Immigration NZ has just announced that all 2021 resident visa applicants will automatically receive a 12-month interim visa if their current temporary visas expire during the resident visa process. Therefore, you may not need to renew your current visas.

We outline what you must consider before you choose to renew your temporary visas, or choose to rely on the new interim visa.

 Reasons to use the new interim visa

  • The interim visa is automatically granted – there is no visa application required
  • The interim visa is free – no additional fees
  • The term of 12 months is long enough to be valid until the resident visa is granted for most applicants

Dangers of the new interim visa

You cannot apply for any visa while on an interim visa

    • you cannot change jobs if your work visa restricts you to a specific job
    • you cannot choose to do full-time study if you’re on a work visa
    • dependent children cannot apply for student visas when they turn 5 years old

There are no travel conditions

    • The interim visa will expire if you depart New Zealand
    • You will need to apply for a further visa before you can return
    • Your resident visa will not be processed if you are outside New Zealand

If your resident visa is not granted within the 12-month period, you will become unlawful and must leave New Zealand.

    • A resident visa cannot be processed if you are unlawful.
    • You could not apply for a new visa (section 61 requests may be possible if there are exceptional circumstances)

Given the potential dangers of the interim visa, make sure you are fully aware of what it means for you before you make a decision about whether to apply for new visas or to rely on the new interim visa option.

At the moment, Immigration NZ also offers a streamlined essential skills work visa for visa applicants staying in their current employment, along with their family members.

Feel free to contact us to discuss what is best for your situation.

Steven Dunning – Senior Licensed Adviser