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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 — in legal terms, bona fide.

Your intentions must be genuine

When you apply for a temporary visa or permission to enter New Zealand, we must be satisfied that you have genuine reasons for coming to New Zealand on the visa you apply for, and that while you are here you will obey the law.

We must believe that you:

If we decide your intentions are not genuine

We may not grant you a visa or let you enter New Zealand if we believe that:

If you are refused entry to New Zealand

What a lawful purpose is

The lawful purpose of your stay in New Zealand depends on the visa you are applying for.

If you have a visitor visa

If you are travelling on a visitor visa or visiting from a visa waiver country, lawful purposes for your visit include:

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

Evidence that you are a genuine visitor

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.

If you have a student visa

The primary lawful purpose of a student visa is to undertake study. 

If you have a work visa

The primary lawful purpose of a work visa is to work in a legitimate job or run your own business — depending on the type of work visa you have.

How we assess your intentions

We consider:

Provide supporting documents

You must provide documents that:

Your personal circumstances

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

Your previous applications

Information from your previous applications and travel to New Zealand can tell us if you have:

Give us truthful information

You must answer truthfully when you complete your visa application or arrival card. If we believe you provided any false or misleading information, you may not be able to get a visa or allowed to enter New Zealand.

Good character for temporary visas