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Visitor Visa

Here’s some general information about the Visitor Visa policy. This material is for informational purposes only. For personalised immigration advice, please contact one of our Licensed Immigration Advisers.


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A Visitor Visa allows entry to New Zealand for a limited period, without the right to study*, work, or reside in the country.

*Excludes 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 all conditions and leave the country by the expiry date (or obtain an extension).

As the most temporary of visas, a Visitor Visa typically has fewer conditions for travellers from “low-risk” countries. However, travellers from “high-risk” regions may need to apply in advance and meet more rigorous standards.

What should you do?

If you’re planning to visit New Zealand, here are some essential tips:


Book Early. Secure your travel arrangements well in advance. Check with your travel agent or a New Zealand government website to determine if your nationality allows for “visa-free” travel. Visa-free passports must apply online for an Electronic Travel Authority at least 72 hours before travelling to New Zealand. If a visa is required, apply in advance. Always rely on up-to-date official information as requirements can change.

Be Honest: Transparency is crucial. Do not attempt to withhold information or be deceptive.

Address Historical Issues: If you have any past issues, such as criminal convictions (even minor ones), health issues, deportation, or prior visa or border refusals, consult a Licensed Immigration Adviser for guidance.

Know Your Visa Conditions: Familiarise yourself with the conditions and expiry dates of your visa, whether it is in your passport or electronic. You are responsible for adhering to all visa requirements.

Seek Professional Help: If you need to extend or modify your visa after arrival, consult a professional to ensure compliance with immigration laws.

Plan Your Itinerary: Consider your travel itinerary and activities. Some activities might require special permits or additional documentation.

Health and Travel Insurance: Ensure you have comprehensive health and travel insurance for the duration of your stay. This can provide peace of mind and cover unexpected expenses.

Respect Local Laws and Customs: Familiarise yourself with New Zealand’s local laws and customs to ensure a respectful and enjoyable visit.

Following these tips can help ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit to New Zealand. If you have any questions or need assistance, our Licensed Immigration Advisers are here to help.

Useful Information

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

Policy & Law
Traveller Risk to NZ

All travellers represent some degree of “risk” to the host nation. For individuals coming to New Zealand permanently, to work, or from “high-risk” regions, this “risk” is managed by requiring detailed documentation in advance, which can be verified before arrival.

For visitors from “low-risk” countries, however, the “risk” is managed through the discretion of frontline immigration officers, supported by powerful global databases shared among major Western nations. These databases are highly effective but can occasionally lead to errors.

Perceived risks can range from concerns that a traveller may undertake unauthorized work, overstay their visa, or enter for reasons other than a holiday, to undisclosed criminal convictions or even potential terrorism.


This system effectively protects New Zealand, and most travellers experience minimal inconvenience. However, every day, dramas unfold at airports, away from the public eye, as unprepared travellers find themselves entangled in webs of suspicion—sometimes justified, but also sometimes the result of error or misplaced assumptions.

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.

While it might seem like a good idea to "sort things out" once you arrive, Immigration New Zealand may view this as an attempt to deceive them. The consequences can be severe

Always be honest with Immigration New Zealand.

If you have concerns or want to avoid problems, contact NZIHS for assistance. We're here to guide you through the process.

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