My mum and her friend entered NZ on 15th March on a visitor visa approved for 5 months. Their flight back and tickets

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Customer: Hi, my mum and her friend entered NZ on 15th March on a visitor visa approved for 5 months. Their flight back and tickets purchased were for 9th August. However, due to Covid19, their airline cancelled all direct flights from NZ to Doha, Emirates till 24th October, so they can't fly back with the initial flight. Instead, the same airline is offering them flight back via Australia, but on 16th August, meaning they would overstay their visa for 1 day.
JA: What steps have your mum and her friend taken? Has she filed any paperwork with the government?
Customer: We are not sure what steps to take. Should we apply for another tourist visa for just 1 day extension? Is there any other way we can have them legally approved to stay in NZ for one more day and not having to pay for another visa application fee, please?
JA: Have your mum and her friend talked to a lawyer about the visa?
Customer: Not yet.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The passengers are in their 60ies and 70ies, they arrived for family visits only, so had no intension to work or anything else like that, just to visit and respect their visa terms and NZ law
Answered by Chris The Lawyer in 18 hours 2 years ago
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Hi
I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington and will help you with your question today. Please give me a minute to read your question
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

There are two options. One is to contact Immigration and tell them about the change in the flights and ask them to extend the visas.i don’t believe they are charging fees for these issues caused by Covid 19. The second option is to do nothing because Immigration won’t take any action to enforce the overstaying if they are leaving the day after and on the first available flight
Customer
Hi Chris,
Thank you for the reply. We will contact Immigration to advise and check about the fees. It really sounds unreasonable having to sibmit another visa application for just 1 day extension and pay nearly 500 nzd for the fees for circumstances out of our control, caused by Covid19.
As sponsors, we are worried that, if we do not submit new applications, my mum and her friend's passports are stamped as overstaying visa conditions and this affects their further travels elsewhere or new travels and visa applications for NZ visit next time and us undergoing certain bans or restrictions for breaking NZ law. Should we be concerned about any of this, please? Is there any Act we could refer to in case any of the issues that worries us occurs please?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Holders of a work, student, visitor, limited or interim visa with an expiry date of 2 April to 9 July 2020 inclusive who were in New Zealand on 2 April 2020 will have had their visas extended to 25 September 2020. This was under the original Epidemic Management Notice. A confirmation of this was emailed to all visa holders.
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

That is too early for them but I think they will be treated the same since that was the first flight out
Customer
As they entered NZ on 15th March, they do not fall into that cathegory where visas are extended to 25th September. Our travel agent says there are flights going on 2nd and 9th August,but they are not available. The first one he could rebook the tickets for was the one for 16th August.
Are we all taking serious risks if not applying for another visa, that's our crucial concern?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

You are not taking risks because of the unusual circumstances. There will be many in a similar position so they could just contact Immigration and tell them about the problem.
Customer
Much appreciated for your time and patience.
Thank you.
Kind regards,
Marijana
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