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New border exception for victims and families of the Christchurch mosque attack for sentencing Friday, 10 July 2020

Victims and families of the Christchurch mosque attacks intending to travel to New Zealand for the August sentencing will be able to request a border exception under humanitarian grounds.

Who can apply for this border exception

Those eligible to apply to attend are:

  • up to two family members of those killed or one family member and one support person
  • those who were subject to an attempted murder in the attack and one family member or support person to accompany them.

People permitted to travel to New Zealand under this border exception will be required to go into managed quarantine for 14 days on arrival into New Zealand before attending the sentencing — beginning 24 August 2020. The cost of this is currently covered by the New Zealand Government for all approved travellers.

How to apply for this border exception

Those eligible will be able to submit an expression of interest (EOI) under humanitarian grounds. The EOI process takes 2 working days, but times to process visas can vary.

Request for travel to New Zealand 

People who apply and are granted an exception to the border closures will then need to apply for a limited purpose visa, unless they are a New Zealand citizen or resident. They are still required to meet normal immigration requirements and must have a return flight to be able to enter New Zealand under this border exception.

People who have been granted a Residence Visa outside of New Zealand but have yet to travel to New Zealand on that Residence Visa must apply for an exception to the border restrictions.

When to apply

Applications must be received as soon as possible in order for us to grant approved travellers a visa in time to travel and meet the 14 day managed quarantine requirements.

If you are unable to fly to New Zealand for sentencing

We are mindful that the time it may take people to submit an application, limited commercial airline flights, and managed quarantine requirements can make travelling to New Zealand difficult.

The Ministry of Justice has been working with the Court to put in place technology options to enable victims who are overseas and unable to travel to participate by viewing the sentencing hearing and reading a Victim Impact Statement remotely.


You do not have to pay any fees to submit an EOI. If you are invited to apply for a visa, you will not have to pay a fee. The fee has been waived by special direction given the circumstances.

Victim Support continues to provide support to victims and limited financial assistance towards costs of travel.

Further information

More information on the border exceptions process can be found here:

Border closures and exceptions