Varying the conditions of a visitor visa

Visitor visas come with conditions or rules about studying, working or travelling in and out of New Zealand. Find out if you can change these conditions.

Finding your visa conditions

If you applied for your visitor visa before you came to New Zealand, your conditions are recorded in your eVisa, on the visa label in your passport, or explained to you in a letter we sent you.

The conditions for all people who come to New Zealand on a Visa waiver visitor visa — that is, you did not apply for your visa before you arrived here — are the same.

Visa waiver visitor conditions

Conditions you can change

On a visitor visa you can apply to:

  • study part time for longer than 3 months
  • take up seasonal work in the horticulture or viticulture industries, or
  • change how often you can travel to another country and return to New Zealand before your visa expires.

Even if you change the conditions of your visa, it will still expire on the same date. If you want to stay longer you need to apply for a new visa.

You want to study

You can study part time for up to 3 months without varying your visitor visa. 

Apply for a variation of conditions if you want to study part time:

  • for longer than 3 months, or
  • study consecutive courses that last for more than 3 months in total.

If you want to study full-time, you must apply for a student visa.

Explore student visa options

You want to do seasonal work

You can apply for a variation of conditions to do seasonal work in the horticulture and viticulture industries if the Ministry of Social Development declares a seasonal labour shortage in a region of New Zealand. Seasonal work includes planting, maintaining, harvesting and picking crops in the horticulture and viticulture industries.

This means you can work for up to 6 weeks. You can only apply for a variation of conditions once on each visit to New Zealand.

Current seasonal labour shortages

The Ministry of Social Development has declared a seasonal labour shortage in the Bay of Plenty from 15 April 2019 to 27 May 2019. The current declared labour shortage in the Hawke’s Bay has been extended until 20 May 2019.

Visitor visa holders can now apply for a variation of conditions to do seasonal work for up to 6 weeks in these regions. If your visitor visa will expire while you work during the labour shortage, you also need to apply for a new visitor visa.

About this visa: Visitor Visa

Seasonal work includes planting, maintaining, harvesting and picking crops in the horticulture and viticulture industries.

Horticulture New Zealand, through its PickNZ initiative, is coordinating applications to vary visa conditions for visitors who want to pick fruit.

Work and play in Hawke's Bay | PickNZ

Work The Seasons connects seasonal job seekers with employers throughout New Zealand - you can search for jobs or register your interest on their website.

Work The Seasons Jobs | Ministry of Social Development

New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers can help you find opportunities for work in the kiwifruit industry

Find a kiwifruit job now | New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers

You want to travel to another country and return to NZ

Your visitor visa expires when you leave New Zealand.

If you need to travel in and out of New Zealand more than once you must apply for multiple entry travel conditions. You will need to explain why you need to do this when you apply.

You are the legal guardian of a student

If you hold a Guardian of a student visitor visa, you can apply for a variation of conditions to work part time, study or go home in an emergency.

How to apply for a variation of conditions

Follow these steps.

  1. Download, print and complete the application form for a variation of conditions.
  2. Use our online tool to find out where to send your application and how much it costs.
  3. Send in your application with the fee and any supporting evidence.

Application for a Variation of Conditions or a Variation of Travel Conditions (INZ 1020) PDF 287KB

Our online tool also tells you how long it normally takes us to make a decision.

Fees, decision times and where to apply

Assessing your application

Before we approve your application we check that:

  • the new conditions you are asking for align with the reason your visa was originally granted
  • you have met the conditions of your current visa, and
  • you still have a genuine intention to visit New Zealand.

Bona fide – genuine intent