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‘Interim visas’ are a new type of visa introduced by the Immigration Act 2009. From 7 February 2011, they may be granted to maintain a person’s lawful status in New Zealand, where he or she:
The aim is to benefit visitors, foreign students and workers who wish to extend their stay in New Zealand.
To be eligible for an interim visa, a person must hold a valid temporary visa when their application for another temporary visa is accepted by Immigration New Zealand.
In most cases an interim visa will be granted automatically by electronic means. No visa label will be placed in a person’s passport. A person will be notified by email or by letter if they have been granted one. The interim visa will be valid until the date a person’s application for a temporary visa is decided (up to a maximum of six months).
No fee or form is required for an interim visa and a person cannot apply for one. The holder cannot apply for a visa of any other class or type while the interim visa is current.
An interim visa cannot be used for travel. This means that if the holder of an interim visa leaves New Zealand, his or her visa will automatically expire.
Whether the holder of an interim visa can work or study is shown by the conditions of the interim visa. These conditions depend on the visa he or she held previously, and the type and conditions of the visa applied for. The table on the following page describes the type of interim visa conditions that may be granted, according to the visa held and the visa applied for.
Lucy has a visa to work for a specific tourism company as a specialist tour guide in New Zealand for a year. Her boss is keen for her to stay on for another year, so Lucy puts in a new work visa application for her current job. This is accepted for processing. However, Lucy’s application cannot be processed before her visa expires, and she is granted an interim visa that allows her to remain in her current job while her application is decided. The interim visa does not allow her to change her job or work for a different company.
No one is entitled to an interim visa as a matter of right. Whether or not to grant an interim visa to any person is a matter for the absolute discretion of the relevant immigration officer or of the Minister of Immigration. There is no right of appeal against a decision not to grant an interim visa.
Note: Open work conditions are conditions that allow work in any occupation, for any employer, in any location in New Zealand. Open work visas include several types of applications: asylum seeker, working holiday maker, graduate job search, partnership, partner of a worker, partner of a student, and victim of domestic violence. Open student conditions are conditions that allow study in any course, at any educational institute, in any location in New Zealand.
See our questions and answers on interim visas.
Disclaimer: Every care has been taken to ensure the information in this factsheet is accurate. While the use of the information in this factsheet may assist you to apply for temporary entry to, or residence in New Zealand, applications will be assessed by Immigration New Zealand according to the requirements of the Immigration Act 2009.