Refused entry into New Zealand

There are certain conditions that all temporary visitors to New Zealand must meet in order to be eligible for entry.

15 January 2023
2 minute read

The responsibility is on the visitor to satisfy Immigration New Zealand that they meet all of the entry requirements at the time they travel to New Zealand: 

  • To hold a genuine and valid passport.
  • To be of good character, including a personal history that shows they are a law-abiding citizen.
  • To be of good health.
  • To have sufficient funds to support their stay in New Zealand - namely at least $1,000 a month for maintenance and accommodation, or $400 a month if the accommodation has been prepaid.
  • To have a genuine, bona fide and credible reason for visiting New Zealand.
  • INZ must believe that the person will abide by the conditions of any visa granted to them, including not undertaking work while in New Zealand (this includes any activity undertaken for gain or reward).
  • INZ must believe that the person is genuinely intending to depart New Zealand at the end of their stay.
  • Evidence of means to leave New Zealand (which can include actual travel tickets).

The main reasons people are refused entry include, not being considered to be genuine (bona fide) temporary entrants, for example, likely to breach the conditions of any visa granted or remain in New Zealand unlawfully.

Another reason is not meeting character requirements for the grant of a visa (normally by not declaring serious criminal convictions, deportation or exclusion from a foreign country on arrival).

All passengers who are refused entry permission are liable for turnaround and subject to Section 313 of the Immigration Act 2009 which means that they liable for arrest and detention.

Section 315 of the Immigration Act 2009 allows an Immigration Officer to consider releasing the passenger on Residence and Reporting Requirements rather than having them arrested under S313. However, the decision as to whether to offer or agree residence and reporting requirement is a matter for the absolute discretion of an immigration officer. This option is subject to strict guidelines. The officer makes a decision as to whether the passenger meets the threshold to be released on reporting conditions in conjunction with these guidelines, and in consultation with a senior border officer.