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NEW ZEALAND – New Rules for Interim Visas

, 06/09/2018

Effective immediately, interim visas are valid for 21 days after a temporary entry visa application is declined or withdrawn.

Applicants for temporary entry visas, therefore, no longer become unlawful the day after their application is declined, and have 21 days to challenge the visa decision, plan their departure from New Zealand and/ or continue working (if they have been granted work rights).

Background

Interim visas are granted to individuals who have applied for a further temporary visa, but who run out of legal status before their substantive visa application is decided.

Previously, interim visas were valid until a decision was made on the substantive application, or six months after the interim visa was first granted (whichever came first).

This meant that individuals became unlawful the day after their application was declined. This did not give them a reasonable period of time to leave New Zealand lawfully. Further, applicants were not given an opportunity to challenge the decision, whilst holding lawful status.

Action Items

Employers or visa applicants who may be affected by the proposed changes are advised to consult an immigration specialist.