New Zealand changes visa options for Guardian work permit eligibility

22 May 2006

The Minister of Immigration for New Zealand approved changes to the temporary entry policy today. Current and future holders of a New Zealand visa under the "General Work or Specific Purpose or Event" policy may no longer be granted work or student visas.

The original policy was designed specifically to allow students entering New Zealand to bring their parents or guardians along. It was deemed that the purpose of the guardians is to look after the welfare of the students rather than engage in their own studies or other work. Therefore, residents with 'guardian permits' will no longer be granted other visas.

Guardian permit holders remain eligible to apply for variations to the conditions of their visitor permit for part time work (between the hours of 9:30am and 2:30pm) or for part-time study. The changes do not affect guardians' eligibility under any residence, work-to-residence or partnership categories.

Although unclear at this time, it appears that persons under this circumstance could relinquish their guardian permit in favour of a different type of visa if proper arrangements are made.

Under the "Special Categories of Visitors - Guardians accompanying students to New Zealand," a policy was introduced in 2003 to allow parents or legal guardians of foreign fee-paying students aged 17 years of under, or enrolled in school years 1 to 13, to accompany and remain with the student for the purpose of providing care and support.