These are archived immigration instructions that are no longer current

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A5.10 Police certificates (07/02/2011)

  1. All police certificates must be less than six months old at the time an application is lodged, unless A5.10(d) applies or an appropriately delegated immigration officer, having regard to any instructions on the matter, has waived that requirement, in which case police certificates more than six months old may be accepted and used for determination purposes.
  2. If police certificates become a year old from date of issue before a decision on an application is made (see R2.25), immigration officers may request further police certificates as a basis for determining an application.
  3. An immigration officer may also request further police certificates within the 12-month period if there is good reason to do so.
  4. If police certificates were submitted with a previous application:
    1. they can be accepted for any further application for a temporary entry class visa (other than a student visa under U4.10) made within 24 months of the date of issue of the police certificates; or
    2. they can be accepted for a further student visa application as a fee-paying foreign student (U4.10) made within 36 months of the date of issue of the police certificates.
  5. The applicant is responsible for meeting all the costs of obtaining a police certificate.
  6. Only original or certified copies of police certificates are to be provided with applications.
  7. Instructions on how to obtain police certificates from specific countries can be obtained from the INZ website at
  8. If an applicant requires a police certificate from a country that:
    1. does not issue police certificates to individuals; and
    2. for which no instructions in respect of how to obtain a police certificate are available;
    3. an immigration officer may proceed to assess the application without a police certificate and obtain any necessary clearances before a decision is made.
  9. If a police certificate is not written in English, the original or certified copy must be accompanied by a translation that:
    1. is full and complete; and
    2. is prepared and certified by a translator; and
    3. is on official letterhead; and
    4. bears the stamp or signature of the translator.

A5.10.1 If police certificates are unavailable

  1. Provision of police or similar certificates is a mandatory requirement for the grant of residence class visas in most cases (except for applicants under 17 or who are applying for a further residence class visa under RV2 or RV4). They are also required for some temporary entry class visa applications, as set out at A5.5a. The only exception is where an immigration officer who holds the position of immigration manager or has Schedule 3 delegations or above is satisfied that such certificates are not available or would be unduly difficult to obtain (for example where the authorities of any such country will not generally provide such certificates).
  2. Evidence of undue difficulty in obtaining police or similar certificates may include, but is not limited, to:
    1. information indicating conditions in the relevant country are such that the country's governmental infrastructure is no longer functioning; or
    2. confirmation that there are circumstances beyond the control of the applicants which prevent them obtaining the required certificates.

      Note: Such circumstances do not include difficulty in paying for the certificates or delays in obtaining them.

  3. If an immigration officer who holds the position of immigration manager or has Schedule 3 delegations or above is satisfied that a police certificate is not available or unduly difficult to obtain from a particular country, then that immigration officer may require the applicant to make and provide a separate statutory declaration in both English and the applicant's own language.
  4. The statutory declaration must:
    1. detail the applicant's attempts to obtain a police certificate; and
    2. state whether the applicant and any accompanying family members have been convicted, or found guilty of, or charged with offences against the law of that country, or have not been charged with any offences against the law of that country; and
    3. be corroborated by other information confirming the applicant's character.
  5. Any decision to waive the production of:
    1. a police or similar certificate; and/or
    2. a statutory declaration instead of a police or similar certificate;

    must be made by an officer with Schedule 3 delegations or above.

Effective 07/02/2011


A5.10 Police certificates (25/07/2011)

A5.10 Police certificates (04/04/2011)

A5.10 Police certificates (29/11/2010)

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