Emergency Allocation criteria changes

Published: 07 January 2022

A temporary emergency allocation category is to be implemented for New Zealand citizens in Australia who face significant and severe hardship if they do not return to New Zealand in the next 2 months. Applications will be accepted between 13 January and 13 February, for travel to occur within 14 days.

Acting Deputy Secretary Managed Isolation and Quarantine Andrew Milne says this new category has been introduced in response to the deferred implementation of Step 1 of the Reconnecting New Zealanders plan. There will be discretion related to the timeframes allowed if Step 1 is delayed further.

Reconnecting New Zealanders plan

Step 1 in ‘Reconnecting New Zealanders’ was to allow vaccinated New Zealand citizens to travel from Australia to New Zealand without going to MIQ, from 11:59pm on 16 January. Due to the emergence of the Omicron variant, these dates have been pushed out to the end of February. Other changes to the MIQ process have been made such as reinstating 10-day stays.

Changes to MIQ following Omicron variant

This emergency allocation category only relates to people facing hardship who were already in Australia and were planning to come to New Zealand – MIQ is working with travellers who went from New Zealand to Australia between 24 November and 22 December with return tickets separately.

MIQ is working with travellers

“We understand how difficult this time has been for New Zealanders who are desperate to return and will face financial or safety issues if they cannot do so in the next couple of months. This new temporary category will give them another way to get back home,” he said.

This new category is available for New Zealand citizens and their partners/dependents that made significant steps between 24 November and 22 December 2021 to return to New Zealand between 17 January to 29 February on the basis that Step 1 would be implemented and would face significant issues if their travel is delayed beyond that timeframe.

Examples include the sale of homes or termination of leases, resigning from their job, and/or acceptance of employment in New Zealand which cannot be delayed.

Applicants need to fit at least one of the following:

  1. Significant financial hardship: where a delay in travelling to New Zealand beyond the end of February will result in significant financial hardship; and/or
  2. Unsafe or insecure living situation: where a delay in travelling to New Zealand beyond the end of February will result in homelessness or an otherwise unsafe living condition.

All applications will require evidence that:

  1. The individual/family had booked travel between 24 November and 22 December 2021 for between 17 January and 28 February 2022; and
  2. That between 24 November and 22 December 2021, the individual/family took other significant steps that mean their travel to New Zealand cannot be delayed beyond the end of February.

Applications will continue to be assessed on a case-by-case basis, against the set criteria. If someone has had previous applications declined and feels they meet the new criteria, they will need to submit a new application.

This new temporary category is being implemented for those who have been affected by the delay to Step 1 in the Reconnecting New Zealand plan specifically. Other emergency allocation categories exist for those who have different circumstances and needs to enter New Zealand.

Emergency allocation requests