Following Tuesday’s earthquake, New Zealand’s Minister of Immigration, Jonathan Coleman, has announced that interim visas will be issued to any foreign national whose work, visitor or student visa application is lodged at Immigration New Zealand’s Christchurch office.

More than 2000 temporary visa applications are currently lodged at the office in the Crystal Plaza building, which is unable to be accessed for safety reasons.

The interim visas will be valid for six months or until a person’s substantive temporary visa application has been decided – whichever date is earlier. The affected foreign nationals will be granted open work, student or visitor conditions depending on the type of temporary visa they applied for:

  • if the application at the INZ Christchurch branch is for a student visa, the applicant will be granted an interim visa that has the same conditions as an ‘open’ student visa. This means that the visa holder may undertake any course of study in New Zealand.
  • if the application at the INZ Christchurch branch is for a work visa the applicant will be granted an interim visa that has the same conditions as an ‘open’ work visa. This means that the visa holder may undertake employment in New Zealand for any employer.
  • if the application at the INZ Christchurch branch is for a visitor visa the applicant will be granted an interim visa that has the same conditions as a visitor visa.

Affected foreign nationals will be sent individual correspondence on this as soon as possible.

See Pro-Link GLOBAL’s article on immigration planning for a crisis here.