Last Updated on February 23, 2023
This article was originally published on 4 Feb. 2022 and was updated on 11 May 2022 to reflect new information.
11 May 2022 Update: The government of New Zealand announced that it would reopen its international borders to tourists, students and all visa holders beginning 31 July 2022. Previously, the government had not planned to fully reopen its borders to tourists and all visa holders until October 2022. The government stated that this decision was made to address immediate skill shortages throughout the country.
28 Feb. 2022 Update: Beginning 2 March 2022, the government of New Zealand will allow fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and other eligible travelers to enter the country without having to undergo quarantine requirements. These travelers will be required to provide:
- Proof of a negative pre-departure test; and
- Undergo a rapid antigen test (RAT) upon arrival and undergo an additional RAT on day five or six.
This article was originally published on 4 Feb. 2022 and was updated on 17 Feb. 2022 to reflect new information.
15 Feb. 2022 Update: On 15 Feb. 2022, the government of New Zealand published clarification on the self-isolation requirements for travelers approved to enter the country beginning 28 Feb. 2022. Prior to departure, all eligible travelers will have the option of three types of pre-departure tests. These include:
- Undergoing PCR testing within 48 hours of departure; or
- Undergoing a supervised rapid antigen test (RAT) within 24 hours of departure; or
- Undergoing a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) test within 24 hours of departure
Until the end of March 2022, travelers will be required to complete an online traveler declaration prior to travel. On this declaration, travelers will need to upload evidence of vaccination and a negative pre-departure test result.
Upon arrival, vaccinated travelers will need to download the NZ COVID Tracer mobile app and will be given three RATs.
Travelers will need to self-isolate for a period of seven full days and report the result of two rapid antigen tests throughout this time. The first test is to be taken on the first day of self-isolation, and the last test should be taken on the fifth or sixth day.
Five-phase reopening plan will launch at the end of February 2022
On 3 Feb. 2022, the government of New Zealand announced a five-step plan to reopen the country to different groups of travelers commencing at the end of February 2022.
The next phase of the plan includes reopening borders to the following groups:
- Beginning 27 Feb. 2022, fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and eligible travelers arriving from Australia will be permitted to enter New Zealand without staying in managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ);
- Beginning 13 March 2022, fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and other qualified travelers arriving from the rest of the world will be permitted to enter New Zealand without staying in (MIQ). Other qualified travelers will include:
- Beginning 12 April 2022, visa applicants who are outside the country (offshore temporary visas), who meet the relevant visa requirements will be permitted to enter New Zealand, along with 5,000 international students returning for their second semester and certain critical workforce members that do not meet the 1.5 times the median wage test;
- Beginning July 2022, travelers arriving from Australia, all visa-waived travelers, and holders of the Accredited Employer Work Visa will be permitted to enter New Zealand;
- Beginning October 2022, all travelers from around the world will be permitted to enter New Zealand. All visa categories will also reopen for applications.
Unvaccinated travelers who are permitted to enter New Zealand over the coming months will be required to enter MIQ. For additional information, click here.
What are the Changes?
The government of New Zealand announced a five-step reopening plan for the year 2022. Under this plan, more travelers will be permitted to enter the country and previously closed visa categories will reopen for applications and entry.
As each phase of reopening approaches, the government of New Zealand will release additional guidance. 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 4 Feb. 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.