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 1MB

Temporary Entry - Part one PDF 3MB

Temporary entry - Part two PDF 1MB

Border Entry PDF 716KB

Compliance PDF 1MB

Residence PDF 2MB

Refugees and Protection PDF 806KB

Transit Visas PDF 611KB

Appendices PDF 3MB

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.

Search our website for articles

Tip: search for 'pak' as a minimum to get a list of advice to staff articles.