Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) is an important part of New Zealand's measures to keep COVID-19 out of the country. Most travellers to New Zealand isolate for two weeks in secure accommodation as part of this border protection measure. More information can be found on the official MIQ website.
- A MIQ voucher does not give you the right to enter New Zealand. Our borders are closed to everyone, except New Zealand citizens and residents, unless you qualify for an exception.
- Spaces in MIQ are limited. You may not be able to secure a voucher on your preferred date. Some emergency allocations are available.
- Vouchers for MIQ are gradually released in batches over several weeks and months.
- Your voucher and intended flight must be confirmed in the MIQ system before booking your flights.
- You cannot choose the city or facility you will go to.
- Some people need to pay for managed isolation.
MIQ will be an important step in the process of educators moving to New Zealand under the upcoming border exception for 300 qualified overseas teachers.
Given what is happening in other sectors, we anticipate the process will look like this:
- Secure a role in a New Zealand school/centre that meets the eligibility criteria for a border exception teacher.
- Employing school/centre applies for a border exception visa for your role.
- Work with ep.education and your employing school/centre to submit visa requests to Immigration New Zealand (this process could take up to 11 weeks).
- Secure a MIQ voucher and book your flights (please note: flights cannot be booked until an isolation place is confirmed).
Current communication from Immigration New Zealand suggests the cost of MIQ for teachers will need to be met by the employing school/centre. This is the case for previously issued critical purpose visas.
The current state of MIQ:
At the time of publishing this blog, there are no MIQ spaces available to book through to the end of November 2021. However, the MIQ website notes: "Vouchers for MIQ are gradually released in batches over several weeks and months. There are still more rooms to be released for September, October and November... Vouchers for December will be released once airlines have confirmed their schedules."
Many travellers allowed to come to New Zealand are finding it difficult to secure managed isolation rooms. This is due to both demand and computer programmers who have created code that books available spots moments after they are released. This has seen Kiwis abroad missing out on spots or having to pay third parties increasingly higher rates for access to bookings.
The New Zealand Government is looking at a range of alternatives for MIQ booking. MIQ deputy chief executive, Megan Main, said they will "be making a change to make it more fair... but ultimately, when we've got more people wanting to come than we've got space it's going to be difficult." Pressure is being put on the Government by Kiwis overseas to reform the MIQ booking system, increase capacity, or consider alternatives for travellers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Want to learn more about the upcoming border exception for teachers? Sign up for our free webinar on August 9th.