When you need to provide a police certificate

To show you are of good character, you may need to provide us with police certificates. Whether you need to provide police certificates depends on the visa you apply for and how long you will spend in New Zealand.

Applying for a visitor, student or work visa

If you’re aged 17 and over, and will stay in New Zealand for more than 24 months (this includes any time you have already spent in New Zealand), you must provide police certificates from:

  • your country(s) of citizenship
  • any country(s) you’ve lived in for more than 5 years since turning 17.

If you are applying for a visitor or work visa, or for an Exchange Student Visa, you don’t need to provide police certificates if:

  • you have provided them to us with an earlier visa application, and
  • they were issued in the previous 24 months,

If you’re applying for a Fee Paying Student Visa you don’t need to provide police certificates if:

  • you have provided them to us with an earlier visa application, and
  • they were issued in the previous 36 months.

Good Character - Temporary

How to obtain a police certificate

Applying for a resident visa

If you’re aged 17 and over, and are applying for a resident visa, you must provide police certificates from:

  • your country(s) of citizenship
  • any other country where you’ve spent 12 months or more over the last 10 years, even if you didn’t spend the 12 months all in one visit.

If you’re applying for a Dependent Child Resident Visa or a Partner of a New Zealander Resident Visa, you don’t need to provide police certificates if:

  • you have provided them to us with an earlier visa application, and
  • they were issued in the previous 24 months.

Good character – Resident

How to obtain a police certificate