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IMPACT – HIGH
The government has implemented visa extension measures for temporary visa holders who cannot leave the country because of the COVID-19 travel restrictions. Additionally, it has updated its transit guidelines.
Background: New Zealand closed its borders on March 19, and the visa extension measures and transit restrictions represent the government’s latest effort to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on immigration processes.
Analysis & Comments: The visa extension policy is good news for employers and their foreign national employees, as it should lessen compliance concerns amid travel restrictions and quarantine measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The closure of the INZ offices overseas as well as INZ operating with skeleton staff in NZ will most likely result in visa processing times being increased. Deloitte will alert clients to additional changes or restrictions as information becomes available.
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