New Zealand Law Society - Temporary entry restrictions into NZ from China

Temporary entry restrictions into NZ from China

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Immigration New Zealand says the New Zealand Government decided on 2 February 2020 that any foreign travellers who have left or transited through mainland China after 2 February 2020 will be denied boarding or refused entry to New Zealand. This is to assisst with containment of the novel coronavirus.

This measure includes all of China, but not Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR, and not Taiwan.

All travellers currently in transit to New Zealand on 2 February 2020 will be subject to enhanced screening on arrival but, pending clearance, will be granted entry to New Zealand.

"This decision to deny boarding or refuse entry does not apply to New Zealand citizens, permanent residents, residents with valid travel conditions and their immediate family, who will still be able to come to New Zealand. Australian citizens and permanent residents are also excluded if New Zealand is their primary place of established residence.

"The decision to restrict travel will be in place for up to 14 days and will be reviewed every 48 hours."

Immigration NZ says "immediate family" includes partner/spouse, legal guardian and dependent child under the age of 24.

People in NZ with visas about to expire

Immigration NZ says it is sympathetic to individuals who are currently in New Zealand and are unable to return to their home country due to the coronavirus outbreak and current travel restrictions.

"INZ is currently looking at options to facilitate these individuals. We encourage anyone in this situation to contact INZ to discuss their options. However in the meantime, individuals who are currently in New Zealand are able to apply for a further visa, which will be assessed on a case by case basis against immigration instructions, taking into account the current coronavirus outbreak and any relevant travel restrictions."

People who have been granted visas but who are unable to travel to New Zealand because of the travel ban will be refused entry to New Zealand and will not be able to travel until the restrictions are lifted by the New Zealand Government. There is no refund for people who have been approved a visa but who cannot travel at the moment.

Applicants for visas may withdraw their application by contacting Immigration NZ, but it says they are not able to get a refund.

Ministry of Health Information

The Ministry of Health has released health advice. This is under active review and updated daily.

NZ Customs Service Information

Information from the Customs Service says all travellers will now be individually processed by Customs Officers. It says no travellers (including New Zealand citizens, permanent residents or their families) weill be allowed to use eGates.

MFAT travel advice

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it advises that New Zealanders do not travel to China due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and the associated health risks and travel restrictions.

"We advise New Zealanders currently in China to depart at the earliest opportunity. A number of airlines have temporarily reduced or stopped flights to and from China. Contact your airline to confirm travel arrangements.