Epidemic Management Notice information

Find out about what the latest epidemic status means for all visa holders.

An Epidemic Management Notice relating to immigration matters came into effect on 2 April 2020. This had some impacts on visas of people in New Zealand and rules around detention.

Note

The Epidemic Management Notice has now been changed. 

Epidemic Preparedness (Epidemic Management—COVID-19) Notice (No. 2) 2020

What an Epidemic Management Notice is

What an Epidemic Management Notice means

Under section 8(1) of the Epidemic Preparedness Act 2006, the Prime Minister may, with the agreement of a Minister, issue an Epidemic Management Notice for a piece of legislation (such as an Act of Parliament) for which that Minister is responsible. 

An Epidemic Management Notice can only be given when the Prime Minister has issued an Epidemic Notice under section 5 of the Epidemic Preparedness Act. 

The Prime Minister issued an Epidemic Notice on 25 March 2020, which has now been changed.

Epidemic Preparedness (Epidemic Management—COVID-19) Notice 2020

Alert

No visas that expire from 10 July 2020 will be extended by the Epidemic Management Notice. All visa extensions to 25 September 2020 resulting from the original EMN remain in place for individuals who are still in New Zealand. 

What an Epidemic Management Notice does

An Epidemic Management Notice states how particular provisions in a piece of legislation are to be invoked to manage the practical effects of the outbreak.

The Immigration Act 2009 has provisions which come into force when an epidemic management plan is in force, and allow certain actions to be taken. The provisions have two main purposes:

  • Extending the expiry dates of all temporary entry class visas where the visa holder is in New Zealand.
  • Modifications to detention and court-related requirements.

Why we put an Epidemic Management Notice in place

An Epidemic Management Notice is needed if the legal requirements in the Immigration Act are no longer possible or practical. The Epidemic Management Notice activates certain provisions in the Immigration Act that cannot normally be used. Now, most of those provisions are no longer needed. Therefore the Epidemic Management Notice has now been changed so that there is only one provision active – calculation of consecutive periods of detention for the purposes of the Immigration Act (Section 341 of the Immigration Act).

Visa duration extension (extension to expiry dates)

Epidemic management notice information

The New Zealand Government’s Epidemic Management Notice relating to immigration matters took effect from Thursday 2 April 2020. It has now been changed, but the visa extensions that were made on 2 April 2020 will remain in place.

Visa extensions

Holders of a work, student, visitor, limited or interim visa with an expiry date of 2 April to 9 July 2020 inclusive who were in New Zealand on 2 April 2020 will have had their visas extended to 25 September 2020. A confirmation of this was emailed to all visa holders.

Visa extensions for visas expiring between 2 April to 9 July

If your visa was extended until 25 September 2020 , you should have received a confirmation email from Immigration New Zealand. We used the most recent email address that you provided to us.

If you did not receive an email it may be because we do not have your current email address. Please check all your email inboxes in case it is there.

You can confirm your visa expiry date by checking the Visa Verification Service on our website.

Visa verification service

Visas that expire after 9 July

If you hold a work, student, visitor, limited or interim visa with an expiry date after 9 July, your visa was not extended by the Epidemic Management Notice. Your current visa expiry remains the same. You need to:

  • make an application for a new visa, or
  • leave the country before your visa expires.

Explore New Zealand visa options 

Visas with an expiry date of 1 April

If you held a work, student, visitor, limited or interim visa with an expiry date of 1 April or earlier, and you have not applied for another visa, you are now unlawfully in New Zealand. You need to:

  • leave the country immediately if possible, or
  • make a request for a special temporary or resident visa under Section 61 of the Immigration Act.

To make a request under Section 61 of the Immigration Act, send an email outlining your circumstances to s61@mbie.govt.nz.

Please include:

  • your personal details — your full name and date of birth
  • your Immigration New Zealand (INZ) client number, if known
  • a copy of the personal details page in your passport
  • your contact details — email address, phone number and postal address
  • a description of your circumstances
  • what type of visa you would like, for example a visitor visa
  • how long you think you might need to extend your stay for in New Zealand.

How we determined which visas are extended and for how long

The Immigration Act 2009 governs which visas are extended and for how long. Temporary entry class visas that would have expired within 14 days of the expiry of the epidemic notice would be extended. This means where the visa expiry date stated in the visa is between 2 April and 9 July (inclusive) that visa will have been extended to now expire on 25 September 2020. 

Why all visas were not extended

The section in the Immigration Act 2009 (section 78) only applied to temporary entry class visa holders who were in New Zealand at the time the Epidemic Management Notice was issued, and whose visas would have expired within 14 days of the expiry of the original Epidemic Management Notice.

What happens if you were not in New Zealand on 2 April 2020

To be eligible to receive the extension, you needed to be in New Zealand at the time the Epidemic Management Notice was issued. If you were not in New Zealand, your visa duration will not have been extended.

What happens if you are on a limited visa

If you hold a limited visa, where the expiry date was stated in the visa as being between 2 April and 9 July (inclusive), then your visa has been extended to 25 September 2020. You do not need to do anything.

What happens if you are on an interim visa

If your interim visa expires between 2 April and 9 July (inclusive), it will have been extended to 25 September 2020.

This extension does not apply to residence visas

The extension only applies to temporary class visas (which are work, student, visitor, limited or interim visas).

What happens if you leave the country

Travel to New Zealand is currently restricted. 

The Epidemic Management Notice extended only your ability to stay in New Zealand lawfully, not the travel conditions of your visa. This means that once you leave New Zealand your extended visa will likely expire. If that happens you will not be able to re-enter New Zealand without first getting another visa (or varying your visa conditions) to enable you to travel and seek entry.

If you are granted a new visa

If you are granted a new visa it will replace the visa you have at the moment. The duration of your new visa will be set by immigration instructions for that visa type.

What happened to the conditions on your visa

If your visa was extended by the Epidemic Management Notice you continue to have exactly the same visa conditions.