Previous Covid-19 Updates for American Citizens

Health Alert: U.S Consulate General Auckland (May 20, 2020)

Location: New Zealand

Event: Covid-19 Update – 20 MAY 2020

 

Update: American Citizen Services Appointments Now Available

At New Zealand Alert Level 2, routine American Citizen Services appointments are now available for the following services:

  • U.S. Passports
  • Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA)
  • Federal Benefits Processing

Visit the U.S. Consulate General Auckland website for information on scheduling your appointment.  Notarial services remain unavailable at New Zealand Alert Level 2.

 

Please note that passport production is currently suspended in the United States.  Therefore, you may submit your passport or CRBA application now, but you will not receive your passport or CRBA until production reopens in the United States.  We do not know at this time when they will reopen and be operational.  If you have imminent travel plans and need an emergency passport, please schedule a passport appointment using the same link above as all services must now be scheduled. Upon arrival at the Consulate, please inform our consulate staff that you are requesting an emergency passport.  In most cases, emergency passports will be ready for pick up the day of your appointment.

 

Be aware that emergency passports are only valid for one year and many countries will not place visas in emergency passports. New Zealand is an exception and will allow you to renew a New Zealand visa with an emergency passport, but we recommend waiting for full-validity passport production to resume in the United States when possible.  Emergency passports are sufficient for return travel to the United States.

 

Update: Transit Travel Permitted Through Australia…

Foreign nationals may now transit through Australia as long as they are booked on a connecting flight from the same airport on the same day.  Your onward flight must be confirmed before you will be permitted to board your flight to Australia.  Please note that all foreign nationals transiting through Australia will still be required to hold a valid visa or be from an eligible country to transit without a visa (TWOV).  Check the visa requirements here.  If you plan to leave the airport in Australia, then you must apply for an exemption at least 48 hours before your flight.

 

Actions to Take

  • For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting or transmitting Covid-19, please read the CDC’s latest recommendations.
  • Consult your airline, cruise line, or other travel operator regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.

 

Assistance

  • U.S. Consulate General Auckland, Level 3, Citigroup Building, 23 Customs Street East, Auckland 1010.
  • State Department Consular Affairs: +1 888-407-4747 or +1 202-501-4444.

May 14, 2020 Update: Consulate Operating Status at Alert Level 2.

While Alert Level 2 allows many New Zealand businesses to reopen, routine consular operations — including passport renewals, notaries, reports of birth abroad, and citizenship renunciations — remain suspended for U.S. consulates and embassies around the world.

If you have an urgent need for a visa or passport, you may consult the Consulate’s website for details on how to apply for an emergency service.  Please note that emergency appointments are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Emergency Situations 

If you are a U.S. citizen and find yourself stranded in New Zealand without access to funds, please contact the U.S. Consulate at AucklandACS@state.gov for assistance. The New Zealand government should only be providing support and accommodation to foreign nationals who are unable to obtain assistance from their overseas embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens have that support and are strongly encouraged to contact us at AucklandACS@state.gov and/or visit our emergency resources page if you require assistance.

While at Alert Level 3, domestic transit is only allowed to move in one direction, one time. However, at Alert Level 2, domestic travel restrictions will be eased.

May 7, 2020 Update: New Zealand Alert Level to Be Reviewed Monday, May 11th.

Today, the Government of New Zealand confirmed that Cabinet will meet Monday to discuss the possibility of moving to Alert Level 2. Additionally, the Government announced what restrictions at Alert Level 2 will look like. For a complete list of those restrictions, please visit the New Zealand Covid-19 website here.

U.S. Consulate General Auckland Operating Status during Level 3 

In accordance with worldwide policy from the Department of State, routine consular services such as passport renewals, notaries, and consular reports of birth abroad remain suspended.

If you have an urgent need for a visa or passport, you may consult the Consulate’s website for details on how to apply for an emergency service.  Please note that emergency appointments are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Emergency Situations 

If you are a U.S. citizen and find yourself stranded in New Zealand without access to funds, please contact the U.S. Consulate at AucklandACS@state.gov for assistance. The New Zealand government should only be providing support and accommodation to foreign nationals who are unable to obtain assistance from their overseas embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens have that support and are strongly encouraged to contact us at AucklandACS@state.gov and/or visit our emergency resources page if you require assistance.

Update: Domestic Travel in New Zealand under Alert Level 3 

Current domestic flight options within New Zealand include flights from Christchurch, Wellington Tauranga, Napier, Nelson, and Dunedin.

May 01, 2020 Update. U.S. Consulate General Auckland Operating Status during Level 3.

