• Border Reopening & Visa Applications

    Border Reopening & Visa Applications

Finally, we have news about the reopening of our border!

This comes as a welcome relief for many who have been waiting to travel to NZ or need to hire skilled staff from overseas.  

Travellers will be required to show they have an acceptable vaccine and Covid-19 tests. Those who are unvaccinated will have to stay in Managed Isolation and Quarantine on arrival. Criteria for entry are changing frequently and there is a real chance the dates below will be brought forward. Please contact us for up-to-date information.  

The border opening has divided into five stages with stages 1,2 and 3 already in operation.   

Stage 1 

27th Feb 


New Zealand citizens & residents in Australia & ‘Other Eligible Travellers’ can  

enter NZ if they meet vaccination requirements, have spent the previous 14 days in Australia or NZ and have had the pre-departure tests required. 

There is no requirement to self isolate. 

One category of ‘eligible travellers’ is those with border exceptions such as Critical Purpose Visitor Visas.  

Stage 2 

13th March 


New Zealand citizens & residents in the rest of the world & ‘Other Eligible  

Travellers’ can enter NZ and self-isolate. 

Working Holiday Schemes restart in phases. 

Also in this step we see some of the major changes for skilled workers, in particular the income criteria for the Other Critical Worker border exception will be reduced to 1.5 times the median wage (NZD $84,240 a year or NZD $40.50 an hour) for roles longer than 6 months. If this criterion is met the critical worker can enter NZ. This is a significant development for skilled overseas workers and desperate NZ employers.  

Stage 3 

12th April 



5000 international students will be able to enter. These students will be chosen by the Ministry of Education.  

Holders of current Temporary Visas (such as work or visitor) worldwide can re-enter NZ. They must still meet their visa criteria. So, if you have workers who have been stuck overseas but their job is still available and they have continued to work for you, they can potentially come back. Or perhaps you are on an open visa based on a partnership with someone in NZ & that partnership is still current, you can potentially travel back to NZ.  

Australian citizens and permanent residents arriving from anywhere in the world can also enter now.  

1st May Visa waiver travellers can enter – opening the door to tourists. 
Stage 4 


Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) holders. It is not possible to apply for this visa before July so realistically this category will not be travelling to NZ anytime before August at the very earliest. This is confirmation that migrants will be able to apply for this work visa whilst offshore.  
Stage 5 


Border opens for everyone else & offshore temporary visa applications open

(unless the visa is closed or paused).