Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is refunding the remaining application fees and levies for temporary visa applications that could not legally be decided due to COVID border restrictions.
INZ has already refunded about 30,000 applicants through an automated reversal of credit card payment.
Affected visa applicants do not need to ask us to do anything. If eligible for a refund INZ will email instructions to them, or their representative.
How much INZ has refunded so far
INZ refunded 75 percent of all applications eligible for lapsing (under Immigration Instructions E13). The refunds completed to date are those where the automated reversal of the credit card payment was able to be actioned.
INZ is now starting a manual refund process. Applicants will be contacted to complete an online refund form and asked to provide a bank account number for the refund to be processed to.
As at 22 December 2021, Immigration New Zealand has issued 30,445 refunds for applications eligible for lapsing. The below table outlines the breakdown of refunds issued.
Expect email notification
You do not need to do anything. If you are entitled to a manual refund, INZ will email you asking you for your banking details so INZ can process your refund.
The applications to be refunded are mainly visitor, student and work visa applications.
Applications will be lapsed and refunded if they:
Applications excluded from lapsing and refunding
Applications not being lapsed and refunded include:
This lapsing, returning and refunding is only for applications which have not been decided.
If your application was submitted and decided before the border closure, and you have been granted a visa but are unable to travel to New Zealand due to the current border restrictions, you are not eligible for your application to be lapsed or returned and refunded.
Refunding the money
Immigration New Zealand will contact applicants using the contact email address provided in the application. Refunds for the majority of applications submitted online have already been paid to the credit card the original payment was made from.
Applicants who submitted their applications through other channels which could not be refunded to a credit card will be contacted. You will be asked to complete an online refund form and provide a bank account number for the refund to be processed to.
Please note that processing a refund could take up to six weeks after we receive a completed form.
Future applications will not be adversely affected by the lapsing and returning of these applications. We cannot hold this payment for those wishing to make another visa application. A new application will need to be made.