The Minister of Immigration has increased the length of time visitors can study here without needing to apply for a ‘variation of conditions’ to their visa or a student visa.
People who held a valid visitor visa on Friday 11 September 2020, and are in New Zealand now, can now study for up to six months in a year. This gives them an extra three months on top of the usual three months they are allowed on a visitor visa.
This change also applies to school-age children attending school and people studying short courses with tertiary education providers.
People granted visitor visas after 11 September 2020 will have the standard visa condition allowing three months of study only.
With the horticulture and viticulture industry relying heavily on migrant workers to fill the labour demand during peak season the closure of New Zealand's borders has meant they are now facing severe labour shortages.
To help alleviate these challenges the government has just announced that Holiday Scheme visa holders who are in New Zealand with visas expiring between 1 October 2020 and March 2021, will be automatically granted Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) visas.
This will allow them to work until 30 June 2021 in horticulture and viticulture seasonal roles where there are not enough New Zealanders available to do the work.
The Government is changing the visitor visa system to help temporary migrants and visitors to remain in New Zealand lawfully while they arrange to leave the country.
The Government is automatically extending current onshore visitor visas that are due to expire between 4 September and the end of October 2020 by five months.
Some visitor visa categories will not be extended. These include the critical purpose visa holders, guardians of students, and partners or dependants linked to a work visa holder whose visa was extended previously.
Those eligible for the extension will be contacted by mid-September.
In addition the government are also introducing a new two-month COVID-19 short-term visitor visa to allow temporary migrants stranded in New Zealand more time to arrange their travel home. Visitor visa rights will still apply so anyone wishing to take on employment must still apply for the relevant work visa to do so.
The COVID-19 short-term visitor visa is intended to help people reaching the end of their current visitor, work, student or partnership visa who may not meet the criteria for another visa, and need time to arrange travel home.
Individuals can apply for the COVID-19 short-term visitor visa from mid-September. They will need to pay a fee when applying.
More details on how to apply for the COVID-19 short-term visitor visa will be available on the Immigration New Zealand website by mid-September.
If you are wishing to stay in New Zealand beyond the end of your visitor visa and are wishing to explore the options available to you then Easy Visa can help. Book an eligibility consultation with our licensed immigration adviser today.