Epidemic Management Notice information

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 also on some detention and court-related matters requirements.

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

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.

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. 

Visas that expire after 9 July

If you hold a work, student, visitor, limited or interim visa with an expiry date after 9 July 2020, your visa was not extended by the Epidemic Management Notice. However, it may have been affected by subsequent extensions made by the Minister of Immigration by Special Direction.

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 had their visas extended to 25 September 2020. A confirmation of this was emailed to all visa holders.

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 happened if you were not in New Zealand on 2 April 2020

To be eligible to receive this extension to the 25 September 2020, 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 was not extended.

What happens if you were on a limited or interim visa

If you held a limited visa or an interim visa, where the expiry date was stated in the visa as being between 2 April and 9 July 2020 (inclusive), then your visa was extended to 25 September 2020.

This extension did not apply to residence visas

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

What happened to your extension if you left the country

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 left New Zealand your extended visa likely expired. 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.