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Communtity Law Manual | Immigration | Christchurch shootings: People directly affected and their families

Family violence, vulnerable migrants, and other special visa policies

Christchurch shootings: People directly affected and their families

Special visa category for people affected by Christchurch shootings and their families

INZ Operational Manual: Residence, S4.30

Immigration New Zealand has created a special residence visa category for those directly affected by the shootings at the Masjid Al Noor Mosque and Linwood mosques, as well as their families. It’s called the “Christchurch Response 2019” category.

You can apply for permanent residence under this visa category if you were present at either mosque during the attacks on 15 March 2019, or if you’re an immediate family member of someone who was there.

Immediate family includes the following people:

  • If you were present at the shootings, and you’re an adult, your immediate family includes your partner, your dependent children, your partner’s parents, and your partner’s dependent children
  • For children who were present at the shootings, immediate family includes your parents, your brothers and sisters (if they’re still dependent on your parents), and your grandparents.

To be able to apply, you must have been here on a resident, work or student visa on 15 March, or you’ll need to show Immigration New Zealand that New Zealand was your main home at that time. You won’t qualify if you were in the country as a tourist, or only visiting for a short time.

If you didn’t have a valid visa on 15 March 2019, an option open to you is to apply for a visa as a special case (a “section 61” application ) – for more information, see “If you’re here illegally: Understanding your options” in this chapter.

Immigration New Zealand will confirm that you were present at the mosque attacks by checking police records.

You have up to 23 April 2021 to apply for the Christchurch Response 2019 visa.

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