- This is not current policy -
The policy in this manual ceases to be effective from 29 November 2010.
To see the current Immigration New Zealand Operational Manual go to
E3.5.1 Definition of 'permit'
Immigration Act 1987 ss 2(1), 4(2), 35AB
- Subject to paragraph (b), a permit is an endorsement by an immigration officer in a passport, or a certificate of identity which confirms that the holder:
- is a person who requires a permit to be in New Zealand, and
- may lawfully remain in New Zealand while the permit is current.
- Where provision is made for the grant of permits by electronic means, any permit granted by that means will be electronically entered and retained in the records of the Department of Labour. Permits granted by electronic means must specify the following information:
- the name of the permit holder;
- the passport number of the permit holder, or where the holder is accepted without a passport, the holder's date of birth (if known);
- the date on which the permit is granted;
- either the date on which the permit will expire, or the period for which it is granted;
- such other matters including conditions, as may apply in respect of the permit.
E3.5.5 Types of temporary permit
Immigration Act 1987 s 24
Immigration Regulations 1999 sch 1(parts 5&6)
- The following types of temporary permit may be granted:
- visitors' permits (see V2)
- work permits (see W2)
- student permits (see U6).
- A visitor's permit entitles the holder to be in New Zealand while the permit is current, for any lawful purpose apart from:
- undertaking employment, or
- undertaking course(s) of study or training with the exception of short-term study (see V2.30 and U2.5(b)).
Examples: Holidaying, sightseeing, family and social visits, amateur sport, business consultations, undergoing medical treatment.
- A work permit entitles the holder to be in New Zealand or within the exclusive economic zone of New Zealand while the permit is current in order to undertake employment.
- A student permit entitles the holder to be in New Zealand while the permit is current in order to undertake a course of study or training.
E3.5.10 Grant of permit a matter of discretion
Immigration Act 1987 ss 9, 34E(c), 35
- No person other than those listed in E2.18 is entitled to a temporary permit as a matter of right.
- The following matters are subject to the Minister's discretion or, unless there is a special direction in which the discretion is reserved to the Minister, the discretion of the appropriate immigration officer:
- whether to grant a temporary permit to any person and (if so) for what period, and
- what conditions to impose on the temporary permit (other than those already imposed by section 27(1) of the Immigration Act 1987: see E3.5.20), and
- whether to vary or cancel any conditions of a temporary permit, and
- whether to revoke a temporary permit.
- Subject to the provisions of the Immigration Act 1987, on an application for a permit made in the prescribed manner, the Minister or appropriate immigration officer may grant any type of permit as thought fit, regardless of the type of permit applied for. In particular, if a temporary permit is applied for, the Minister or immigration officer may:
- grant a temporary permit of another type to that which was applied for; or
- grant a limited purpose permit.
E3.5.12 Grant of temporary permit where issue of visa was subject to payment of bond
Immigration Act 1987 s 27(1A), 27(1B)
If the issue of a visitor's visa is subject to the payment of a , any visitor's permit granted at the border and any further temporary permits (of whatever type) granted will be subject to the same bond.
E3.5.15 Currency of temporary permits
Immigration Act 1987 ss 26(1) and (2), 30 Immigration Regulations 1999 reg 23
- Unless there is a special direction to the contrary (see E7.25), an individual temporary permit must not be granted for longer than:
- (in the case of a visitor's permit) 12 months, or
- (in the case of a work permit) 5 years, or
- (in the case of a student permit) 4 years.
- Since the periods listed in paragraph (a) relate to individual permits and not to the maximum length of stay, further individual permits may be granted, provided that temporary entry policy is met.
- Every temporary permit must be endorsed with:
- the date on which it comes, or is considered to have come, into force, and
- either the date on which it expires or the period for which it is granted.
E3.5.20 Conditions to which temporary permits are subject
Immigration Act 1987 s 27
- All temporary permits are subject to conditions:
- prescribed by regulations made at any time before a permit is granted; or
- imposed by special direction given under section 27 at any time before, at the time when, or after a permit is granted.
