February  8, 2011

Immigration New Zealand has brought interim visas into action, effective 7 February 2011.  Interim visas, or “bridging visas”, can be issued when a visa extension application is submitted, (provided the extension application was submitted at least three days before expiration of the previous visa) to allow the applicant to continue working while the extension application is in process.  Pro-Link GLOBAL first alerted our clients of this change in our November 2010 GLOBAL Brief on New Zealand’s new immigration act.

How Are Interim Visas Issued? 

In most cases, the interim visa will be granted automatically by electronic means, and there is no fee and no visa label. People who are granted interim visas will be notified by email or by letter. The interim visa will be valid until the date a person’s application for a temporary visa is decided (up to a maximum of six months).

What Activities Does the Interim Visa Authorize? 

Whether the holder of an interim visa can work or study is shown by the conditions of the interim visa. These conditions depend on the visa he or she held previously, and the type and conditions of the visa applied for.  Where the interim visa is issued to an employee who has applied for an extension of stay with the same conditions – the same employer, position and location, the interim visa will permit work.

More Information on Interim Visas 

Immigration New Zealand has issued an Interim Visa Factsheet, and a set of questions and answers via their website.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS 

The interim visas provide a safety net for employers to keep employees in New Zealand while renewals are underway, but please note that they are not license to make late applications, and will not be issued where applications are submitted after expiry of the first visa.  Applications should still be started in good time – Pro-Link GLOBAL recommends that at least 3 months’ lead time is allowed for.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader  

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification.  Pro-Link GLOBAL worked with our KGNM Correspondent office in New Zealand to provide this Global BRIEF to you.