Why partnership temporary visas are on hold

R made this Official Information request to Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

The request was successful.

From: R

Dear Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment,

Advised by ICC and immigration manager, because offshore applicants could not entre the border of NZ even if their visa is approved, INZ has been putting their partnership based visas applications on hold since July 2020.

However, given the new policy of border management, a partner of New Zealander, holding a partnership based temporary visa, could come back without requesting any entry exception.

It appears to be a paradox for offshore temporary visa applicants. Their visa application could not be assessed because of border restriction. However, if they are approved a parter-based visa, they could come in.

In this way, I do not think there is a reasonable explanation in holding up partnership based temporary visa applications. Please advise.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Ran Tang

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From: Penny Hazlett
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Dear Sir/Madam,


I am writing in response to your email below in regards to the processing
of offshore applications.


As you are aware the New Zealand border is currently closed to all but New
Zealand citizens and residents to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and
protect public health in New Zealand.   As a result, since 19 March 2020,
the processing of visa applications for all offshore applicants has been
put on hold – not just partnership.   This is because under immigration
instructions, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is not able to grant a visa to
individuals who are unlikely to meet entry requirements.   


Please be aware that if a visa was approved prior to 19 March 2020 and the
individual was offshore at that time, then they could not enter NZ unless
they were granted a border exception.


The Government is working on a border strategy focused on the longer-term
management of New Zealand's people movement border settings, and exploring
how to create a managed isolation system that could support further
opening of New Zealand’s borders while continuing to effectively manage
health risks from overseas arrivals.  Currently, as managed isolation
facilities are largely being taken up by New Zealand citizens and
residents, visa applications where the applicant is in New Zealand are
being prioritised.


The resumption of the processing of visa applications where the applicant
is located offshore is under consideration and INZ is committed to
ensuring they are able to start processing visas as soon as possible. 
When a decision is able to be made for processing to resume on offshore
applications, this information will be communicated at the earliest


Please refer to the Immigration New Zealand website for the most up to
date information about visa processing.





Penny Hazlett


Border & Visa Operations, Immigration New Zealand

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment




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