Medical waivers for visa applications

Find out about medical waivers which let us process your residence or temporary visa application when health criteria is not met.

A medical waiver means we may still approve your visa application without the acceptable standard of health criteria being met.

There is no application form to complete for a medical waiver. We assess whether we can issue one when we process your visa application.

Acceptable standard of health criteria for visa approvals

How we decide on medical waivers

Before we consider a medical waiver assessment for your resident or temporary visa application we first check to see:

  • if you meet the rest of the visa application criteria
  • what support you would need from New Zealand’s health and education services
  • your potential benefit to New Zealand
  • what family you have in New Zealand
  • how long you are staying.

We use different criteria when we assess whether to issue medical waivers for residence and temporary visa applications.

Medical waiver criteria for temporary visa applications

We will consider a medical waiver assessment for a temporary visa application if you:

  • are applying for a work visa as a seconded business person
  • are a refugee or protection status claimant
  • have refugee or protection status in New Zealand
  • are the partner or dependent child of a New Zealand citizen or residence class visa holder. The purpose of your stay is to visit your New Zealand partner or parent. And you meet the application criteria for either Partnership or Dependent Child resident visas.

Partner of a New Zealander Resident Visa

Dependent Child Resident Visa

Medical waiver criteria for residence visa applications

There are times when we cannot issue a waiver. We must decline your residence visa application if you:

  • need dialysis, or are likely to need it within 5 years of the date of your medical assessment
  • have severe haemophilia
  • need full time care, including care in the community
  • have tuberculosis (TB)
  • are applying for a family category visa, and you:
    • were eligible to be included in an earlier residence visa application as a partner or a dependent child, but
    • were not included or declared in the residence application, or you were withdrawn from the application.


  • If you are a New Zealand citizen or resident’s partner or dependent child, and meet all of your visa application’s criteria, a medical waiver will be granted — unless one of the situations above applies.
  • If you have tuberculosis, we can put your application on hold for up to 6 months whilst you complete your treatment.