If you fall under one of the following categories, check to see what extra evidence or conditions are required, or what allowances are provided.
People travelling between mainland New Zealand and the Ross Dependency do not require additional visas, once they have legally entered New Zealand (see V3.50 of our operational manual).
Applicants seeking entry to New Zealand to obtain occupational registration may be granted a visitor visa (or in the case of nurse from the Philippines, a work visa). Those lawfully in New Zealand waiting on a residence application can undertake the necessary training for New Zealand registration on a visitor visa. The training can be for up to three months: if you need longer you must apply for a student visa.
Performers and direct support staff attending an 'approved' arts or music festival do not need to apply for a work visa. Instead they can get a visitor visa provided they meet the general visitor requirements.
When applying for a visitor visa, applicants must also provide evidence that they will be performing at an approved arts and music festival. They must hold a letter of invitation when they travel to New Zealand.
Those here to discuss or negotiate business arrangements and who stay no longer than three months in any year need not apply for a work visa. Instead, they can get a visitor visa by meeting the general visitor requirements.
Note: This includes but is not limited to producers scouting potential film locations and clients overseeing the filming and production of TV commercials.
Children aged 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.
The adoption must be supported by Child Youth and Family of the Ministry for Social Development. We’ll also need to see the child’s birth certificate and proof of the adoptive parents’ New Zealand citizenship or residence. The initial visa will allow a stay of six months.
Conference organisers usually arrange for the arrival of delegates. Contact your conference organiser for details.
Visitors from visa-required countries can be granted a visa of 28 days while they travel to New Zealand to join their craft.
Your visa will allow you to stay for three months, during which time you must be married. Your intended partner must be in New Zealand for the time you are here and must complete a Form for Supporting Partnership-Based Temporary Entry Applications (INZ 1146) PDF, and your intended partner must meet the character requirement for partners supporting ‘partnership-based temporary entry applications’. There must be no legal obstacle to the marriage and you need to prove that it follows an accepted cultural tradition.
Dependent children can be granted visitor visas if their parent will be in New Zealand for the same length of time and supports the children’s application. If a child is travelling alone or with one parent we may need proof of their right to leave their home country, such as custody or guardianship papers. We may allow dependent children to stay for up to 2 years.
Escorts of patients visiting New Zealand for medical treatment or consultation may be granted a visitor visa to stay for the same length as the patient. To qualify for a visa, a patient escort must either be a medical professional, a family member or a friend of the patient and must be required due to the nature of the condition (also see visitor visa for seeking medical treatment or consultation below).
We may grant law students and graduates of the Federal Republic of Germany a visitor visa for up to six months if they are to be an unpaid observer in a New Zealand law firm. They will need to provide proof of an offer of the position.
Performers and direct support staff of high-end musical acts that are promoted in New Zealand by an Approved Music Promoter do not need to apply for a work visa. Instead they can get a visitor visa provided they meet the general visitor requirements. Performers from visa–waived countries can get a visitor visa on arrival in New Zealand provided they meet standard entry requirements.
See the Checklist for approved music promoter list [PDF, 213KB] for further details.
It is possible to get a single visa for a group that shares the same travel plans and itinerary. All group members must be travelling together and be here for the same purpose. The group must also 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 (eg 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 one month stay each visit.
The following durations will generally apply:
If you have family members in New Zealand and you wish to visit them, you may apply for a visitor visa under normal visitor instructions to allow you to travel to New Zealand, or you may travel to New Zealand visa-free if you are a ‘visa waiver visitor’.
However, if you are the parent or grandparent of a New Zealand citizen or resident you may like to have the flexibility of a multiple entry visa, to allow you to visit your child or grandchild several times over a three-year period. To do this, you may apply for a visitor visa under the parent and grandparent multiple entry visitor visa (see V3.110 in our operational manual).
To be eligible for a visa under these immigration instructions, you must apply from outside New Zealand, and you will need to complete full medicals and meet normal character requirements (you may include your partner in the application but not your children). Your New Zealand sponsor* will need to complete the Sponsorship for Temporary Entry (INZ 1025) PDF and must guarantee to meet the cost of your maintenance, accommodation, repatriation (if necessary) and healthcare costs (if required).
