61A Grant of visas by special direction

(1)

The Minister may at any time of the Minister’s own volition, by special direction, grant a visa of any type to a person who—

(a)

is outside New Zealand; or

(b)

is in New Zealand and holds a temporary entry class visa.

(2)

The Minister may at any time of the Minister’s own volition, by special direction, grant visas of any type to a class or classes of persons who—

(a)

are outside New Zealand; or

(b)

are in New Zealand and hold temporary entry class visas.

(3)

A visa may be granted under subsection (1) or (2) even if the grant is contrary to immigration instructions.

(4)

However, the Minister—

(a)

may not make a special direction under subsection (1) unless satisfied that the grant of the visa does not materially disadvantage the person to whom it is granted:

(b)

may not make a special direction under subsection (2) unless satisfied that—

(i)

doing so is reasonably necessary to manage the effects, or deal with the consequences, of—

(A)

the outbreak of COVID-19; or

(B)

measures taken under this Act or any other enactment to contain or mitigate the outbreak of COVID-19 or its effects; or

(C)

any other measures (whether in New Zealand or elsewhere) to contain or mitigate the outbreak of COVID-19 or its effects; and

(ii)

the grant of the visas does not materially disadvantage the class or classes of persons to whom they are granted.

(5)

A special direction under subsection (2) may, without limiting the generality of the manner in which persons may be classified, classify persons to whom a visa is granted by reference to all or any of the following:

(a)

their nationality:

(b)

the country or place from which they are travelling or have travelled (whether it be their original or an intermediate point of departure):

(c)

whether or not they hold, or are required to hold, any particular type of travel or immigration documentation, by whomever issued:

(d)

any type of visa that they hold or have applied for.

(6)

A special direction under subsection (2)—

(a)

must, along with an explanation of the effect of the special direction, be notified in the Gazette and published on an Internet site maintained by or on behalf of the Department; and

(b)

is a disallowable instrument, but not a legislative instrument, for the purposes of the Legislation Act 2012 and must be presented to the House of Representatives under section 41 of that Act.

(7)

This section is repealed at the close of 15 May 2023.

Section 61A: inserted, on 16 May 2020, by section 9 of the Immigration (COVID-19 Response) Amendment Act 2020 (2020 No 15).

Section 61A(7): amended, on 11 May 2021, by section 8 of the Immigration (COVID-19 Response) Amendment Act 2021 (2021 No 14).