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COVID-19 Border Restrictions
Reasons you can travel to New Zealand 

Partners and dependent children of temporary visa holders

Partners and dependent children of temporary visa holders who are currently outside New Zealand may be eligible to travel to New Zealand under this border exception category. The border exception is for these three groups:  

  1. Partners and dependent children who held a visa for New Zealand but were unable to join their partner or parent in New Zealand before the border closed.

  2. Partners and dependent children of workers employed in critical health services.

  3. Partners and dependent children of highly-skilled workers.

Partners and dependent children of temporary visa holders who are teachers

To be eligible, you must be the partner or dependent child of a teacher who is currently in New Zealand on a temporary visa and is employed in a teaching role.

Family members of New Zealand citizens or residents who do not hold relationship-based visas

If you are a partner, dependent child, or legal guardian of a New Zealand citizen or resident and you do not have a visa based on this relationship — like a partner visa — you may be able to travel to New Zealand. You must be travelling with your New Zealand citizen or resident family member or normally live in New Zealand.

 

Partners and dependent children of New Zealand work or student visa holders

You must:

  • already hold a work, student or visitor visa and normally live in New Zealand

  • have a partner or parent who is currently in New Zealand and holds a work or student visa.

Critical health workers

You will need to be a current or new health or disability worker in a role needed to deliver critical services in New Zealand. Your start date will depend on when you have completed 14 days managed isolation in New Zealand.

Critical health and disability workers are:

  • registered health practitioners as set out in the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003
     

  • internationally qualified nurses who:

    • are invited to come to New Zealand by the Nursing Council of New Zealand, and

    • are enrolled in a Competence Assessment Programme

  • a worker that installs, operates or maintains medical equipment

  • paramedics and ambulance workers (including air and road)

  • technical and support staff working in:

    • theatre

    • laboratory

    • radiology

    • pharmacy services

    • cardiology blood service

    • nuclear medicine

    • oncology

    • haematology

    • pathology

    • hyperbaric medicine

    • mortuary

    • research staff

 

  • workers delivering mental health and addictions services, aged care, respite, home care and support, child health, palliative and hospice care, forensic health, and disability support.


If you have a partner or dependent children, you can also include them in the request. You must be able to prove you are living together in a genuine and stable relationship with your partner. 

Critical health and disability workers may work in:

 

  • a District Health Board

  • the New Zealand Blood Service

  • a hospice or palliative care

  • a primary care practice such as urgent care or a medical or healthcare centre

  • an aged residential care, respite or continuing care facility, including care in a person’s home or community facility

  • a government or Non-Government Organisation delivering health and disability services

  • organisations that provide, operate and maintain medical equipment

  • private employers delivering health and disability services.

Other critical workers

If you are an employer or a supporting agency, you can request to bring workers into New Zealand based on them being ‘other critical workers’. 

Border exceptions for other critical workers

Entry for students

Up to 250 international PhD and postgraduate students who have been nominated by their education provider will be allowed to return to New Zealand to continue their studies.

Up to 1,000 priority returning degree and post-graduate students who have been nominated by their education provider will be allowed to return to New Zealand to continue their studies.

Partners and dependants of nominated students may be included in requests, in line with current visa requirements.

Humanitarian reasons

Immigration New Zealand may allow travel for humanitarian reasons in extremely limited cases. Their decision will take into account:

  • your connection to New Zealand, whether New Zealand is where you normally live, and your current location

  • how long you have been away from New Zealand

  • other options you have available

  • the impact of not allowing you to travel.

Australians not ordinarily resident in New Zealand 

Australian citizens or permanent resident visa holders (including resident return visa holders), who are subject to border restrictions, may request a border exception to travel to New Zealand by submitting a Request for Travel to New Zealand.

You must have a critical purpose reason to travel to New Zealand.

Nationally significant travel re-entry permissions

If you are a temporary visa holder currently in New Zealand or a quarantine-free travel zone you may request a variation of conditions enabling you to re-enter New Zealand after travelling overseas for reasons of national significance. 

You must be planning to leave New Zealand to travel overseas on or before 31 August 2021.

Partners and dependents of a person travelling for nationally significant grounds will not automatically be eligible for re-entry on the basis of their relationship.

To be eligible for re-entry permission you must have been granted early access to the COVID-19 vaccine on the basis of nationally significant travel, or be assessed by Immigration New Zealand as someone who meets the criteria but who is unable to demonstrate approval due to specific reasons.

If you cannot show approval on nationally significant grounds through having early access to the COVID-19 vaccine you may still be eligible for re-entry permission. Reasons for not having approval can include:

  • having already received one or both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, or

  • having already left New Zealand, or

  • being unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, or

  • not meeting the criteria due to insufficient time between when you apply to the Ministry of Health and your departure date.

Partners who are Australian citizens or permanent residents currently not in a quarantine-free travel zone

If you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident either are or have been living together in a genuine and stable relationship with a New Zealand citizen or resident, you can request to travel to New Zealand based on your relationship. You may include any dependent children. If your Request to Travel is successful you will be granted a single-entry Resident Visa to travel to New Zealand.

Partners from visa-waiver countries

If you hold a passport from a country on the visa-waiver countries list, and either are or have been living together in a genuine and stable relationship with a New Zealand citizen or resident, you can make a Request to Travel to New Zealand based on this relationship. You may include dependent children.