For more information regarding any of these special categories please contact a Migration Matters consultant today at
New Zealand is a great place to visit, not only does it have cosmopolitan cities it also has unmatched natural beauty only hours away. You may want to visit New Zealand for a short time simply to enjoy the experience or you may want to visit before deciding whether you would like to relocate permanently.
You may wish to visit family and friends, or attend business meetings or a special event such as a sports or cultural meet, if you fall into the following categories you will need a visitor visa to New Zealand:
- If you are not a New Zealand citizen, or resident holding a current resident return visa;
- You are not an Australian citizen or resident holding a current resident return visa;
- You do not have special exemption;
- You are not from a visa free country and visiting for the specified time;
To be eligible to come to New Zealand as a visitor there are a number of requirements you need to meet before you get here and others you must meet during your stay.
To enter New Zealand you need:
- to be in good health and of good character;
- a passport that's valid for at least three months past the date you are to leave New Zealand;
- to be a genuine visitor/tourist, in other words you have plans to leave and can prove this;
- proof that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay;
- to have the right visa for your visit.
There are other requirements for people who are coming under one of New Zealand's special visitor categories. These requirements are set out in the Application for Visiting New Zealand form (NZIS 1017).
In some cases New Zealand may ask you to pay a bond - a sum of money that you will get back when you leave - or New Zealand may offer you a Limited Purpose Visa.
What is a Visitor's Visa?
This is an endorsement in your passport that will allow you to travel to New Zealand. It shows that you have permission to travel to New Zealand and that you may be granted a visitor's permit when you arrive. The visa may be valid for one journey (single) or for more than one journey (multiple).
What is a Visitor's Permit?
This is an endorsement in your passport or, where the permit is granted via NZIS Online Services, an electronic record that will be retained by the Department of Labour and may be con?rmed in writing on request. It states the expiry date of
your permit and allows you to:
When do you not need a Visa or Permit to visit New Zealand?
- visit as a tourist, see friends and relatives;
- study (one course of up to three months);
- play sport or perform in cultural events without pay;
- undertake a business trip;
- undertake medical treatment.
You do not need a visa or permit to visit New Zealand if you are:
How to apply for a Visitor's Visa or Visitor's Permit?
- a New Zealand citizen or residence permit holder; or
- an Australian citizen or resident who holds a current Australian resident return visa; or
- exempt from the requirement to hold a permit to be in New Zealand.
The arrival card you complete as you enter New Zealand is an application for a visitor's permit.
You may also apply for a visitor's permit if you are in New Zealand as a visitor and wish to stay longer, or are a worker or student wishing to holiday after your employment or course. If you are the holder of a visitors' permit and wish to extend your stay in New Zealand you may be able to apply for a further visitor permit by using NZIS Online Services.
How long can I stay in New Zealand?
A visitor may stay a total of nine months in an 18 month period. If you have stayed in New Zealand for a total of nine months in the last 18 months, you are required to remain out of New Zealand for nine months before returning as a visitor.
However, you may qualify for a further three months if you have ?nancially supported yourself, not worked or studied or been sponsored throughout your stay. If you stay a total of 12 months in the last 24 months, you are required to remain out of New Zealand for 12 months before you can return as a visitor.
While you are in New Zealand
If you're granted a Visitor's Permit you need to meet certain conditions during your stay:
- you may not work while you are in New Zealand (unless you apply for and are granted a Work Permit);
- you must keep within New Zealand's laws;
- you must only stay in New Zealand for the time allowed by your permit.
If you break any of these conditions the New Zealand Government may require you to leave the country immediately.
Before you can enter New Zealand, the New Zealand Government may require proof of your plans to leave at the end of your visit. The kind of proof government looks at is that you have:
Funds to support yourself
- confirmed or open-dated travel tickets out of New Zealand to a country you may rightfully enter;
- a letter from an airline or travel agent to say your travel has been booked and paid for;
- a declaration by a New Zealand that they'll meet the cost of your travel back to your home country once you've completed your visit.
Before you can enter New Zealand, the New Zealand Government may require proof that you can support yourself during your visit. The kind of proof the government looks for is that you have access to:
- NZ $1000 per person for each month of your stay; or
- NZ $400 per person for each month, if your accommodation is already paid for - you will need to show proof, for example, hotel prepaid vouchers.
Evidence of funds can be:
- travellers cheques
- bank drafts
- a recognised credit card with sufficient available credit.
The government may consider a certificate from a reputable travel agency if you are travelling as part of a group.
If you are a citizen of one of the following countries which have visa waiver agreements with New Zealand, you do not need to apply for a visitor's visa if you are visiting New Zealand for up to three months (a "visa waiver visitor").
* Portuguese passport holders must have the right to live permanently in Portugal
** including nationals of the USA
*** residents of Hong Kong travelling on Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or British National (Overseas) passports.
If you are a British citizen or British passport holder who has evidence of the right to live permanently in the United Kingdom, you may be granted a visitor's permit valid for six months on arrival. People travelling to New Zealand on United Nations (UN) laissez-passers for a period of up to three months are exempt from the requirement to obtain a visitor's visa.
If you are a visa waiver visitor, you must:
- hold a valid ticket to a country you have the right of entry to; and
- have sufficient money to support yourself during your stay; and
- hold a passport valid for three months beyond the date you are leaving New Zealand; and
- only visit New Zealand for the time granted on arrival.
If you wish to visit for a longer period you will need to apply for a visitor's visa.
Limited Purpose Visa
The New Zealand Government may offer you a Limited Purpose Visa instead of a Visitor's Visa where the Government needs to be sure you will meet the terms of your permit.
A Limited Purpose Permit will expressly state the reason for your visit and the date by which you must leave New Zealand. The government is able to bring forward the expiry date if the reason or event for which you are visiting New Zealand for occurs before the original expiry date.
A Limited Purpose Permit has other added restrictions. You're not able to:
Special Visitors Category
- apply for a different type of permit while you're here, for example, a Work or Student permit;
- request the Minister of Immigration to review your permit as a special case;
- appeal at any time the conditions of your permit.
Some types of visitors may have additional allowances or restrictions on the time they can stay in New Zealand. Or they may need to provide additional evidence for the reason for their trip.
- Antarctic travellers
- Business visitor
- Children already adopted overseas
- Children to be adopted by New Zealand citizens or residents
- Conference delegate
- Crew members joining vessels or aircraft
- Culturally arranged marriage
- Dependent children of New Zealand citizens or residents
- Group visa
- Guardians of students
- Law students and graduates of the Federal Republic of Germany
- Partners and dependent children of student or Work Visa/Permit holders
- Partners of New Zealand citizens and residents
- Players in tournaments
- Residence applicant seeking occupational registration
- Seeking medical treatment / consultation
- Travelling by private yacht or aircraft
- Visiting Media Programme