As the milder Omicron variant of Covid-19 becomes dominant all over the world, New Zealand is about to reopen its borders to vaccinated international visitors and migrants for the first time in two years, without self-isolation or MIQ requirements.
This is welcome news for many UK ex-pats and returning Kiwis looking at moving back to New Zealand soon, but also for those who already live here and haven’t visited their family and friends overseas in a long time.
So, here are some key things to know about the phased border reopening.
When can people enter New Zealand?
As of the time of this writing, the key dates to keep in mind are:
- From 13 April 2022 – all vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents can enter New Zealand and self-test on arrival.
- From 2 May 2022 – all vaccinated visitors from visa waiver countries (which include the UK, amongst many others), and visitors from other countries who already hold a valid visitor visa, can enter New Zealand and self-test on arrival.
- From July 2022 (the exact date is yet to be confirmed) – vaccinated travellers under the Accredited Employer Work Visa categories can enter.
- From October 2022 (the exact date is yet to be confirmed) – all visa categories will reopen, including other visitor and student visas.
What are the current health requirements to enter?
To be able to enter New Zealand, you must meet the following health requirements:
- Unless you are a NZ citizen, you must meet vaccination requirements;
- Get a pre-departure test – you’ll need to provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 result from one of the approved tests, which could be a PCR test (administered no more than 48 hours before the scheduled departure of your first international flight to NZ), a supervised rapid antigen test (RAT, administered no more than 24 hours before the scheduled departure of your first international flight to NZ), or a supervised LAMP test (administered no more than 24 hours before the scheduled departure of your first international flight to NZ).
- After you enter NZ, you must do two RATs, one on Day 0/1 and the other on Day 5/6, and declare your results.
What about unvaccinated visitors?
For the time being, most people who don’t meet the vaccination requirements are not able to enter New Zealand – unless they are exempt or don’t need to have proof of vaccination (e.g., NZ citizens, travellers aged 16 years or under, refugees, citizens of Afghanistan who are being evacuated, people arriving from Antarctica, and people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons).
Don’t forget your NZ Traveller Declaration form
From 1 April, anyone travelling to New Zealand by air will need to fill out their New Zealand Traveller Declaration. You can start completing the form up to 28 days before your departure at www.travellerdeclaration.govt.nz.
You’ll need the following information:
- Your passport number
- Proof of vaccination (if required)
- Travel history for 14 days
- Flight details
- Proof of either a pre-departure test, medical exemption or other exemption
- Contact details
- Emergency contact details.
Once the declaration has been processed, you’ll receive the New Zealand Traveller Pass to print out or keep on your phone. You’ll need to show it at the check-in and to Customs officers on arrival in New Zealand.
Need help with your visas?
These changes also mean that NZ visa applications are progressively reopening. While we can’t assist you with this, we work with experts in the field who have been helping thousands of people make New Zealand their new ‘home’. Get in touch if you’d like to learn more.
Do you have a UK pension?
If you’re a UK ex-pat moving to New Zealand, or you’re a New Zealander returning home from the UK, transferring your UK pension with you is worth considering. But it’s also a complex decision to make, and that’s why it’s a good idea to work with a UK pension expert like us.
Click here to contact us or give us a call on 0800 UK 11 NZ to book a review when you return to New Zealand. At Pension Transfers, over the past 20-plus years, we have helped thousands of clients make informed decisions about their UK pension transfer and future financial needs.
Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current developments or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance. Past fund performance is no guarantee of future returns.