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Information on New Zealand Travel
Visitors to New Zealand
You will need to apply for a visitor visa before you come to New Zealand if you are not from a visa-waiver country.
When you apply for a visitor visa, we need to know that:
You are in good health
You are of good character
Visitor visa fits your purpose for coming to New Zealand, and
You are a bona fide temporary visitor.
You will need to provide your passport with your application. The passport must be valid for at least three months past the date you are to leave New Zealand, or one month past the date you intend to leave if the government issuing your passport has consular representation in New Zealand.
Proof that you plan to leave New Zealand
You will need to show us that you intend to leave within the period of your visa. For example:
travel tickets (confirmed or open-dated) out of New Zealand to a country which you have the right to enter; or written confirmation from an airline or travel agency that onward travel has been booked and paid for.
Any non-refundable travel arrangements are made at your own risk as the outcome of your application cannot be guaranteed.
Proof of funds
You will also need to show us proof that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay. This means you have a minimum of:
NZ$1000 per person per month of the visit, or
NZ$400 per person per month if accommodation has already been paid for – we will require proof of prepayment, such as hotel prepaid vouchers.
Sufficient funds can be in the form of:
recognised credit cards with sufficient credit available – we recommend that visitors have an up-to-date credit card statement.
We will also accept a declaration by an acceptable sponsor that they will pay for your accommodation and maintenance. See the Sponsorship for Temporary Entry (INZ 1025) PDF [237KB].
Who cannot get a visa?
People who don't meet the basic requirements listed above.
People who have committed serious crimes may not be allowed into New Zealand at all. Sections 15 and 16 of the Immigration Act 2009 outline what disqualifies an applicant in these terms.
If your application is incomplete when you submit it, you submit false information or you don't meet our requirements, we may refuse or decline your application.
How long can I stay?
The maximum stay under a visitor visa is usually nine months in an 18-month period.
To work this out, we:
Look at the last day that you intend to be in New Zealand (e.g. 1 July 2012)
Count back 18 months from that date (e.g. 1 January 2011)
Check that you will not be spending more than nine months in New Zealand during this time (e.g. 1 January 2011 to 1 July 2012).
If you are a visitor from a visa-waiver country, you apply for a visa when you arrive by filling in an arrival card. You will still need to meet standard health and character requirements but this will be done with a declaration on your arrival card.
You will be allowed to stay for three months (or six months if from the United Kingdom) on each visit, and no more than six months in any 12-month period.
To work this out, we:
Look at what date your visit will end (eg 1 July 2012)
Count back 12 months from that date (eg 1 July 2011)
Make sure that in that 12-month period, you will not be spending more than six months in New Zealand (eg 1 July 2011 to 1 July 2012)
If you decide while you are in New Zealand that you wish to stay longer than your initial visa allows, you should contact us.
What about my family?
Your application can cover your partner, and any dependent children up to the age of 19. Children over 20, and non-dependents, will need to make their own application. You cannot include your family in your application if you apply online.
Dependent children of Essential Skills work visa holders
Visitor visa applications for dependent children of Essential Skills work visa holders will need to include evidence that the parent who holds the Essential Skills work visa meets a minimum income threshold. See the Visitor Visa Guide (INZ 1018) [650KB] PDF for more information.
Special visitor categories
There are other requirements for people who visit under one of our special visitor categories.
We may ask some applicants to pay a bond or offer them a limited visa.
We recommend that you have comprehensive medical insurance for the duration of your visit. If you are from the United Kingdom or Australia, you will get the same immediate medical coverage as a New Zealand citizen or resident, thanks to our Reciprocal Health Agreements.
How to apply
Immigration ONLINE – Visitor
You may be able to submit your visa application online.
Most applicants for a visitor visa for one applicant can use Immigration ONLINE to apply.
Gather your documents
Prepare all your supporting documents in PDF format.
Ensure you have an acceptable photo of yourself.
Complete your online application
You need to create an account and fill in an online form. To find out more, visit our Apply Online page.
Making a paper application
If you are unable to apply for a visitor visa via Immigration ONLINE - Visitor, find out how to apply for a visitor visa and get the forms you need.
During your stay
If you are granted a visitor visa you need to meet certain conditions during your stay.
You may not work while you are in New Zealand (unless you are granted a work visa).
You may not study for more than three months while you are in New Zealand (unless you are granted a student visa).