for degree Level 7 or above qualifications
  • require international students studying Level 8 qualifications to be in an area specified on the Long Term Skill Shortage list in order for their partner to be eligible for an open work visa.