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Sending your passport

If you have applied for a visa online, you may need to send us your passport so we can verify your identity.

If you are applying for a student, visitor or work temporary visa

You only need to send us a high-quality scan of your passport, not a physical copy.

This includes dependent family applications based on a temporary work visa.

An Immigration Officer may ask for a physical passport if they think it is necessary for the application. This will be on a case-by-case basis.


This is a temporary measure to help with visa processing.

Applicants may still receive an automated letter asking for a passport to be submitted. This is not required. We are updating the letter to address this issue.

Other Immigration Online applicants may not need to send their passports

You may not need to send in your passport if you are applying in Immigration Online and:

For all other people, we need your passport to confirm your identity. We will confirm this in an email after you submit your application. We will also tell you on the acknowledgement page when you complete your online application.

If you are unsure if you need to send your passport, check the final page of your completed visa application. This will be saved in your Immigration Online account.

Log in to your online account

Even if you are eligible for a passport-free application process, we may need to see your passport to confirm your identity. If we need to see your passport, we will contact you.

Working Holiday and Silver Fern visas

If you need to send your passport, we will send you an email after the application has been submitted.

Transfer a visa to a new passport

If you have renewed your passport, you need to transfer your valid visa into your new passport before you use it to travel. If you need to send your passport for a transfer, instructions and processing times are on the Transferring my visa to a new passport page.

Transferring my visa to a new passport

Where to send your passport

If we tell you to send us your passport, you will need to send it to us.

It is important you send us your passport promptly. If we do not receive your passport within the specified timeframe, your application may be delayed or declined. You will not receive a refund of your fee. 

We recommend using a courier or postal tracking service to send your passport to the nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC) or INZ office.

Outside New Zealand

You should send your passport to your nearest VAC. If you are applying from outside New Zealand, we must receive your passport within 20 days from when we ask for it.

Find your nearest VAC 


We will contact you with instructions about where to send your passport if you should not send it to a VAC.

If you are from one of the countries below and you are applying from that country, we will contact you with information about how to send us your passport.

Inside New Zealand

Contact us to discuss where to send your passport.

Contact us

Passport handling fee

There may be a fee if you are required to send your passport to a VAC. You can find the handling fee on the website of your nearest VAC.

Find VAC website address 

Returning your passport to you

If you have sent your passport to a VAC, they will contact you with the tracking details once it has been sent back to you. If you have any questions or concerns about the return of your passport, you should contact the VAC directly.

The VAC may not send your passport back to you until after a decision has been made on your visa.

If you sent your passport to an INZ office, you will receive a tracking number once it has been sent back to you. You should contact the courier company if you have any questions about delivery.

For any other questions or concerns, contact us.