Genuine intentions to visit, study or work in New Zealand

Before you can get a visa or enter New Zealand to visit, work or study we check that your reasons for coming here are genuine.


What genuine intentions are

Evidence to include with your application

How we make a decision

If we decide your intentions are not genuine

What genuine intentions are

When you travel to New Zealand on a temporary visa you must have genuine reasons for visiting that match what you tell us in your application.

We use all the information we have, including the information you give us in your application to confirm that you:

  • plan to stay in New Zealand temporarily
  • are coming for the reason you gave in your visa application, arrival card or traveller declaration
  • will comply with the conditions of your visa
  • will not stay in New Zealand without a valid visa, and
  • can leave New Zealand at the end of your stay.

You must answer truthfully when you complete your visa application, arrival card or traveller declaration.

Visitor visas

If you are travelling on a visitor visa or visiting from a visa waiver country, your reasons for coming to New Zealand can include:

  • a holiday
  • staying with family and friends
  • playing amateur sport
  • attending a job interview
  • getting married.

If you have a special visitor visa, you must visit for the specific reason your visa was granted. For example, if you have a Medical Treatment Visitor Visa, you can only visit to get medical treatment.

Evidence to include with your application

Here are some examples of evidence that you can include in your application, that help show you have genuine intentions to visit New Zealand.

Evidence of your travel history

Provide a copy of your current and recent passports, including:

  • the photo page, and
  • all pages with visa records, and entry and exit stamps.

If you live in a different country to your citizenship

If you live in a country that is not your country of citizenship, provide a copy of the visa allowing you to live in that country.

Declined visa applications

If you have ever had a visa application declined by any other country, provide:

  • a copy of the letter from that country's immigration authority declining your application, or
  • a letter explaining why your application was not successful, if the original letter is not available.

Evidence you are visiting family or friends

If you plan to visit family or friends in New Zealand, provide their:

  • names
  • contact addresses and phone numbers, and
  • their New Zealand visa or citizenship status.

Evidence of your travel plans

Provide evidence of your plans while in New Zealand. This could include copies of:

  • hotel and accommodation bookings
  • attraction bookings, or
  • transportation bookings.

Evidence of your home country circumstances

Provide evidence of your work, study and living arrangements. This will help us decide if you are likely to return to your home country at the end of your visit.

Depending on your circumstances, you could include:

  • evidence of your employment, such as a letter from your employer approving your leave and confirming your return to work, and financial evidence of your employment.
  • evidence showing you are a student in your home country, such as a letter or student identity card from your school or other education provider.
  • evidence of your relationships with close relatives in your home country.
  • evidence of assets you own in your home country, such as your home or a business.
  • a retirement certificate or evidence you receive a pension.

Provide good quality evidence

Include all the evidence that you want us to consider. We decide each case based on the information and evidence provided. If you do not provide enough evidence it may take us longer to process your application, or we may decline your application.

You must provide genuine evidence. If you or your agent provide counterfeit evidence or false information, we may decline your application.

If your evidence is not in English provide a translated copy, as this will help us to process your application faster.

Providing English translations of supporting documents

If you are applying online make sure your evidence is in an acceptable file format.

File formats for uploading documents and photographs

False, misleading or withheld information in visa applications

How we make a decision

To decide if you have genuine intentions, we look at:

  • the the information and evidence you provide with you visa application
  • the information you provide on your arrival card or traveller declaration
  • any information we have about your personal circumstances
  • any information we have about your previous applications.

Evidence you provide with your application

We look at evidence you provide with your application to check it:

  • shows you meet all the criteria for the visa you are applying for, and
  • supports your reasons for spending time in New Zealand.

Your personal circumstances

When we assess information about your personal circumstances, we look at:

  • the strength of family relationships you may have in your home country or in New Zealand
  • any personal, financial, work or other commitments you may have in your home country or New Zealand
  • any circumstances showing you may not be able to return to your home country.

Your previous applications

We look at information from your previous applications and travel to New Zealand. This can tell us if you have:

  • stayed in New Zealand after your visa expired
  • breached your visa conditions
  • have a family member who is in New Zealand without a visa.

If we decide your intentions are not genuine

We may not grant you a visa or allow you to enter New Zealand if we:

  • do not believe your intentions are genuine
  • believe you gave false or misleading information, or withheld relevant information.

If you are refused entry to New Zealand