New Zealand is opening sooner to Australians and travellers from visa-waiver countries!

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On 16 March, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that New Zealand is bringing forward the date for opening the borders to Australians and arrivals from visa-waiver countries.

This announcement comes after New Zealand also brought forward the date for allowing New Zealanders and other eligible travellers through the country’s borders.

Australians welcome from 12 April, and borders are opening to visa-waiver travellers from 1 May

In New Zealand’s original 5-stage border reopening plan, its borders would’ve opened to Australians and travellers from visa-waiver countries in July.

Now the borders will open to these groups of people two months earlier than planned!

Australians can once again travel to New Zealand from Tuesday, 12 April at 11.59pm, while vaccinated travellers from visa-waiver countries are welcome from Sunday, 1 May at 11.59pm.

“Reopening in time for the upcoming Australian school holidays will help spur our economic recovery in the short term and is good news for the winter ski season,” said Prime Minister Ardern.

She added, “In a world still battling COVID-19, travellers will be discerning about where they go in the short term. Our strong health response, including the lowest death rate in the OECD over the past two years and our high rates of vaccination, alongside our reputation as a beautiful place to visit, will be an asset in this market. I am proud that New Zealand is a country which is able to provide a safe place for tourists to return to due to our strong health response to COVID-19.”

New Zealand’s also welcoming temporary visa holders and international students from 12 April

As per New Zealand’s original 5-stage plan, its borders will reopen to current offshore temporary visa holders and international students on 12 April:

  • Temporary work and student visa holders who still meet their visa requirements — this includes people currently outside New Zealand and those who leave and want to return
  • Up to 5000 international students to study in semester 2

The rest of the border reopening plan also remains as is

Immigration New Zealand has announced no other changes to date. That means the following:

  • From July: New Zealand’s borders will open to Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) holders.
  • From October: The border reopens, and standard visa processing resumes for all categories, including visitor and student visas, unless the visa is closed or paused.

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