July 20, 2020

Immigration (COVID-19 response) Amendment Act 2020 – What it is, what it does and how will it affect you?

– 21 June 2020 This Act is a piece of legislation designed to give the Government emergency powers during the COVID-19 situation. The Act gives the Government a lot of power, so that it can quickly and immediately make big changes to New Zealand’s immigration policies. The idea is that this will allow the Government to remain flexible enough to respond to any changes to the state of COVID-19. However, there are some concerns that these powers are too broad and could potentially be misused to affect migrants in New Zealand and unfairly take their visas away from them. In […]
May 13, 2020

Can Immigration be a panacea for the pandemic?

– By Marcus Beveridge and Bradley So 13 May 2020 Everyone is bracing for the impact of the biggest recession post-GFC. How will New Zealand handle the impact? Many Kiwis are under significant mental and financial stress as uncertainty looms because of COVID-19. And our economy might be on its knees. The tide of unemployment will continue to rise, but the government will need to balance this with the need for skilled migrant workers. New Zealand cannot expect to continue infrastructure and construction projects in the pipeline using just local labour, not if we want such projects to be done […]
May 10, 2020

Immigration New Zealand update 11 May 2020

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) had its offices closed due to COVID-19. This meant that no applications were being processed, effectively bringing immigration to a standstill. Now that New Zealand is in level 3 of the lockdown, and hopefully entering level 2, INZ will be reopening its doors and resume processing applications. However, this will only be for onshore branches and staff numbers will be limited. On top of that, New Zealand’s borders are still closed. This means that the only applications that will be processed will be applications for people who are currently onshore. However, if you meet the requirements […]
April 24, 2020

WEBINAR: Updated advice regarding COVID-19 and practical tips for Employers

– 24 April 2020 On 9 April 2020, Queen City Law held our first online webinar for employers in regards to practical Immigration and Employment law tips due to the lockdown and COVID-19 situation. You can visit our previous blog here to view the original presentation. On Thursday 23 April 2020, Marcus, Bradley and Max held another online webinar to provide further tips based on the announcement from the Government in regards to the move from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3. You can view the presentation slides here and listen to a recording of the audio below.   […]
April 16, 2020

Is the lockdown over? New Zealand planning for move to Alert Level 3

Coming to the end of week three in the national lockdown, many were tuned in to the announcement by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. All hopes were on the announcement that the Alert Level would be moved from 4 down to 3 and some form of normalcy would return to the nation from next week. While there was no set-in-stone confirmation that the Alert Level would definitely be lowered next week, there was an update on what Alert Level 3 would look like in terms of personal movement, recreation, education, workers and business, travel and transport, gatherings, at risk people and […]
April 8, 2020

Employment obligations during COVID-19

By Max Shin and Tina Hwang  What we previously saw in movies and news abroad has struck Kiwi homes (literally) as COVID-19 has now reached New Zealand.  This particular strain of the coronavirus has impacted our businesses, finances, social movements, and our livelihoods.  Employers and employees may struggle to make sense of the new norm as the pandemic brings uncertainty.  The New Zealand Government recently escalated the situation to a “level 4” lockdown requiring all businesses to close unless they qualify as an “essential business”.  This historic event will change how we conduct business in New Zealand, but what does […]
April 3, 2020

Update – Border closure & exceptional circumstances

– 03 April 2020 Border Closure As with many other nations around the world, New Zealand closed its borders hoping to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases in the country as much as possible.  The only means of entry into New Zealand currently is if you are a citizen or permanent resident returning to New Zealand from overseas.  Details of who may travel into New Zealand during this closure can be found on our earlier blog, New Zealand’s borders are now closed and on Immigration New Zealand’s website. Since then, Immigration New Zealand has provided further instructions for Australian citizens or permanent […]
March 31, 2020

Covid-19 Economic Response Package

– 31 March 2020 The Government has developed and rolled out an economic response package in response to COVID-19. For employers, perhaps the most critical parts of this package are the Wage Subsidy Scheme (“the Scheme”) and the COVID-19 Leave Payment (“the Leave Payment”). Under the Scheme, all New Zealand employers, contractors, sole traders, self-employed persons, registered charities, and incorporated societies are eligible for a wage subsidy for their staff. The aim of the Scheme is to provide a wage subsidy to protect businesses from closing-down and to ensure employees are paid at least 80% of their salary or wages. […]
March 26, 2020

New Zealand’s borders are now closed

– 26 March 2020 Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Arden has announced the decision of the NZ Government to close New Zealand’s borders to anyone who is not a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.   As of 11:59pm 19 March 2020, the only people who can enter New Zealand are the following: Citizens of New Zealand; and Permanent residents; and People who were granted residency and are already still in New Zealand; and People returning to New Zealand for their second or subsequent residency visas; and Immediate family* of any of the above; and Citizens of Australia; and […]