- Permit holders other than work permit holders must not undertake employment in New Zealand or within the exclusive economic zone of New Zealand.
- Permit holders other than student permit holders must not undertake a course of study or training in New Zealand, other than a single course of study or training of not more than 3 months' duration.
- A condition may be imposed by special direction under section 27(5) that a permit holder must undertake employment only in a particular area, industry, trade, occupation or profession, or with a particular employer (see W2.25).
- A condition may be imposed by special direction under section 27(6) that a permit holder must undertake a course of study or training only of a particular kind, or in a particular place, or with a particular person (see U2.10(c)).
E3.5.25 Conditions of temporary permits may be varied
Immigration Act 1987 s 27
- Any condition of a temporary permit may be varied or cancelled, by special direction, at any time.
- If any condition is cancelled or varied, or any new condition is imposed:
- the permit holder must be notified by:
- personal service; or
- registered post addressed to the permit holder's New Zealand address; or
- delivery to their solicitor, if applicable; and
- the cancellation or variation or new condition takes effect from the date given in the notice.
E3.5.30 Changing a temporary permit
Immigration Act 1987 ss 29, 30(2)
- A temporary permit holder may apply for a permit of another type at any time before the current permit expires.
- If a temporary permit holder consents, they may be granted a temporary permit of another type instead of a further temporary permit of the same type.
E3.5.35 Further temporary permits
Immigration Act 1987 s 30
- A temporary permit holder may apply for a further permit of the same type at any time before the current permit expires.
- If the applicant consents, the Minister may grant a temporary permit of another type instead of a further temporary permit of the same type.
- If a further temporary permit is granted, it comes into force on the earlier of:
- the date the current permit expires (whether before or after the date of the grant of the new permit); or
- a date specified by the Minister or immigration officer.
E3.5.40 Permit or exemption expires on leaving New Zealand
Immigration Act 1987 ss 41, 127
- A temporary permit expires when the holder leaves New Zealand.
- If a holder of a temporary permit leaves New Zealand, and before arriving in any other country is forced to return to New Zealand because of an emergency or other circumstances beyond their control, an immigration officer must, upon application by that person, grant a temporary permit to that person until a date at least 14 days after their return.
- An exemption from having to hold a temporary permit expires when the holder of the exemption leaves New Zealand.
- If a person who is exempt from having to hold a temporary permit leaves New Zealand, and before arriving in any other country is forced to return to New Zealand because of an emergency or other circumstances beyond their control, that person, if not still otherwise exempt, is exempt from having to hold a temporary permit for a period of 14 days after their return.
E3.5.45 Revoking a temporary permit in the case of administrative error
Immigration Act 1987 ss 32, 35AB(6), 35F
An immigration officer may revoke a temporary permit if an administrative error in granting the permit is detected within the issuing office or in the arrival hall at the customs place, provided that the holder has not taken the permit out of the issuing office or customs place.
- A temporary permit is granted as a result of administrative error if:
- it is granted to a New Zealand citizen or a person who is exempt from having to hold a permit; or
- it is granted to a person to whom section 7 of the Immigration Act 1987 applies; or
- the person granting it intended to grant a permit of some type other than the one that was actually granted; or
- it is granted contrary to any special direction or to any instruction of a kind referred to in section 130(5) of the Immigration Act 1987; or
- it is granted contrary to Government policy, in terms of section 13A(1) of the Immigration Act 1987, that is applicable at the relevant time; or
- it is granted for a period longer than that prescribed for permits of that type by the Immigration Regulations 1999; or
- it is granted on the basis of an administrative error (of any of the types (i) to (vi) above) in determining an earlier application for a visa or permit.
E3.5.50 Revoking a temporary permit if the holder breaches permit conditions
Immigration Act 1987 s 33(1)
An immigration officer with Schedule 2 delegations or above may revoke a temporary permit if the holder breaches any of its conditions, particularly those relating to attendance and compliance, or for any other sufficient reason. (See Compliance for revocation procedures.)
Examples: the holder of a student permit who fails to attend their place of study without reasonable excuse, or the holder of a visitor's permit who undertakes employment without authority.