Several special categories of visitor visa are available. These visitor visas are granted to people who have specific reasons to come to New Zealand for a short period of time, but who are not tourists. Check below for more information on each special category.
All applicants need to meet the general visitor requirements, unless the specific category below says they are exempt. General visitor requirements include:
This category is for people associated with a Contracting Party to the Antarctic Treaty and other Antarctic travellers.
You may be granted a visitor visa valid for 12 months from first arrival in New Zealand.
To apply, you need to provide a letter from the Contracting Party to the Antarctic Treaty, confirming you are a member of, or a person associated with, an Antarctic programme or expedition. The letter may be used as evidence that you meet health and character requirements.
You are exempt from:
This category is for people coming to New Zealand for occupational registration, including people already in New Zealand awaiting the outcome of a residence application. The relevant training must be less than three months (if you need longer, you must apply for a student visa).
Note: Nurses from the Philippines seeking registration can be granted a work visa.
You may be granted a visa to stay for longer than three months if you provide satisfactory evidence that it is necessary to complete registration requirements.
To apply, you need to provide written confirmation from the appropriate registration body that you are eligible to undertake the registration process in New Zealand, and you have completed all enrolment requirements, including meeting English language requirements (if applicable).
This category is for performers and/or immediate support crews coming to New Zealand to participate in an 'approved' arts or music festival.
You may be granted a visitor visa to stay in New Zealand for three months.
To apply, you need to provide a letter of invitation from the organisers of the approved arts or music festival confirming your participation in the festival. This should state:
This category is for business visitors here to discuss or negotiate business arrangements, and who stay no longer than three months in any year.
Note: Business visitors include producers scouting potential film locations and clients overseeing the filming and production of TV commercials.
Children under 14 years of age, adopted by New Zealand citizens, must be approved New Zealand citizenship before they can travel to New Zealand. Go to the Department of Internal Affairs website for citizenship application forms and country-specific information and timeframes.
This category is for children entering New Zealand to be adopted by New Zealand citizens or residents.
Applicants may be granted a temporary visa for up to six months. In some circumstances a further visa may be granted if more time is needed to submit a full adoption order.
To apply, you need to provide:
Organisers of conferences in New Zealand usually arrange for the arrival of delegates. Organisers should contact the nearest New Zealand office of Immigration New Zealand to determine the best means of facilitating the entry of overseas delegates.
This category is for crew members from visa-required countries who enter New Zealand to join a vessel or aircraft that will then depart for another country.
You may be granted a visitor visa allowing a maximum stay of 28 days.
To apply, you need to provide fully documented evidence of your engagement as a crew member in New Zealand.
This category is for people intending to marry New Zealand citizens or residents in New Zealand.
You may be granted a visitor visa for up to three months from your date of arrival.
To be granted a visa, you need to show (through evidence or an interview) that:
This category is for dependent children of New Zealand citizens or residents.
Applicants may be granted a visitor visa for up to nine months from their date of arrival. If circumstances warrant, further visas may be granted for up to two years from their date of arrival.
To apply, you need to provide evidence that shows:
This category is for escorts of patients visiting New Zealand for medical treatment or consultation.
You may be granted a visitor visa for the same length as the patient's stay (also see ‘Seeking medical treatment or consultation’ below).
To apply, you must be a medical professional, a family member or friend of the patient, or required due to of the nature of the condition.
This category is for law students and law graduates from Germany coming to New Zealand as unpaid observers with New Zealand law firms.
You may be granted a visitor visa for up to six months.
To apply, you need to provide a written offer of a temporary position as an unpaid observer with a New Zealand law firm for a specified period (up to six months).
This category is for music performers (and their immediate support crew) being promoted in New Zealand by a music promoter on Immigration New Zealand’s Approved Music Promoter List.
To apply, you need to provide written confirmation from the Approved Music Promoter of your involvement in musical performances in New Zealand. This must include:
Performers from visa-waived countries can get a visitor visa on arrival in New Zealand, provided they meet entry requirements.
This category is for groups of people who visit New Zealand together for the same purpose.
You may be granted a visa for a one-month stay in New Zealand.
All group members must be here for the same purpose, travelling together, leave New Zealand together and have a group leader to take care of the travel arrangements. Each group member will be granted an individual visa.
If you are a tour guide, leader or escort and you will be working while you are in New Zealand, you will need to apply for a Specific Purpose work visa before you arrive. Working is any activity resulting in gain or reward, including any form of payment or benefit that can be valued in terms of money, such as board and lodging, goods (e.g. food or clothes) and services (e.g. transport).
If you are granted such a specific purpose visa, it will generally be endorsed with multiple journey conditions. This will allow you to travel to New Zealand multiple times for the duration of your visa, with a one month stay each visit.
The following durations will generally apply:
This category is for parents or grandparents (and their partners) visiting their children or grandchildren who are New Zealand citizens or residents. Children of the principal applicant or their partner may not be granted a visa under this category.
You may be granted a three-year multiple entry visitor visa allowing visits of six months from each date of arrival, provided that your sponsor intends to be in New Zealand when you visit, and supports the application. You will be limited to a maximum stay in New Zealand of 18 months in total while you hold the visa.
