Are there any special rules for Australian citizens and residents?

If you are an Australian citizen, you will usually be allowed to live, work or study in New Zealand and will not need to apply for any type of visa before travelling.

You will need to:

  • Be of good character; and
  • Show a valid Australian passport on arrival to New Zealand ; or
  • Hold a foreign passport endorsed with an Australian declaratory visa as evidence of your Australian citizenship.

If you are an Australian permanent resident entering New Zealand, you will normally be granted a residence class visa on arrival. This will allow you to enter and stay, work and study in New Zealand, provided you have completed your arrival card correctly and truthfully. 

In most cases Immigration New Zealand systems will recognise Australian permanent resident visas automatically, however there may be times that your Australian visa is not picked up. We advise for you to carry a print-out of your Australian visa if possible.

You can still be refused residence however if you are not of good character. You will be required to make a character declaration by completing the character section of your arrival card.

Good character for residence visas

On your arrival – New Zealand Customs Service Te Mana Ārai o Aotearoa

If you hold an Australian permanent resident visa,  you will need to hold an NZeTA before you travel to New Zealand.


Can I get a New Zealand permanent resident visa issued in my passport?

Please consult the visa factsheet for information on the visa application process and requirements.

Permanent resident visa

An additional fee is payable if you wish to have a physical visa label rather than an eVisa.

Visa sticker for passport

What if I hold a temporary Australian resident visa?

If you are a temporary Australian resident, you may need a visa to visit New Zealand. You will need to assess your ability to travel without a visa.

If you wish to study, work or live in New Zealand, you will need to hold an appropriate visa before you travel to New Zealand.

Explore visa options

How do I make sure I am granted a New Zealand resident visa when I enter New Zealand?

If you hold an Australian permanent resident visa, to ensure that you are granted a New Zealand resident visa when you arrive you will need to follow the steps below.

  • correctly complete the relevant question in section 7 on your arrival declaration card;
  • carry a print-out of your Australian permanent resident visa with you;
  • go to the primary line when you arrive in New Zealand  (not the e-Gate or SmartGate);
  • explain to the Customs/Immigration Officer that you are applying for a resident visa.

This process is especially important if you already hold a temporary visa (e.g. visitor, student or work visa) for New Zealand.

What about other government services (like healthcare, pensions, and so on) that may be available to Australian citizens/residents?

As we are only able to advise you on matters concerning immigration, we recommend that you contact the relevant government organisation for information on any services they may provide to Australian citizens/residents.

Guide to finding and using government services