News: NZ Border Update February 2022

New Zealand border opening in five stages


Updated: 16th March 2022

New Zealand’s international border will reopen in five stages from February 27. This is welcomed news to us at Working In as we prepare to welcome our much needed skilled migrants!

Stage 1: From 11.59 pm February 27, 2022

The current border settings still stand. You may travel to New Zealand if you are an eligible traveller under the current border settings:

  • New Zealand citizens and resident class visa holders
  • Australian citizens and permanent residents ordinarily resident in New Zealand
  • Other eligible travellers under the current border exception settings include:
    • – Critical Health Workers
    • – Other Critical Workers
    • – Approved border exception classes of workers: Teachers, Specialist Tech Workers, External Auditors, Deepwater fishing crew, Vets, Shearers, Wool handlers Dairy Farm Managers and Assistants, Agricultural and horticultural mobile plant machine operators, RSE Workers from the Solomon Islands
    • – Work visa holders normally resident in New Zealand
    • – PhD, postgraduate students, priority returning international students identified by education providers
    • – Compassionate entry
    • – Partner or dependent child of critical / highly-skilled worker / teachers
    • – Essential travels from Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga

Removal of Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) for anyone coming from Australia, replaced by self-isolation for 10 days. If you’ve travelled to Australia from another country (excluding New Zealand), you must spend 14 days in Australia before you travel to New Zealand.

Self-isolation requirements will be removed for vaccinated individuals entering New Zealand from 11.59 pm 2 March 2022 onwards.

Anyone coming from any other countries and unvaccinated travellers (including those with vaccine exemptions or medical certificates) will still be required to follow MIQ.

Stage 2: From 11.59 pm March 4, 2022

You may travel to New Zealand if you are one of the eligible travellers listed in Stage 1.

From this date onwards, MIQ and self-isolation is removed to fully vaccinated people coming from anywhere in the world.

Unvaccinated travellers (including those with vaccine exemptions or medical certificates) will still be required to follow MIQ.

From 11.59 pm March 13, 2022, border exception requirements will change, with the income required to secure Critical Purpose Visas longer than 6 months reduced from 2 to 1.5 times median wage (NZ$84,240 per annum or NZ$40.50 an hour). For these individuals, the requirement to prove that their skills are not readily obtainable in New Zealand will also be removed. (Workers entering under these settings will not be eligible for the one off 2021 Resident Visa).

Working Holiday Visa schemes will also begin to reopen at this time.

From this stage onwards, MIQ is removed to fully vaccinated people coming from anywhere in the world.

Self-isolation of 10 days may reduce to 7 days and replace MIQ for fully vaccinated arrivals.

Unvaccinated travellers (including those with vaccine exemptions or medical certificates) will still be required to follow MIQ.

Stage 3: From 11.59 pm April 12, 2022

The list of eligible travellers will now include:

  • Temporary work and student visa holders currently outside New Zealand who still meet relevant visa requirements
  • Temporary and student visa holders currently inside New Zealand to leave at any time and return from Stage 3 onwards, where their visa conditions allow
  • Up to 5000 International students selected by the Ministry of Education
  • Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and other foreign nationals travelling from Australia

Further expansion of border exemptions to critical workforces, sports and events, government approved programme lists.

From Sunday 1 May, 11.59 pm

The border opens to:

  • Visitors from visa-waiver countries
  • Existing holders of valid visitor visas (including those currently in New Zealand wanting to travel offshore and return, provided the visa conditions allow re-entry).
Stage 4: From July 2022

Borders will open to Accredited Employer Work Visa holders earning above the median wage and the border exception pathway for critical workers will be phased out. Employers must be Accredited under the new scheme, and have valid Job Checks, to be able to bring in skilled employees from overseas.

Stage 5: From October 2022

Applications and borders open to all other New Zealand visa holders, including visitor and student visas (unless the visa category is closed or paused).

We are already talking to employers to get preparations underway and recruit skilled migrants moving to New Zealand.

Removal of Self-Isolation for fully-vaccinated individuals:

From 11.59 pm 2 March 2022, eligible travellers can enter New Zealand without MIQ or self-isolation:

  • If they are fully vaccinated and meet the New Zealand vaccination requirements
  • Provide a negative pre-departure test
  • Travellers must return 2 rapid antigen tests (RATs) on day 0/1 and day 5/6 and results must be declared
  • All positive RATs must be registered and followed up with a PCR test
  • Unvaccinated travellers (including those with vaccine exemptions or medical certificates) will still be required to follow MIQ
If you would like clarity on your eligibility to move to New Zealand, and have not yet completed our free online appraisal, click below to take the first step and see if a life in New Zealand could be a possibility for you.

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