Section 48 Barred and New Zealand Travel Bubble

As you may know, Australians can now travel to New Zealand without having to quarantine from 18 April 2021 onwards. We know that many of you have questions about the travel bubble. Thus, we have prepared an article to answer your questions.

Who can travel to New Zealand quarantine free?

You can travel to Australia and New Zealand if you have resided in either country for at least 14 days before travelling. The travel bubble applies to citizens, permanent residents, and temporary visa holders. If you have been in either country for at least 14 days, you will be automatically exempted from mandatory quarantine.

What flights do you have to take?

To ensure that you can visit Australia or New Zealand quarantine free, you must travel on the Green Zone flights. If have not stayed in either country for 14 days or you are only transiting from one country into another, you will need to be on the Red Zone flights. For example, if you are travelling through Australia (for transit purpose) to New Zealand, you will need to be on the Red Zone flight.

Do you need to take the COVID-19 test?

You are not required to show that you have a negative COVID-19 test. You are also not required to show that you have been vaccinated. However, you cannot travel if you have COVID-19 symptoms, and you may be turned back if you are showing symptoms at the border.

Can you travel to a third country after arriving in New Zealand?

New Zealand currently does not have any restrictions for Australian citizens or permanent residents to travel to a third country after arriving in New Zealand. Essentially, you can travel to New Zealand and from New Zealand travel to another country. However, the Australian government has now required Australian citizens and permanent residents to apply for an outward travel exemption before travelling to New Zealand if they have booked an onward flight from New Zealand to another country.

If you plan to travel beyond New Zealand, please be mindful that you will be subject to the regular arrangement when you plan to return to Australia i.e. Mandatory quarantine, COVID-19 testing and flights availability.

Section 48 barred clients

If you are on a bridging visa A (BVA) and you must travel to New Zealand, you can apply for a bridging visa B (BVB). The processing time for a BVB can take from 2 days to 10 months. Currently, the processing time is not listed on the Department of Home Affairs website. However, there are a few key things to remember:

  • To grant a BVB the minister must be satisfied that the applicant’s reasons for applying for a BVB are substantial. Applying for BVB to avoid the effects of Section 48 may not be appropriate.
  • You must ensure that you have a suitable visa to enter New Zealand. This can be problematic as New Zealand may not grant a visa if you do not have a valid visa to return to Australia or travel to another country.
  • The BVB must allow for additional travel time in case the border close suddenly. You are not able to apply for a BVB offshore.
  • It is also important to note that the border may be closed without a long period of notice.

What visa do you need to travel to New Zealand?

To travel to New Zealand, you must have a valid visa. Australian citizens and permanent residents do not have to apply for a visa. You will be granted a visa upon arrival. If you are a temporary visa holder in Australia, you will need to apply for one of the following visas to enter New Zealand:

23 April 2021 update on people intending to leave Australia to another country through the Australia-New Zealand Travel Bubble:

Australians who use the New Zealand travel bubble to fly onto the rest of the world should be aware of the below: Changes have been made to the Biosecurity legislation (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential). The amended Entry Requirements reflect the health advice of the Director of Human Biosecurity that a declaration from individuals who have travelled to a third country outside the safe travel zone aligns with the purpose of preventing COVID-19 from being introduced to, establishing and spreading in Australian territory. It is designed to reinforce the current public health advice that Australian citizens and permanent residents should only be using the New Zealand safe travel zone exemption to travel to New Zealand unless they have a compassionate reason, or required urgent medical treatment not reasonably available in New Zealand or Australia, that required the person to travel to a third country. 

Compassionate reasons may include the death or serious illness of a close family member of the individual or of a close family member of the spouse or de facto partner of the individual. The intention of including compassionate reason is to provide for circumstances that could not have been known to the individual prior to their departure from Australia to travel to New Zealand. 

Mohamed Anas Sirajur Raheem

Barrister and Solicitor, New Zealand
Australian Lawyer

Mohamed is a New Zealand Immigration Lawyer with VisaEnvoy and an enrolled Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. He is also admitted as a lawyer in the Supreme Court of Queensland.

He is a former New Zealand Immigration Officer (Visa Services) and Border Officer at Auckland International Airport. He has several years of experience working in various Government Departments in New Zealand and has also worked as a Licensed Immigration Adviser at a prominent New Zealand Immigration law firm.

His areas of expertise and interest are in the fields of General Skilled Migration, Temporary Work (Long and Short Stay), Business visas, Partner, Parent and Child Visa streams.

Mohamed was inspired to pursue a career in immigration by his own migration experiences. Over the years he has assisted individuals, families, large corporations, Professional sportspeople, and Entertainers (singers, speakers, and actors) to come to New Zealand. Book appointment

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