If you do not leave New Zealand before your visa expires

You are not allowed to stay after your visa expires. Find out how to avoid being unlawfully in New Zealand and what you can do if you are.

When your visa expires

You can find the date your visa expires in your passport or the eVisa letter you received when we granted your visa. You must leave New Zealand on or before this date.

If you stay after your visa expires

You are breaking the law if you stay after your visa expires. You:

  • cannot work or study, and will have to pay for your health care
  • may not be able to come back to New Zealand again if you are here without a visa for 42 days or longer
  • risk being detained or deported.

Your actions can also affect other people. For example, if family members or other people help you to stay in New Zealand they:

  • commit an offence under the Immigration Act, and
  • may put their own immigration status at risk.

The longer you stay after your visa expires, the greater the risk you run of being deported and of not being able to return to New Zealand in the future.

Actions you can take after your visa expires

You can:

  • leave the country immediately, or
  • make a request for a special temporary or resident visa under Section 61 of the Immigration Act, but only if you believe you have a special case.

Making a Section 61 request

Requests under Section 61 are only granted in some cases. If you have already received a deportation order we cannot grant you a visa under Section 61.

How to make a request

Make your request in writing. Explain your circumstances as fully as possible and provide any appropriate evidence to support your request.

The information you need to provide includes:

  • your personal details — your name, date of birth and Immigration New Zealand (INZ) client number
  • your contact details — email address, phone number and postal address
  • an explanation of why you are still in New Zealand after your visa has expired — for example, tell us why you could not return to your home country or go to another country to apply for a new New Zealand visa
  • details of your personal circumstances, such as your family or work, that support your reasons for wanting to stay in New Zealand
  • how staying in New Zealand could contribute to our country, particularly if you would like to stay here for a long time
  • what type of visa you would like — for example a visitor or study visa — and how long you would like to stay.

Supporting documents

Include a copy of the personal details page in your passport. There are no other documents you must provide. You do not need to send us your original passport.

Submitting your request

You cannot apply online. Use our online tool to find out where to send your application, how much it costs and how long it will take to process. Search for 'Section 61'.

Fees, decision times and where to apply

You do not pay a fee unless your request is approved.

How we assess your request

The process for assessing your request is different from assessing a visa application. All requests are handled by a senior immigration officer at the INZ Manukau Area Office.

Under the law, the officer has no obligation to consider your request and does not have to:

  • provide any reasons for their decision
  • make any enquiries about the information you provide in support of the request or about other information INZ holds about you
  • grant a visa of the type or length you asked for — for example, they can give you a visitor visa instead of a work visa
  • grant a specific visa even if you seem to meet the criteria for that visa.

How long it takes to assess your request

Each case is different and there is no time frame for assessing Section 61 requests.

If we refuse your request

You must leave New Zealand immediately. If you do not depart voluntarily, we can serve you with a deportation order and deport you.

Deportation liability and appeal rights

Appealing the decision

You cannot appeal a Section 61 decision. You can apply to the High Court for judicial review of the decision, but the judge can only consider INZ's decision-making process and not your circumstances.

If we approve your request

We approve your request in principle. You must pay the correct fee for your visa, and for anyone else included in your request, before we issue your visa.

Use our online tool to find out what you will pay for your visa if we approve your request in principle. Search for 'Section 61' and select the type that applies to you.

Fees, decision times and where to apply

We will contact you to ask for the fee if you have not given us your credit card details.