If the application is approved you will be granted a three-year multiple entry visitor visa, authorising stay for a visit of six months from your date of arrival. You will not be able to extend the visa, however you will be able to enter and leave New Zealand during the validity of your visa, as long as you do not remain in New Zealand for more than 18 months during the validity of the visa.
For more information, see our FAQs.
The owners and crew of super yachts may be granted a visitor visa for a stay of up to six months and are not considered to be undertaking employment. . If required, further visitor visas may be granted on application allowing a total stay of up to 12 months.
If you are the parent or legal guardian of a student enrolling in school years 1 to 13, or who is aged 17 years or younger, you may be granted a guardian visa so you can live with and care for the student. If you need to stay longer than 12 months, your visa can be renewed for further 12-month periods as long as the student continues his or her studies, until that student reaches the age of 18 years.
If you fail to live with and care for the student, either by withdrawing your support or moving away, you may become liable for deportation. If the student you are caring for is required to be accompanied by a guardian, that student may also become liable for deportation.
Guardian visa holders are not eligible for the grant of any type of student visa or a work visa under the Essential Skills or Specific Purpose or Event categories. However, they can apply for a variation of conditions to their visitor visa to allow study or work part-time while their child is at school.
Most partners and dependent children of student or work visa holders can be granted a visitor visa for the same duration as their partner or parents' stay. However, this does not apply to you if your partner or parent holds a work visa granted under the following immigration instructions:
If your partner or parent holds a work visa granted under any of these instructions, you must meet our general requirements for a visitor visa.
To apply for a visitor visa, partners must show they are in a genuine and stable relationship, and the New Zealand resident or citizen must complete a Form for Supporting Partnership-Based Temporary Entry Applications (INZ 1146) PDF.
If you are coming to New Zealand for medical treatment or consultation you will need a visa, even if you are from a visa-free country. You will need to complete the form Details of Intended Medical Treatment (INZ 1009) PDF. We also require evidence to show that you have been accepted for medical treatment, information about the cost of your treatment, and evidence of how it will be paid for. If the medical treatment requires it, we may extend the visa beyond the initial six months.
Sports people competing in sports events and those associated with the success of these events, such as match and tournament officials, can enter New Zealand on visitor visas, as long as their stay is for three months or less. Longer stays will require work visas.
Media and broadcasters accredited to cover a sport event or tournament can enter New Zealand on visitor visas, as long as their stay is for three months or less. Longer stays will require work visas.
The Temporary Retirement Category is designed for those who wish to invest in New Zealand and stay here longer than what the visitor instructions allow. Successful applicants will be granted a two-year multiple entry visitor visa that allows for travel in and out of New Zealand.
Visitors who arrive at a New Zealand entry point that does not have Customs service must report immediately to an immigration officer to complete an arrival card. Visitors may be permitted to stay longer than usual if they need to make repairs or to wait out the hurricane season.
Journalists on the Visiting Media Programme can work in New Zealand for up to one month on a visitor visa. If they are from a visa-required country, they will need to provide a letter of introduction from the New Zealand Tourism Board with their visa application.
Visiting academics coming to New Zealand to undertake activities of a pedagogical, educational, professional management or research nature, can enter New Zealand on visitor visas, as long as their stay is for three months or less (or multiple short stays amount to three months or less per calendar year). Longer stays will require work visas.
Visiting academics will need to provide a letter of invitation from the Tertiary Education Institute where they plan to undertake the academic work.
If your employer is named on your work visa and you have received a dismissal notice during the 90-day trial period under section 67A of the Employment Relations Act 2000 you may be eligible for a visitor visa.
To be eligible for a visa under these instructions, you are required to hold a work visa which specifies your employer, have an employment agreement which includes a trial period and have received a dismissal notice within that trial period. Applicants applying under these instructions must also meet general visitor visa requirements.
A visitor visa under these instructions may be granted for up to three months. You can only be granted a visa once under these instructions.
Partners of dismissed work visa holders will no longer be eligible to hold a visitor, work or student visa granted on the basis of their partner’s employer-specific work visa. Therefore, partners of dismissed work visa holders may be included in their partner’s visitor visa application under thee instructions.
Student instructions allow school-age dependent children of holders of a special category visitor visa to continue to hold their student visa and attend school as domestic students for the duration of their parents’ special visitor visa.
View the Operational Manual to see the wording of these instructions.
Office and fees finder
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