24 Mar 2021

Returnees must stay longer in NZ to bypass MIQ fees, govt announces

2:33 pm on 24 March 2021

The amount of time returning New Zealand citizens and residents will need to stay in the country to avoid paying managed isolation fees is set to increase.

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Photo: 123RF

From 1 June those returnees will need to remain in the country for at least 180 days - about six months - otherwise they will be liable to pay the fee of $3100 for their 14-day stay in managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ).

It extends the current 90-day rule, where returning New Zealand citizens and permanent resident who have not been in New Zealand since 11 August 2020 and stay in the country for 90 days are exempt from the charges.

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) said that the change would support the government's aim of making the managed isolation system more financially sustainable.

The change was estimated to affect about 3 percent of returning New Zealanders.

The government will also introduce other fees increases to take effect from tomorrow for temporary entry class visa holders.

Holders who are partners, spouses, legal guardians or children (under 18) of New Zealand citizens or residents, or a critical health worker, and are sharing an MIQ room with that person, will remain liable to pay the lower MIQ additional person rates ($950 for an additional adult in room, $475 for a child, aged 3-17).

However, where they are travelling separately, the temporary entry class visa holder will be charged the higher fees of $5520 for the first or only person in a room, $2990 for an additional adult, and $1610 for an additional child.

MBIE can grant a full or partial waiver of managed isolation fees in cases of financial hardship or other special circumstances, or arrange an instalment plan or deferment of payment, for anyone entering the country who is liable for MIQ fees (except critical workers), the ministry said in its statement.

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