Visitor Visa Information

Here we share some general information about Visitor Visa policy. This material is for information purposes only. Contact one of our Licensed Immigration Advisers for personal immigration advice.    

Visitor Visa Information

A visitor visa allows entry to New Zealand for a limited period of time, without the right to study*, work, or reside in New Zealand.

*excluding courses of up to 3 months in one calendar year.

A visitor visa will always have an expiry date. It is the traveller’s responsibility to comply with any conditions and to leave the country by the expiry date (or obtain an extension).

Because it is the most temporary of visas, a visitor visa is often associated with few conditions if the traveller is from “low risk” countries, although travellers from “high risk” regions may find themselves required to apply in advance and meet rigorous standards.

What Should You Do?

If you’re looking at visiting New Zealand, here are a few tips:

  • Book your travel early. Check with your travel agent, or a New Zealand government website to see if a person of your nationality is able to come to New Zealand “visa-free” (visa-free passports need to apply online for an electronic travel authority at least 72 hours before travelling to New Zealand), or whether you need to apply for a visa in advance. The lists change. Only rely on up-to-date official information.
  • Be honest. Do not try to be clever.
  • If you have any historical issues such as criminal convictions (even if minor), health issues, deportation, or prior visa or border refusals, consult a Licensed Immigration Adviser for help.
  • Make it your business to know any conditions or expiry dates associated with whatever visa you hold or are given. (Visas may be in your passport or electronic but you are always expected to know what conditions and expiry dates apply).
  • If you need to extend or modify your visa after arrival, get the help of a professional.

Useful Information

The Malcolm Pacific Immigration advisers and experts take away the stress and worry of navigating the complex world of New Zealand Visitor visas, policies, and immigration.

Policy and Law

NZ Customs

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Government Sites

Traveller Risk To NZ

All travellers represent some degree of “risk” to the host nation. In the case of persons coming to New Zealand permanently or to work, or visiting from “high risk” regions; that “risk” is managed by requiring detailed documentation in advance, which can be verified before arrival.

In the case of visitors from “low risk” counties, however, the “risk” is managed through the discretion of front line Immigration officers, supported by powerful databases linked globally among major western nations. These are fearsome; both in their power and in their capacity to sometimes get it wrong.

Perceived “risks” can range from a “risk” that a traveller may undertake unauthorized work, or become illegal, or may be entering for marriage, not holiday; through to having undisclosed criminal convictions or being a terrorist.

This system works very well at protecting New Zealand and most travellers suffer little inconvenience, but every day, dramas unfold at airports, out of sight of the general public, as unprepared travellers find themselves caught in webs of suspicion, sometimes justified, but also, sometimes the result of error or misplaced assumption.

Good General Advice

Good general advice is: avoid coming to New Zealand on a short term visitor’s visa if your real intention is to do something else like getting work, getting married, or staying longer.

It is tempting to think; “I’ll come on a visitor’s visa and sort the issues out when I get there”; but the risk is that Immigration New Zealand thinks you are trying to “trick them” and the consequences of that can be very severe.

Be honest with Immigration New Zealand.

If you have a problem or want to avoid creating one, talk to Malcolm Pacific Immigration.

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We are New Zealand’s largest and most experienced team of licensed immigration advisers. Our experts take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our team is on standby, ready to help.