New Zealand’s border will fully reopen in July 2022

New Zealand Travel.. New Zealand border reopen
  • June 26, 2022

From 4 July all work visa categories will be open for applications, including the Accredited Employer Work Visa, and from 31 July all student and visitor visa categories will reopen. The maritime border will also reopen on 31 July.

Furthermore, for most Work to Residence visa holders onshore on 9 May whose visas expire on or before 31 December, their visas have been extended by six months. For Essential Skills, Post-Study Work, and Partner of a New Zealander work visa holders onshore on 9 May, a two-year open work visa has been granted.

The Government has also announced changes designed to make it easier to attract and hire high-skilled migrants, while supporting some sectors to continue their shift away from relying on lower-skilled migrant workers.

The Immigration Rebalance Plan aims to improve working conditions, improve career paths for New Zealanders, and encourage businesses to focus on productivity and resilience as part of our economic recovery plans after COVID-19.


Here is a list of the changes:

From 4 July

  • Accredited Employer Work Visas will include a median wage threshold
  • Green lists will make it easier for employers to hire and attract migrants for high-skilled, hard-to-fill positions
  • New sector agreements to provide for short-term or ongoing need to access lower-paid migrants.

From September 2022

  • Streamlined pathways to residence for migrants in green list occupations or paid twice the median wage

From December 2022

  • Most partners of temporary migrant workers will need to qualify for an Accredited Employer Work Visa in their own right, instead of automatically getting an open work visa

Other changes

  • Changes to post-study work rights and cost-of-living requirements for future students.
  • During 2023 a new requirement will come into effect requiring employers to be accredited to employ any migrant.


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