Information about Refugee Claimant Visitor Visa

We may grant you a visitor visa if you are a refugee or protection status claimant who is in New Zealand, while you wait for a decision on your refugee or protection status claim. We may waive the requirement to provide evidence of funds or sponsorship, and onward travel.



Length of stay

For the time it takes to decide your claim for refugee or protection status

You can

  • Stay in New Zealand while we process your claim for refugee and protection status.
  • Get subsidised public healthcare.
  • Access New Zealand support services for refugees and protected persons.  

Things to note

  • You may not work in New Zealand on a visitor visa.
  • You can include your partner, and dependent children aged 19 and under, in your visa application.
  • You must have claimed refugee or protected person status in New Zealand to be eligible for this visa.
  • Refugee claimant visitors don’t have to pay an immigration levy or visa application fee.

Meeting the criteria

The criteria and evidence below will provide you with the information you need to meet the requirements.

Use the filters to display country specific tips, under evidence, to assist you with your application

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Quarantine-free travel zones

You may come to New Zealand from a quarantine-free travel zone

Quarantine-free travel zones

You must have been the same quarantine-free travel zone for 14 days.


You must provide proof of your identity

You must provide proof of your identity:

Acceptable photos

You may provide your original passport, or a certified copy when you submit your application. If you provide a certified copy we may request your original passport to complete your application.

Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months after you plan to leave New Zealand.

If you are a citizen of China and you submit a paper application form in China, you must also complete a supplementary form.

Supplementary form for Chinese citizens (INZ 1027) PDF 270KB

If you are submitting a paper application form, you must provide a supplementary form for Hong Kong and Macao visitors, workers and students.

Supplementary form for Hong Kong and Macao visitors, workers and students (INZ 1220) PDF 450KB

Also provide your:

  • Hukou (household registration book)
  • Chinese identity card.

Also provide a copy of your Identity card.


You must be in good health

You may need to have a chest x-ray, a medical examination or both as proof of your good health.

Who needs an x-ray or medical examination

You must provide a chest x-ray completed in the last 3 months, even if you've provided one to us previously, if:

  • you have spent 6 consecutive months in China since the last x-ray certificate was issued, and
  • you are now coming to NZ for more than 6 months.


You must be of good character

You may need to provide police certificates as proof of your good character.

If you are aged 17 or older and plan to stay in New Zealand for more than 24 months (including any time you have already spent in New Zealand), you must provide police certificates from:

  • any country you are a citizen of
  • any country you have spent more than 5 years in since you turned 17.

You do not 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

How to get a police certificate

Claim for refugee or protection status

You must have made a claim for refugee or protection status

We’ll check our records for information about your claim.

Bring family

Your partner and dependent children must meet the requirements for this visa

You must provide evidence:

  • of your relationship with your partner and dependent children, like a marriage certificate and birth certificates
  • that your partner and dependent children meet the health, character and identity requirements for this visa, if necessary.

Dependent children

A family can include yourself, your partner, and dependent children 19 and under.



The information below will help you understand the process so you can plan ahead and have the best chance of submitting a complete application.

Fees & receiving centre

Fees & receiving centre

The information below will help you understand the process, timeframes and costs involved in applying for this visa, so you can plan ahead and have the best chance of submitting a complete application.



These are the conditions that you must meet once you have your visa.


You will not normally be granted travel conditions.

If you leave New Zealand, we’ll consider you have withdrawn your claim (or appeal) for refugee or protection status.


You cannot work in New Zealand on this visa.

If the Ministry of Social Development declares a seasonal labour shortage, you can apply for a one-off variation to your visa conditions to do seasonal work for up to 6 weeks.

Visa expiry

You must leave New Zealand before your visa expires.

If more time is needed to make a decision about your refugee or protection status claim, you may apply for another visa to stay in New Zealand.  You’ll need to apply before your current visa expires.