In response to significant worldwide challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of State has temporarily suspended routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. Prime Minister Ardern announced that New Zealand has entered Alert Level 3 at least until the Cabinet makes further decisions on May 11.

In accordance with the guidelines from the New Zealand Government, the U.S. Consulate will remain closed while New Zealand remains at Alert Level 3.  If you have an urgent need for a visa or passport, you may consult the Consulate’s website for details on how to apply for an emergency service.  Please note that emergency appointments are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Update: Emergency Situations 

If you are a U.S. citizen and find yourself stranded in New Zealand without access to funds, please contact the U.S. Consulate at AucklandACS@state.gov for assistance. The New Zealand government should only be providing support and accommodation to foreign nationals who are unable to obtain assistance from their overseas embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens have that support and are strongly encouraged to contact us at AucklandACS@state.gov and/or visit our emergency resources page if you require assistance.

Update: Domestic Travel in New Zealand under Alert Level 3 

If you were in the wrong place in New Zealand when travel restrictions came into place, and need to get to another part of the country, you can now move one time and in one direction only in order to find the most convenient and comfortable place for you and your family. There are some restrictions if you decide to move: the New Zealand COVID-19 Level 3 website has the additional information.

Air New Zealand is updating their services as the alert levels change. According to the Air New Zealand website, this is their current domestic flight schedule (subject to change):

Auckland-Christchurch: 3 return services: Monday-Friday, 1 return service: Saturday/Sunday

Auckland-Wellington: 1 return service: Monday-Sunday

Wellington-Christchurch: 2 return services: Monday-Friday; 1 return service: Saturday/Sunday

Wellington-Nelson: 1 return service: Monday-Friday

Christchurch-Dunedin: 1 return service: Monday & Friday

Update: New Zealand Alert Level 3 Information 

Below are some resources with information regarding New Zealand’s Alert Level 3:

Allowed Sport Activities under Level 3

Student Visa Holder Information

Taxi Policy under Level 3.

April 28th update – New Zealand is at Alert Level 3.

New Zealand moved to Alert Level 3 at 11:59pm on Monday 27 April.

We will stay in Alert Level 3 for two weeks, before Cabinet reviews how we are tracking and makes further decisions on 11 May.

At Alert Level 3 we must be vigilant. We can keep working together to unite against COVID-19 by sticking to the rules. Read more on what Alert 3 means at covid19.govt.nz.

The most up-to-date information on New Zealand alert levels can be found at the New Zealand COVID-19 site.

Update Regarding Your New Zealand Visa:

We understand that many of you have encountered issues when trying to extend your visa status. Below is some helpful information from the New Zealand Immigration website:

I am in New Zealand unlawfully because I was unable to depart before the expiry of my temporary visa due to the impacts of COVID-19. What do I do?

If you currently do not hold a valid visa to remain in New Zealand (your visa has already expired) you should send an email outlining your circumstances to s61@mbie.govt.nz. Please include:

  • your personal details — your full name, date of birth – and Immigration New Zealand (INZ) client number if known
  • a copy of the personal details page in your passport.
  • your contact details — email address, phone number and postal address
  • an explanation of your circumstances
  • what type of visa you would like — for example a visitor visa — and how long you believe you might be required to extend your stay in NZ.

 Actions to Take

  • For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting or transmitting Covid-19, please read the CDC’s latest recommendations
  • Consult your airline, cruise line, or other travel operator regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions

Assistance: 

As of 20 April, New Zealand remains at Alert Level 4. Today the Prime Minister announced that New Zealand will move to Alert Level 3, Tuesday January 28.

The most up-to-date information on New Zealand alert levels can be found at the New Zealand COVID-19 site.

Update Regarding Your New Zealand Visa:

We understand that many of you have encountered issues when trying to extend your visa status. Below is some helpful information from the New Zealand Immigration website:

I am in New Zealand unlawfully because I was unable to depart before the expiry of my temporary visa due to the impacts of COVID-19. What do I do?

If you currently do not hold a valid visa to remain in New Zealand (your visa has already expired) you should send an email outlining your circumstances to s61@mbie.govt.nz. Please include:

  • your personal details — your full name, date of birth – and Immigration New Zealand (INZ) client number if known
  • a copy of the personal details page in your passport.
  • your contact details — email address, phone number and postal address
  • an explanation of your circumstances
  • what type of visa you would like — for example a visitor visa — and how long you believe you might be required to extend your stay in NZ.

April 21 Update: U.S Consulate Closed through May 11.

Prime Minister Ardern announced yesterday that the New Zealand Alert Level will transition from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3 effective at 11:59pm on April 27, 2020.  The Prime Minister advised that New Zealand will hold at Alert Level 3 for two weeks, before the Cabinet makes further decisions on May 11.

