New Zealand to open its borders

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Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern has announced that New Zealand’s border will open.

The announcement last week will allow fully vaccinated New Zealanders and other eligible travellers from Australia into New Zealand.

The border will reopen in stages, starting at the end of February and will be the first time the country has opened up for nearly two years.

The border will initially open to vaccinated New Zealand citizens and visa holders coming from Australia on Sunday 27th Feb. Two weeks later, they can come from all other countries.

From 12 April, 5,000 international students and other eligible temporary visa holders will be allowed to enter.

All other international visitors will be allowed to enter New Zealand from October.

Arrivals will still have to self-isolate at home for 10 days, but will no longer have to pass through MIQ.

The five stages of reopening

STEP 1 27 February 2022, from 11.59pm:

Reopen to New Zealanders and other eligible travellers under current border settings (e.g. people with border exceptions) from Australia

STEP 2 13 March 2022, from 11:59 pm:

Reopen to New Zealanders and other eligible travellers under current border settings from the rest of the world

· Open to skilled workers earning at least 1.5 times the median wage

· Open to Working Holiday Scheme visas

STEP 3 12 April 2022, from 11:59 pm:

· Open to current offshore temporary visa holders, who can still meet the relevant visa requirements,

· Open to up to 5,000 international students for semester two

· Further class exceptions for critical workforces that do not meet the 1.5 times the median wage test will be considered

STEP 4 By July 2022:

· Open to anyone from Australia

· Open for visa-waiver travel

· The Accredited Employer Work Visa will open, meaning the skilled and health worker border exception can be phased out

STEP 5 October 2022:

· Border fully reopens to visitors from anywhere in the world, and all visa categories fully reopen.

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