Immigration department mistakenly emailed student and dependent partner visa extensions

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has apologised after mistakenly sending emails informing people their visas had been extended.

INZ’s two emails before Christmas (23 December 2020) were sent directly to applicants instead of their adviser or lawyer.

Who does this email error impact?

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Partners and dependent children of migrant workers or student visa holders where the partner or parent (principal visa holder) does not hold one of the visas listed below (and expiring between 1 January and 30 June 2021) will not have had their visa extended.

•Essential Skills Visa
•Some Work to Residence Visas
•Special and Skilled work visas for China, Indonesia, South Korea, Philippines and Vietnam
•Special category work visas for Japanese Interpreters and Thai Chefs
•Employer-specific work visas granted under section 61 of the Immigration Act 2009
•Fishing Crew Visa
•Religious Worker Visa
•Silver Fern Practical Experience Visa

Education New Zealand (ENZ), New Zealand’s government agency for building international education, has reported about INZ’s email error on its webpage:

“Due to an administrative error, some partners and dependents of international students with work rights may have received an email from INZ on 23 December 2020 that incorrectly stated their visas may have been eligible for a six month extension. Student visas have not been extended.

Those who received the email incorrectly will need to apply for a further visa or arrange to depart New Zealand before their current visa expires. Further information on applying for visas is available on the Immigration New Zealand website or an immigration professional can help.

We acknowledge this is a stressful process for students and their families.”

INZ said about a third of the 13,000 people who were sent an email about visa extensions should not have received it. They are contacting visa holders who received these error emails to clarify eligibility and apologise for any confusion caused.