INZ has announced that they will begin processing residence applications from offshore applicants again. INZ hasn’t been processing offshore applications since we first closed our borders back in March 2020, even if those applications were submitted beforehand.
Now INZ will start processing residence applications that were submitted before March 2020 but were put on hold due to the border closure.
Additionally, first-time resident visa holders will be able to be able to travel to New Zealand on their newly minted resident visa. Previously, your first resident visa would only activate once you arrived in New Zealand. This meant you would need to travel on a different visa first to activate your residency, which meant residency was impossible to achieve with the border closure. This announcement will remove this redundancy.
These changes means that the 2,300 applications stuck in limbo will begin to be processed again, and the 4,000 people who have inactivated residence visas will be able to travel to New Zealand.
There are currently no plans for the 3,000 residence applications that were submitted after the border closure however. The Government is currently deciding what will happen with these applications.