What is the change?  Immigration New Zealand has lengthened the validity period of interim visas, which are granted to employees whose applications to extend their status are still pending while their current visa is nearing expiration.

What does the change mean? Interim visas will be valid for 21 days after an application is denied or withdrawn, or for six months if a decision has not been made on the application.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Interim visas.
  • Business impact: The longer validity period of interim visas allows employees 21 days after their visa extension application is denied or withdrawn to make arrangements to depart New Zealand without becoming unlawful, or to seek reconsideration of the denial.

Background: Interim visas are granted at the discretion of INZ if an individual’s visa is about to expire and the application for another temporary visa has not been decided. Employees who are granted an interim visa while their application for a further work visa is pending may be eligible to continue working on the interim visa if the job is in the same position, for the same employer and in the same location as their current visa. Additional information on the terms of each type of interim visa is available here.

Under the new policy, the interim visa starts from the day after the current visa’s expiration date, and expires upon approval of the application, 21 days after a denial of the application, or six months if a decision has not been made. Previously, interim visas expired as soon as a decision was made on the application or six months after the interim visa was first granted, making its holder unlawful the day after their visa extension was denied.

Analysis & Comments: The new policy gives employees who are denied a work permit extension three weeks of additional time to determine their options while continuing to work in their current position.

Licence No: 201501694 (New Zealand)

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.