When you need an x-ray or medical examination

If you’re applying for a New Zealand visa, you may need to get a chest x-ray and/or medical certificate as proof of your good health. We use x-rays to check for tuberculosis (TB) and medical examinations to check for other medical conditions.

When you need to have a chest x-ray

You're from or have visited a country that has risk factors for TB

If you’ll be staying in New Zealand for 6 months or more, you’ll need to have a chest x-ray if either of the following applies to you:

  • you’re a citizen of a country that doesn't have a low incidence of TB
  • you’ve spent more than 3 months in the last 5 years in a country that doesn't have a low incidence of TB.

Countries with a low incidence of TB

You’re applying for a Recognised Seasonal Employer Limited Visa

If you’re applying for a Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Limited Visa, you’ll need to have a chest x-ray no matter how long you’ll be staying.

You'll be staying for more than 12 months

If you’ll be coming for more than 12 months or you're applying for residence, you’ll need to have a chest x-ray no matter where you’re from.

If you’re applying for another visa while you’re in New Zealand, the time you’ve already spent here will count towards the 12 months.

Different rules apply if you're applying for a Student Visa.

You're applying for a Student Visa

If you're applying for a Student Visa, you'll need to have a chest x-ray if one of the following apply to you:

  • you'll be staying 6 months or more, and you’re a citizen of a country that doesn't have a low incidence of TB
  • you'll be staying 6 months or more, and you’ve spent more than 3 months in the last 5 years in a country that doesn't have a low incidence of TB
  • you'll be staying 12 months or more, and you’re applying for a Student Visa to be a PhD, NZ Aid or exchange student.

Countries with a low incidence of TB

Evidence of your chest x-ray

When you’ve had your chest x-ray, you’ll need to provide evidence you’ve done so.

This can be done by providing us with an eMedical reference number, or a medical certificate.

Evidence you're in good health - medical certificates
Getting an x-ray or medical examination

When not to get a chest x-ray

You'll be staying less than 6 months

If you’ll be staying in New Zealand for less than 6 months, you don’t need to get a chest x-ray unless you’re applying for an RSE Limited Visa, or we ask you to.

Children younger than 11 and pregnant women don’t need to have a chest x-ray unless a special report is needed.

You're applying for a Student Visa

You don't need to get a chest x-ray if you're:

  • from any country and staying for less than 6 months
  • from a country with a low incidence of TB and coming for more than 6 months as a foreign fee paying student. In the last 5 years you can’t have spent more than 3 months in a country with a high incidence of TB.

Countries with a low incidence of TB
Fee Paying Student Visa
Pathway Student Visa

You had a chest x-ray for an earlier visa application

If you sent us a chest x-ray certificate with an earlier visa application, you don’t need to have another x-ray unless either:

  • it’s been more than 3 years since you had the last one
  • since you had the last x-ray, you spent more than 6 months in a row in a country that doesn't have a low incidence of TB.

Countries with a low incidence of TB

When to get a medical examination

You’re staying in New Zealand for more than 12 months

You must provide a medical certificate if you’ll be staying in New Zealand for more than 12 months, or applying for residence.

If you are in New Zealand, the time you’ve already spent here will count towards the 12 months.

Different rules apply if you're applying for a Student Visa.

You're applying for a Student Visa

If you'll be staying for more than 12 months, you must have a medical examination if any of the following apply: 

  • you’re applying for a Student Visa to be a PhD, NZ Aid or exchange student
  • you’ve used intravenous drugs
  • you’ve had a blood transfusion
  • you’ve been exposed to a serious infectious disease
  • we ask you to have one.

You're applying for an RSE Limited Visa

Seasonal workers applying for an RSE Limited Visa who are from a country with risk factors for HIV must have a medical examination.

Countries with HIV risk factors

Evidence of your medical examination

When you’ve had your medical examination, you’ll need to provide evidence you’ve done so.

This can be done by providing us with an eMedical reference number, or a medical certificate.

Evidence you're in good health - medical certificates
Getting an x-ray or medical examination

When not to get a medical examination

You’ll be staying for less than 12 months

If you’ll be staying in New Zealand less than 12 months, you don’t need to have a medical examination unless:

  • you’re applying for an RSE Limited Visa
  • we ask you to have one.

You’re applying for a Student Visa

If you’re applying for a Fee Paying Student Visa or Pathway Student Visa, it doesn’t matter how long you’ll be staying in New Zealand, you won’t need to have a medical examination unless:

  • you’ve used intravenous drugs
  • you’ve had a blood transfusion
  • you’ve been exposed to a serious infectious disease
  • we ask you to have one.

Fee Paying Student Visa
Pathway Student Visa

You had a medical examination for an earlier visa application

If you sent us a medical certificate with an earlier visa application, you don’t need to have another medical examination unless:

  • it’s been more than 3 years since you had the last one
  • you weren’t assessed as having an acceptable standard of health at the time
  • we need a different kind of medical certificate than the one you provided.