The COVID-19 Alert Levels are determined by the New Zealand Government and specify the public health and social measures to be taken in the fight against COVID-19.

In accordance with the guidelines from the New Zealand Government, the U.S. Consulate will remain closed while New Zealand remains at Alert Level 3.  If you are a U.S. citizen and have an emergency that requires immediate services, please contact AucklandACS@state.gov.

Update: Domestic Travel is Permitted Once:

Limiting interactions with others is our best defense against COVID-19. Under Alert Level 3 people must continue to stay in their household bubbles whenever they are not at work, school, buying groceries, or exercising.

However, the New Zealand Government has announced that under Alert Level 3 individuals who were in the wrong place when the restrictions came into place, and need to relocate, can move throughout New Zealand to do so. Individuals can only move once, and in one direction.  Therefore, if you are currently on the South Island and need to move to the North Island to travel internationally, you may do so during Level 3 without having to wait until 24 hours before your international flight.

Foreign nationals may continue to undertake domestic travel in order to connect with international departures.  Note that the Cook Strait ferries cannot be used for this purpose.

April 17th update: Update Regarding Your New Zealand Visa.

We understand that many of you have needed to prolong your trip to New Zealand as a result of COVID-19.  The government of New Zealand has extended all temporary visas as a result of the epidemic.  If your visa was set to expire between 1 April and 9 July 2020, then it should have already been extended to late September.  All U.S. citizens who have received this extension should have already received the email notifying you of the extension.  If you have not received a notification, you should contact the New Zealand Immigration Contact Center at 0508 558 855.

If you now wish to work while in New Zealand because your situation has changed, you must have the appropriate work visa to do so. You can apply for a work visa by visiting the NZ Immigration website for application information and contact the New Zealand Immigration Contact Center at 0508 558 855 with any further questions.  You can also find plenty of information at the New Zealand COVID-19 site.

April 7th update: Foreign Nationals Allowed to Transit Through New Zealand.

New Zealand will “..be adopting a strict criteria in determining who can transit New Zealand, which protect public health and meet New Zealand’s #COVID19 level four requirements.” Find out what these are here: https://www.beehive.govt.nz.

April 2nd update: IMPORTANT UPDATE for U.S. Citizens in New Zealand regarding domestic air travel:
https://covid19.govt.nz/latest-updates

March 28th update: Information on Domestic Air Travel Suspension.

The Government of New Zealand announced that domestic flight transfers en route to international departures are no longer permitted as of midnight 27 March. As of March 28, travelers seeking to leave New Zealand or one of its surrounding Pacific islands must be able to leave directly from their port of international departure (e.g. Auckland). If you are not already at your port of international departure, we recommend that you prepare to shelter in place and follow the host government’s instructions for managing your health security for the duration.

March 27th update: Domestic Air Travel Suspension.

On March 26, the Government of New Zealand announced that domestic flight transfers en route to international departures will not be permitted after midnight 27 March. After March 27, travelers seeking to leave New Zealand must be able to leave directly from their port of international departure (e.g., Auckland). If you have a flight leaving from a different city than where you are, you need to make your way to that city immediately. Otherwise, you could risk having to stay in New Zealand until the lockdown is lifted, no less than four weeks from now.  If you require accommodation while waiting for your onward flight, these hotels continue to provide services during Level 4 lockdown.

Information from the Government of New Zealand.
After midnight Friday 27 March domestic travel will only be permitted for the transport of people undertaking essential services and the transport of freight. Non-essential service travellers will not be permitted to take domestic flights to connect with international flights after this time.
Public transport is only available for those working in essential services, and for medical reasons. Travellers will need to check with public transport providers in their locations about options for travelling to the airport.

Assistance: 

 

The Prime Minister has announced that New Zealand is now at COVID-19 Alert Level 3 and will move to Alert Level 4 in 48 hours. More information is available at https://covid19.govt.nz/. Please prepare.

Most of you have questions about your flights. Can you fly, where can you transit, what are the rules, what are the flight availabilities, how do you book or reschedule? We have to refer you to your airline’s customer service. Air New Zealand has answered many questions on their website ➡️ https://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/travel-alerts

If you have questions about travel to the USA, this is your resource. There are emergency phone numbers and country-specific information, as well as details about what the “Level 4 Global Health Alert” means. Important information to read to decide whether to travel back to the USA or stay where you are ➡️ https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html

You may have questions about what to do in NZ, what services are affected, what does Level 3 and Level 4 mean? All the information you need is on this website above. Stay calm, stay healthy, be kind. ➡️ https://covid19.govt.nz/