On the 17th of August New Zealand went into a Level 4 lockdown due to an outbreak of the Covid-19 Delta variant.
As of today, 1 st September 2021, there are 724 active cases in the community. Most of which are in Auckland, and all have been moved to a quarantine facility to ensure no further transmission. On Monday Aucklanders were notified they would remain in Alert Level 4 for at least another 2 weeks while the rest of the country will be in Level 3 by Friday.
While this does sound as if they have the situation under control, it does bring about challenges for Immigration New Zealand (INZ) and the MIQ booking facility.
INZ is limited to what type of applications can be processed while working remotely, these are restricted to;
Essential Skills work visas
Work to Residence visas
Partnership visas (temporary and residence)
Post-study work visas
Section 61 requests
We will keep a close eye on any changes to this as and when the alert levels are changed. In todays press conference the Minister of COVID-19 Response, Chris Hipkins, announced that the online MIQ booking system has gone offline and will stay offline for a period of 1-2 weeks while 2 of those facilities are prepared to accommodate community cases as well as their close contacts in the current outbreak.
This does not affect the ability to make emergency allocation bookings. Please see the link below for the criteria for emergency allocations:
Emergency Allocation Bookings
When the booking system is reopened there will be an upgrade to the platform whereby when there are rooms released you will go into a “virtual lobby” and rooms will be allocated from there. This does not guarantee you will be successful the first time around as, I am sure you are aware, there are thousands of people trying to book into these facilities.
Should you be unsuccessful you will be notified and will then have to go through the process again once there are more rooms released. While there will certainly be a few hiccups once this platform goes live, we believe that it will relieve a lot of the stresses that the current system brings.
It is unfortunately an ever-evolving situation and once more information is released we will communicate this to you. We are expecting to have these updates by the end of next week.
You can watch the press conference where this information was released by clicking on the button below
Reopening of Borders & Job Search in New Zealand
The one positive that has come out of this current outbreak is that more people are getting vaccinated which we know is one of the major factors hindering the reopening of the borders. According to the current stats the country is still on track to reach “herd immunity” by the end of 2021 and therefore should not delay the
previously released plan on opening in the first quarter of 2022. Again, this could change, and is dependent on the management of the current outbreak and the rate in which New Zealanders are vaccinated.
We now take this opportunity to remind you to ensure that all your documents are up to date, passports are valid and to consider everything that needs to be done prior to you travelling. Please contact Michelle at our Auckland office to book a Job Search or Interview training session in preparation for any possible positions which might arise in the coming months.
Contact Michelle: email@example.com