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Wednesday, April 21

Waiver of permit fees for stranded travellers

Immigration New Zealand is to waive fees for people needing permits to remain in New Zealand because of the flight delays to Europe, Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman announced today.

Dr Coleman says that fees have also been waived for those travellers with visas to New Zealand that are about to expire and are unable to travel here because of the disruptions caused by the Icelandic volcano.

‘'We are very sympathetic to the plight of those travellers who have been stranded because of the huge disruptions to flights,'' Dr Coleman says.

‘'Airlines are looking to recommence normal services, but there will still be a backlog of passengers. We don't want to cause any further unnecessary stress to tourists by charging them money to stay in New Zealand longer than they were expecting.''

Dr Coleman says that anyone who has paid for a further visa or permit in the last few days may be eligible for a refund and should contact Immigration New Zealand straight away.

People who need to extend their permits because of the flight disruptions will need to fill in a visitor permit application form.

They can download the form at www.immigration.govt.nz under Latest News or phone the Immigration New Zealand contact centre on 0508 558 855.  Applicants will also need to enclose a copy of their itinerary.