COVID-19: Effects of Epidemic Management Notice on temporary visa holders
With the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency, the New Zealand Government has issued an Epidemic Management Notice in relation to immigration matters, the effect of which will come into force on Thursday 2 April 2020. The intention of the Epidemic Management Notice is to address the issues arising for temporary visa holders during this period as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19.
The release of the Epidemic Management Notice enables Immigration New Zealand to make changes to the application of the Immigration Act 2009 to provide comfort to temporary visa holders. Immigration New Zealand has announced that visitor, student or work visa holders with an expiry date of 1 April 2020 or earlier and who are unable to leave New Zealand must apply for a new visa online. An interim visa will be issued. As for those visitor, student or work visa holders with an expiry date of 2 April to 9 July 2020 and who are in New Zealand on 2 April 2020, their visas will be automatically extended to 25 September 2020.
Effect of Epidemic Management Notice on the Social Security Act 2018
The Epidemic Management Notice allows the Ministry for Social Development to grant emergency benefits to people who would not otherwise be entitled to them. This includes temporary visa holders who lose their employments due to the outbreak of COVID-19. It also enables flexibility in relation to the payment, reinstatement, grant, increase, cancellation, suspension or variation of benefits.
Please feel free to contact our specialist immigration team to discuss any immigration questions you may have.
Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and not intended as a substitute for specific professional advice on any matter and should not be relied upon for that purpose. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this article, this is a rapidly changing environment and the information will be subject to change.