Visa factsheet 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 application fee and the requirement to provide evidence of funds or sponsorship, and onward travel.

Overview

Overview

Duration

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


With this visa 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.
Criteria

Meeting the criteria

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 application fee and the requirement to provide evidence of funds or sponsorship, and onward travel.

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

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Identity

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 submitting a paper application form in China, you must also provide a supplementary form for Chinese citizens.

Supplementary form for Chinese citizens (INZ 1027) PDF 306KB

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 322KB

You should also provide a copy of 

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

Please also provide a copy of your Identity card.

Health

You must be in good health

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

When you need 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.

Character

You must be of good character

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

If you’re aged 17 and over, and will stay in New Zealand for more than 24 months (this includes any time you have already spent in New Zealand), you must provide police certificates from:

  • your country(s) of citizenship
  • any country(s) you've spent more than 5 years in since turning 17.

You don't 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 obtain a police certificate

Bona fide

You must genuinely intend to meet the conditions of your visa

When we assess if you’re bona fide, we’ll consider all of the information that:

  • you provide to support your application
  • we have about your personal circumstances and any previous applications.

Bona fide

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.

Partnership
Dependent children

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

Process

Process

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

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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.

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Visa conditions

Visa conditions

If you are granted a visa, there are conditions that you must meet. These visa conditions are described below.

Travel

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.

Work

You can’t 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.