Apply for a visa

Police Certificates

Applicants for visas must be of good character. You may have to supply a police certificate (or similar) as evidence of good character, depending on which visa category you apply under.

Residence

  • If you are aged 17 years or over you must provide police certificates when you lodge your resident visa application unless there is a different instruction in the country-specific guidelines below.
  • Police certificates must be provided from your country (or countries) of citizenship, as well as any country you have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years.

Supporting New Zealand partners for residence class visas under the partnership category

  • If you are applying for residence under the partnership category your New Zealand partner must provide police certificates when you lodge your resident visa application, unless there is a different instruction in the country-specific guidelines below.
  • Your New Zealand partner must provide police certificates for every country where they have lived for 12 months or more in the last seven years (Immigration New Zealand will obtain a New Zealand police certificate for your partner from the New Zealand police directly).
  • Police certificates for your New Zealand partner must be less than six months old at the time you lodge your resident visa application.

Temporary entry visa

  • if you are aged 17 years or over and working, visiting, or studying in New Zealand for 24 months or longer you must provide a police certificate.
  • The police certificate must be provided at the time you lodge your application, unless there is a different instruction in the country-specific guidelines below.
  • You must supply a police certificate from any country you have lived in for five years or more since attaining the age of 17 years as well as your country (or countries) of citizenship.

Exceptions

You do not need to provide a police certificate if:

  • you have provided a police certificate with a previous visa application, and:
    • you make a further temporary entry visa application within 24 months of the date of issue of the police certificate
    • you make a further student visa application within 36 months of the date of issue of the police certificate
    • you make a further visa application as a partner or dependant of a student enrolled in any PhD programme within 36 months of the date of issue of the police certificate
    • you make a residence class visa application under the partnership or dependent child category within 24 months of the date of issue of the police certificate.
  • you hold a student visa and are applying for a subsequent student visa, and:
    • are younger than 20 years, and
    • held a student visa on your 17th birthday, and
    • have held student visas (or interim visas with study conditions) continuously since turning 17.

New Zealand Police Certificates

If a New Zealand police certificate is required, Immigration New Zealand will obtain one directly from the New Zealand police on your behalf. Obtaining a New Zealand police certificate can take some time, and you should apply for your visa well in advance if it's likely we'll need to obtain one.

Procedures

Police certificates must be less than six months old when you submit your application.

We may ask for further police certificates if your initial police certificate becomes a year old from its date of issue before we make a decision on your application.

Police authorities in some countries will only send the certificate direct to Immigration New Zealand. In such cases we recommend that you request your police certificate three months before you apply for your visa. We also recommend that you provide us with a copy of the receipt for the requested police certificate (if this is available) to help us to track your certificate and as evidence that the police certificate has been applied for.

Fingerprints

Police authorities in some countries require a certified set of fingerprints as part of their requirements to provide a police certificate.

If you require a set of fingerprints to apply for a police certificate you will need to approach an authorised fingerprinting provider. You must take you current passport with you when obtaining a certified set of fingerprints.

With the exception of the Auckland region, the New Zealand Police provides a fingerprinting service. For the Auckland region, this service is provided by the New Zealand Postshop branches at Wellesley Street (Auckland City) and Manukau. Police will not provide a fingerprinting service in the Auckland area.

For further information please visit the NZ Post website.

If police certificates are unavailable

If you can't get a police certificate you must provide a detailed explanation of your attempts to get one. If we are satisfied that police certificates are not available or it would be unduly difficult for you to get them (for example, the authorities of the country will not generally provide such certificates), we may instead ask you to make and provide a separate statutory declaration instead.

If a statutory declaration is required, you must describe your attempts to obtain a police certificate and state whether or not you, or any accompanying family members, have been found guilty or convicted of, or charged with offences against the law in that country. The statutory declaration should also be supported by other information about your character.

Country specific guidelines:

Countries A-D
Afghanistan Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra
Angola Anguilla Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia
Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain
Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize
Bermuda Bolivia Bosnia Herzogovina Botswana Brazil
Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Cambodia (Kampuchea) Cameroon
Canada Cape Verde Islands Cayman Islands China - People's Republic of Congo
Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Chile Cook Islands
Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Dominica Dominican Republic

 

Countries E-J
Egypt El Salvador Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands
Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia
Futuna Island Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana
Greece Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey (and Isle of Sark)
Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Honduras
Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia
Iran Iraq Ireland (Eire) Israel Italy
Ivory Coast Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan

 

Countries K-O
Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Republic of (South) Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia
Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao
Macedonia Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali
Malta Martinique Mauritius Mexico Micronesia, Federated States of
Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montserrat Morocco
Mozambique Myranmar (Burma) Namibia Nepal Netherlands
Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Nigeria
Norway Oman      

 

Countries P-T
Pakistan Panama Papua New Guinea Peru Philippines
Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Island Romania
Russia Samoa Saudi Arabia Senegal Sierra Leone
Singapore Slovak Republic Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia
South Africa Spain Sri Lanka St Christopher and Nevis St Lucia
St Vincent and the Grenadines Surinam Swaziland Sweden Switzerland
Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand
Togo Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey
Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu    

 

Countries U-Z
Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland United States of America
Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Vietnam Virgin Islands (British)
(former republic of) Yugoslavia Wallis and Futuna Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe