INZ have now drafted and released the policy outlining further border exceptions for some entrepreneurs and work visa holders. An overview of the key criteria has been listed below.


Individuals who have been living in NZ, and are returning to the same job they held when they left, or continue to run a business as part of their entrepreneur work visa are now eligible to request a border exception. If an individual resigned or was made redundant then this option is not available.

To qualify, an individual must have:

  • Departed New Zealand between 1 December 2019 - 9 October 2020;
  • Spent a minimum amount of time in New Zealand before their departure; and
  • Held either an entrepreneur, work to residence or essential skills visa (mid-skilled or higher) which will not expire before 1 January 2021, unless a renewal application was submitted prior to 9 August 2020.

Partners and dependent children can be included in an exception request if they currently hold a dependent visa, or held one at the time they departed NZ. Dependent children born on or after 1 December 2019 can also apply.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.