Getting to know immigration policy

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) regularly amends and updates immigration policy. We publish those updates online and make them available to the public and advisers.

Operational Manual

We call immigration policy ‘immigration instructions’. We publish all immigration instructions in the Operational Manual.

Read the Operational Manual online
Read the previous Manual (effective to 29 November 2010)


Administration PDF 1001KB
Temporary Entry - Part one PDF 932KB
Temporary entry - Part two PDF 2MB
Border Entry PDF 452KB
Compliance PDF 635KB
Residence PDF 2MB
Refugees and Protection PDF 562KB
Transit Visas PDF 413KB
Appendices PDF 1MB

Amendment Circulars

We regularly update the Operational Manual to reflect changes to immigration instructions. We publish upcoming changes in Amendment Circulars. The changes detailed in Amendment Circulars are incorporated into the Operational Manual on the day they come into force.

Policy Amendment Circulars

Internal administration circulars

Internal administration circulars (IACs) explain internal processes and procedures to immigration staff. We publish IACs when we need to clarify instructions in the Operational Manual.

IACs are available from 2008 onwards

Advice to immigration staff

‘Advice to immigration staff’ is regular advice given to staff about how to interpret and apply immigration instructions. 

We update advice to reflect best practice as immigration instructions change. We publish advice to immigration staff monthly.

Advice to staff