New Zealand: Early Reopening and Adjusted Immigration Measures 

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

Key Points  

  • New Zealand’s borders will reopen for tourism and all visa holders beginning 31 July 2022  
  • The government of New Zealand introduced new immigration measures for foreign nationals filling traditionally difficult to fill roles  


The government also introduced new immigration settings, including the new Green List, which aims to attract highly skilled migrants to New Zealand by providing a new streamlined pathway to residence for roles that are difficult to fill. The list includes 85 different roles. Some of these roles include construction, engineering, trades, health workers and tech workers.  

Tourism and hospitality businesses will be exempt from paying the median wage when recruiting migrants on an Accredited Employer Work Visa. Instead, these companies will be permitted to pay 25 dollars (NZD) per hour until April 2023. The government will also grant an additional six-month visa extension or a new two-year visa to holders of visas that will expire before 2023.  

What are the Changes?  

New Zealand will reopen its borders to tourists and all visa holders on 31 July 2022. Previously, the government had not planned to fully reopen its borders to tourists and all visa holders until October 2022. Immigration measures will also be simplified for workers filling certain roles. The government stated that this decision was made to address immediate skill shortages throughout the country.  

Looking Ahead  

Continue to check the government of New Zealand’s website and Envoy’s website for the latest updates and information.  

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This article was published on 12 May 2022 and may not be the most recent update concerning COVID-19 entrance restrictions, testing requirements and quarantine measurers. For the most recent updates be sure to check our Global Mobility Resource Center.

Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.