MIQ changes 15.09.21

MIQ changes and further availability announced 15 September

The Government announced on Wednesday 15 September 2021 changes to New Zealand’s MIQ booking system and what the availability will look like up until Christmas of this year. Recently, MIQ bookings have been temporarily suspended since New Zealand went into its most recent Level 4 lockdown.  We now know that 3,000 rooms will become available on Monday 20 September and a further 4,000 rooms each fortnight up until Christmas.

Yesterday’s announcement confirmed the next release of MIQ bookings will recommence from Monday 20 September 2021.  However, the system will differ from how bookings have previously been secured. The new process will involve a draw type system by Immigration New Zealand and booking release dates and time will now be announced in advance.  Under the old process, bookings would be released without notice and availability was on a first in first serve basis.  However, the new process will involve a ‘Virtual Lobby’ type scenario whereby you must login to your MIQ registration via the website and enter the Virtual Lobby up to one hour in advance of a release. INZ will undertake a draw which will create a randomise queue for those in the Virtual Lobby.

For those of you who are ready to book a MIQ space, here are some tips relating to the process in preparation for Monday’s release:

  1. Check on flight availability into New Zealand from your location. Understand what dates you possibly can book into MIQ based on those flights.
  2. Ensure you have registered on the MIQ website and ensure your passport number connected to that login is correct!  If you login with an incorrect passport number, you will have to log out of the Virtual Lobby and try again which can cause issues.
  3. Ensure you login to your MIQ registration between 8am and 8:59am on Monday 20 September 2021.  If you login from 9am or after you will join the very end of the queue and are very likely to miss out.
  4. At 9am, INZ will randomise a draw and allocate those in the Lobby with a place in the queue.  The draw is randomise and not based on first in first severed basis. Remain in the Virtual Lobby until the draw is complete and you see your allocated queue number.
  5. You can only login with one passport number.  Therefore, if you have a partner ensure they are included within your registration online and only use the passport number you connected to your registered account with MIQ.
  6. If you are successful in the draw and based on your allowed queue spot, you will be shown the available room dates and can select your preferred dated based on your flight availability. You will have 48 hours to complete the booking which will allow you time to book flights to coincide with this MIQ date and then finalise your MIQ booking. If you do not complete the MIQ booking within 48 hours, it will be cancelled.
  7. If you are in the Lobby and have been successfully allocated a spot in the queue and the rooms have been filled prior to your turn, you will get a notification stating the rooms have been filled and that you have missed out this round.

For all of the details of the new process, visit the website here: https://www.miq.govt.nz/travel-to-new-zealand/secure-your-place-in-managed-isolation/the-managed-isolation-booking-system/virtual-lobby/

If you have any questions relating to this process or other general visa questions feel free to get in touch with myself on 03 441 0616 or chantal.ryan@awslegal.co.nz. Good luck!