To apply, you must be sponsored by your child or grandchild. They must be aged 18 years or older and meet the sponsorship requirements. In cases where a child or grandchild is under 18 years of age and therefore cannot sponsor you, a parent of the child or grandchild may nevertheless sponsor you if they meet the sponsorship requirements, regardless of whether that parent is your child. Where this occurs, evidence must be provided of the relationship of the child or grandchild to the sponsoring parent.
The sponsor may sponsor only one person or one family unit (you and your partner) at one time.
You need to provide:
Note: A further visitor visa under these instructions will not normally be approved within three years of the date that the most recent visa was granted.
This category is for the owners and crew of super yachts travelling to New Zealand. A super yacht is considered to be any privately-owned yacht that is over 20 metres long and powered by motor and/or sail.
You may be granted a visitor visa allowing multiple entries and an initial stay of up to six months. If required, further visitor visas may be granted on application allowing a total stay of up to 12 months.
This category is for a person living with and caring for a foreign fee paying student in New Zealand.
You may be granted a multiple entry visitor visa allowing a stay in New Zealand of 12 months or, if the student you are accompanying is attending a programme of study of less than 12 months, a stay in New Zealand for the same period as the student's visa.
To apply, you must be the legal guardian of a person who is the holder of a current student visa and is either:
Note: Guardian visa holders who wish to work or study may apply for a variation of conditions to their visa to allow for part-time work between the hours of 9:30am and 2:30pm Monday to Friday (inclusive), or part-time study.
Only one legal guardian of the holder of a student visa will be granted a visa under this category at any one time.
This category is for partners and dependent children of student or work visa holders.
Partners of student or work visa holders may be granted visitor visas for the same period as their partner's visa, provided the visa is appropriate to their needs. Dependent children may be granted visitor visas for the same period as the parent's visa, provided a visitor visa is appropriate to their needs.
To apply, you must be of good health and character according to residence class visa application standards, and provide evidence of your relationship to the student or work visa holder.
You may not be granted a visa under this category if your partner or parent holds a work visa granted under the following categories:
This category is for partners of New Zealand citizens or residents.
The duration of your visa depends on how long you have been living with your partner at the time you apply.
Further visas may be granted for up to 24 months in total from the date the first visa was granted, if you remain living with your partner and either you want to spend more time in New Zealand or you have applied for residence (based on your partnership).
You will need to provide evidence of the following:
This category is for visitors seeking medical treatment or consultation in New Zealand. If you are coming to New Zealand for medical treatment or consultation, you must apply for a visitor visa before travelling to New Zealand even if you are from a visa-waiver country.
You may be granted a visitor visa authorising a stay of up to six months.
You may be eligible for a further visa if you need further treatment or become ill during your visit, provided you can continue to cover the medical costs.
This category is for sports people, support staff, match and tournament officials and media and broadcasting personnel undertaking engagements of no longer than three months. If you are associated with a sports event, tour or tournament of more than three months’ duration, you must apply for a work visa prior to travelling to New Zealand.
You may be granted a visitor visa allowing a stay of 3 months.
Depending on your role you are undertaking, you will need to demonstrate the following to apply:
This category is for visitors aged 66 years or over who wish to invest in New Zealand and stay longer than allowed on an ordinary visitor visa.
You may be granted a Temporary Retirement visitor visa for up to two years, allowing multiple journeys. If granted this visa, you must maintain acceptable travel and/or health insurance for the duration of your stay.
To apply for this visa, you must:
This category is for people who arrive on a private craft.
Note: If you arrive at a New Zealand entry point that does not have Customs service, you must report immediately to an immigration officer to complete an arrival card.
If you are not departing by commercial transport you must provide the following:
If your yacht or aircraft needs to undergo refitting or major repairs, or you are travelling by yacht and wish to wait out the South Pacific hurricane season (October to April), you may be granted a visitor visa to stay in New Zealand beyond the maximum period normally allowed.
This category is for participants in the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise or New Zealand Tourism Board's Visiting Media Programme (VMP).
If you are participating in the VMP, you are exempt from having to hold a work visa for one month from their date of arrival (provided you meet the criteria below). If you wish to stay in New Zealand for longer than one month you must apply for a work visa.
If you are from a visa-required country, you must apply for a visitor visa and provide a letter of introduction from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise or the New Zealand Tourism Board. If you are from a visa-waiver country, you may undertake employment associated with your VMP for one month from your date of arrival.
This category is for academics undertaking activities of a pedagogical, educational, professional management or research nature.
You may be granted a three-month visitor visa.
Pedagogical, educational, professional management or research activities include:
To apply, you need to provide a letter of invitation from the institute or institutes you plan to work at confirming:
Note: You must apply for a work visa before travelling to New Zealand if you wish to stay for longer than three months, make multiple visits with a total duration of more than three months in any calendar year or undertake any work not listed above.
This category is for holders of current work visas dismissed during a trial period. Partners and dependent children may be included in the application.
You may be granted a visitor visa for up to three months.
To apply, you must be the holder of a current work visa who:
Note: School-age children of holders of a special category visitor visa may attend school as domestic students for the duration of their parents' special visitor visa.
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Visitor Visa Application
Visitor Visa Guide
Visitor Visa Application for Auckland Region Applicants
Passengers and Crew of Ships
Medical and Health forms
Form for Partners Supporting Partnership-based Temporary Entry Applications