Recently, Immigration New Zealand confirmed that 2021 Interim Visas will be issued to most of those who have applied for their 2021 Resident Visa before the expiry of their current temporary visa, are currently in New Zealand, but have chosen not to apply for another temporary visa.
This article with Lauren Qiu from Stay Legal will explain the limitations of the 2021 Interim Visa.
The 2021 Interim Visa Is Not Guaranteed
The 2021 Interim Visa cannot be applied for, nor is it guaranteed. This is because the Minister of Immigration (or Immigration Officer with the delegated authority) has absolute discretion. This means that there is no right of appeal against a decision not to grant a 2021 Interim Visa. Often visa holders with existing immigration compliance actions underway or warnings against their name in Immigration New Zealand’s system will not be automatically granted an interim visa in general. The 2021 Interim Visa is no different.
A Holder Of A 2021 Interim Visa Cannot Apply For Another Visa
A holder of a 2021 Interim Visa cannot apply for a visa of any other class or type. For example, if a closed work visa holder (where the job title, employer, and location are listed on the work visa) is subsequently granted a 2021 Interim Visa, the same closed work conditions will apply. This effectively means that the applicant cannot apply for another visa while on the 2021 Interim Visa and will likely need to remain in their job (with the same employer and location) until their 2021 Resident Visa has been approved.
The 2021 Interim Visa Has An Expiry Date That Is Outcome Dependent
If the 2021 Interim Visa holder’s 2021 Resident Visa is approved, then the 2021 Interim Visa will be cancelled upon the approval of the holder’s 2021 Resident Visa. If the 2021 Interim Visa holder’s 2021 Resident Visa is declined or withdrawn, the 2021 Interim Visa will expire 2 months after the date the 2021 Resident Visa is declined or withdrawn. If the 2021 Interim Visa holder’s 2021 Resident Visa is still under consideration 12 months after the 2021 Interim Visa’s start date, the 2021 Interim Visa will still expire 12 months from the 2021 Interim Visa’s start date.
As 2021 Interim Visa holders cannot apply for a visa of any other class or type, if their application is declined or withdrawn, they will either need to leave the country before their 2021 Interim Visa expires or become unlawful.
The 2021 Interim Visa Will Expire If The Holder Leaves New Zealand
The 2021 Interim Visa is a ‘bridging visa’ to allow for most 2021 Resident Visa holders to stay in New Zealand lawfully while they await their 2021 Resident Visa decision in New Zealand. If the 2021 Interim Visa holder leaves New Zealand, the 2021 Interim Visa will expire upon the holder’s departure. This means they then have to either wait for their 2021 Resident Visa to be approved from offshore or apply for another temporary visa (possibly a border exemption too, depending on the border restrictions in place at the time of their intended return to New Zealand) to re-enter New Zealand.
Think Before Accepting A 2021 Interim Visa
Overall, any 2021 Resident Visa applicant should think carefully before they accept the 2021 Interim Visa. It will suit some applicants, but not all applicants.
Content supplied by Stay Legal. This is to provide general guidance only. It is correct at the date of this article (15 February 2022) and is subject to further updates.