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Medicals and police certificates for asylum seekers Thursday, 19 December 2019

When refugee and protection claimants apply for a temporary visa, we will pay for a chest x-ray and may accept a statutory declaration if they cannot provide police certificates.

Who will have their chest x-rays paid for

We will pay the cost of getting an x-ray for refugee and protection claimants, and their partners and dependent children who have applied for a temporary visa.

Why we are paying for chest x-rays

We recognise that getting health certificates can impose financial hardship on vulnerable individuals, some of whom do not have the ability to cover the cost of getting a medical certificate. We have therefore decided to pay for chest x-rays for refugee and protection claimants who apply for temporary visas as asylum seekers.

We will also pay for a chest x-ray for claimants’ partners and dependent children who were present in New Zealand at the time the claim was submitted, irrespective of whether they are included in the claim.

It is important that refugee and protection claimants and their families who apply to remain in New Zealand for longer than 12 months and who have not undergone testing for tuberculosis are tested.

Changes to health rules

We have changed the health instructions to require chest x-rays only. The requirement for a general medical certificate has been removed for refugee and protection claimants who apply for temporary visas.

Police certificates

Refugee and protection claimants applying for a temporary visa must provide police certificates from their country of citizenship and any other country they have lived in for 5 or more years.

If asylum seekers and refugees cannot get police certificates

Immigration officers have the delegated authority to waive the requirement for a police certificate. They can only do this on a case-by-case basis, and must be satisfied that such certificates are not available or would be very difficult to get.

In some cases we may accept a statutory declaration if:

  • an applicant cannot provide police certificates, or
  • requesting a police certificate may place the applicant, their family or any other person in any danger from their country of citizenship.

We recognise that some applicants may not be able to pay for their police certificates or for the cost of an interpreter to help them complete a statutory declaration. In early 2020, we will consider a process for providing financial relief for this.

Further information

Find information how to apply for asylum, and get guidance about the requirements and process.

Information for asylum seekers