Reconnecting New Zealand – next steps

Published: 03 February 2022

The Government has announced its plans to gradually reopen New Zealand’s border this year.

From 11.59pm on Sunday February 27, fully vaccinated New Zealanders and other eligible travellers in Australia can enter New Zealand and self-isolate on arrival.

From 11.59pm on Sunday 13 March, fully vaccinated New Zealanders and other eligible travellers from anywhere in the world can enter New Zealand and self-isolate on arrival.

From 13 March, the Working Holiday Schemes will also progressively reopen, and the income criteria for the Other Critical Worker border exception will be reduced to 1.5 times the median wage (currently $40.50 per hour) and the requirement to demonstrate that skills are not readily obtainable in New Zealand will be removed. This change will allow more workers to enter through the border exception for roles longer than 6 months.

The family reunification border exception for highly skilled workers will be aligned with the expanded settings for long-term critical workers, so more onshore workers will be able to reunite with their families.

From 11.59pm on Tuesday 12 April, temporary visa holders currently offshore can enter New Zealand if they meet the relevant visa requirements, up to 5,000 international students can enter New Zealand for semester 2 and class border exceptions will be extended for important seasonal workforces and infrastructure projects where needed.

From July our borders will open to travellers from Australia, visitors from visa-waiver countries, and the new Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV). The AEWV will be limited to roles that pay above the New Zealand median wage. More information on this will be made available soon.

From October, all visa categories will reopen, except those that are paused such as the parent visa category.

More information about the plan to reopen New Zealand’s borders can be found on the beehive website.

Border to reopen in stages from 27 February(external link) —

MBIE media contact