Immigration & visa requirements

What travel documents will you need?

Well before you leave for your trip, check to make sure you have all the travel documents you will need – and that they are all up-to-date.   

Here is an outline of the documents New Zealand immigration authorities may want from you. But for more complete and detailed information on passports and visas – and how to obtain a visa – you should visit www.immigration.govt.nz or contact them using the address or phone numbers given below.

If you don’t have the right visa when you arrive, you may not be allowed to come into New Zealand.

Passport

To enter the country you must have a passport and it must be valid for at least three months past the date that you intend to leave New Zealand.

Visitor’s visa

In addition to a valid passport, you may also need a visitor’s visa which allows you to stay in the country for up to nine months. This visa does not permit you to work for gain or reward while you are in the country. If you break any of the visa’s conditions you may be asked to leave the country. 

Other types of visa include the following.

Transit visa

Needed by some travellers passing through New Zealand in transit.

Specific purpose work visa

For tour guides, group leaders and similar people working for gain or reward while in New Zealand.

Student visa

International students studying in New Zealand for more than three months need a student visa. Those studying for less than three months need to apply for a visitor’s visa instead.

Limited purpose visa

The limited purpose visa places specific restrictions on the terms of your visit.

Special category of work visa

Long term business visas allow self-employment in New Zealand for periods of up to three years.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the visas available. For full details go to www.immigration.govt.nz.

This description was last updated on: Friday, 02 March 2012

Detailed information related to Immigration & visa requirements

Not everyone needs a visa to enter New Zealand.  

  • Australians do not need visas nor do New Zealand citizens returning home.
  • Certain other classes of individuals – such as diplomats and transiting airline personnel – do not generally require visas.
  • Citizens from designated visa-free countries do not need visas, provided their stay does not exceed three months. The exception to this is UK citizens – they may stay for up to six months without a visa. 

If you are not from a visa-free country, you will need to apply for a visitor’s visa before you come to New Zealand.

This detail was last updated on Friday, 15 April 2011

Take the quick check to see whether you need a visitor’s visa to come to New Zealand; and check the list of visa-free countries.

This detail was last updated on Friday, 15 April 2011

When you apply for a visitor’s visa, you will need to provide proof that: 
  • you are in good health
  • you are of good character
  • the visa you are applying for matches the intentions of your trip
  • your passport will be valid for at least three months after you leave New Zealand
  • you intend to – and have the means to – leave New Zealand within the period of your permit
  • you have enough money to support yourself during your stay.
 

Evidence of funds

You will need to prove you have a minimum of NZ$1,000 per person per month of your visit – or NZ$400 per person per month if accommodation has been paid in advance. Immigration New Zealand will require proof that accommodation has been paid. 

Medical insurance

Though you will be reasonably well covered for personal injury by accident under New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Scheme (ACC), it is not comprehensive. ACC does not cover all possible medical and hospital expenses, nor any loss of earnings. So, although comprehensive medical insurance is not compulsory in order to get a visa, we strongly recommend that you invest in full cover for the period of your visit.

This detail was last updated on Friday, 02 March 2012

People who may be denied a New Zealand visa include those:

  • who don't meet the basic requirements outlined above
  • who have committed serious crimes 
  • whose applications are incomplete
  • who submit false information.

This detail was last updated on Friday, 15 April 2011

The maximum stay with a visitor’s visa is nine months in any 18-month period. If you want that extended you should contact Immigration New Zealand. 

The maximum stay for citizens of visa-free countries is three months per visit (six if you are from the United Kingdom) and no more than six months in any 12-month period.  

Those wishing to stay longer per visit should apply for a visitor’s visa.

This detail was last updated on Thursday, 12 May 2011

You can apply for a visa online at www.immigration.govt.nz. Here you will find all the forms and information you need, as well as useful checklists to help you complete and lodge your application.

Alternatively, you can contact your closest New Zealand Embassy, High Commission or consular representative. You will find their contact details on the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website www.mfat.govt.nz.

Or you can write to:

Immigration New Zealand
PO Box 3705
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

Or contact them by phone:

from the United Kingdom​ 09069 100 100​
from outside New Zealand but not from the UK​ +64 9 914 4100​
from New Zealand (but not Auckland) ​ 0508 558 855​
from Auckland​ 09 914 4100 ​
 

What about family?

Visa applications can include your spouse or your partner, and any dependent children up to the age of 19. Older children and non-dependants will need to make their own visa applications.

This detail was last updated on Friday, 02 March 2012

If you answer 'Yes' to any of the following questions, you do not need a visitor’s visa.

  • Are you a New Zealand or Australian citizen?
  • Are you a New Zealand resident with a returning resident visa?
  • Do you have a current Australian permanent residence visa or a current Australian resident return visa? (Note: If you hold an Australian temporary or provisional residence visa, then you will require a visitor’s visa).

Are you from one of the following visa-free countries and visiting for three months or less (UK – six months): 

Andorra​ Argentina​ Austria​
Bahrain Belgium​ Brazil​
Brunei​ Bulgaria​ ​Canada
Chile​ ​Cyprus Czech Republic​
Denmark​ Estonia​ Finland​
France​ Germany​ Greece​
Hong Kong​ Hungary​ Iceland​
Ireland​ ​Israel ​ Italy​
Japan​ Korea (South)​ Kuwait​
Latvia​ ​Liechtenstein ​ Lithuania*​
Luxembourg​ Malaysia​ Malta​
Mexico​ Monaco ​ Netherlands​
Norway​ Oman Poland​
Portugal​ Qatar​ Romania​
San Marino​ Saudi Arabia​ Singapore​
Slovak Republic​ Slovenia​ South Africa​
Spain​ Sweden​ Switzerland​
Taiwan​ United Arab Emirates​ United Kingdom​
Uruguay​ Vatican City​ United States of America​
  

This is not a complete list nor does the Quick Check contain all the relevant information. It is a general guide only and there are some instances where special conditions apply. 

For full details of visa exemptions, and for the most complete information on all your immigration and visa requirements for visiting New Zealand, please go to www.immigration.govt.nz.

This detail was last updated on Tuesday, 19 April 2011

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