Immigration. Travel. Living.

New Zealand: travel visa guide

Flag of New Zealand

However, immigration is highly concerned about the environment and well-being of its people and hence solid proof that the visitor will maintain a decent subsistence is demanded before entry. Similarly, a criminal record or involvement in any kind of financial discrepancy will lead to no-entry status, in some cases a lifetime ban.

Depending on the purpose of the visit and duration of stay inside the country a visa type will be determined for nationalities that do require a visa. We advise that before applying for a visa aspirants shall check with the official website if they require the visa, or fall on the exempt list, or on the list of banned nationalities (in this case visa can be applied from a country that is on the earlier two lists).


Basic requirements for a New Zealand visa

Before moving to the types of visas and what purpose they serve, we would like to impart the most basic requirements for a visa application.


Documents required

  • A valid passport (at least six months validity at the time of arrival in New Zealand, old passports to be attached therein with the new one)
  • Recent passport size photographs (4 phots with white background)
  • Visa application in official format (downloaded from the website)
  • A covering letter that explains in detail the purpose of visit and intended duration of stay
  • Airline reservations (entry and exit itinerary)
  • 6-month bank statement
  • Credit card statement (credit must be acceptable internationally)
  • If applying for a work visa then the employer’s letter of invitation and recommendation (employers must submit a confirmation letter endorsing the letter issued to the employee along with 3-month salary slips)
  • If applying for a business visa proof of business activity with a native company; a letter of sponsorship
  • If applying for a student visa admission letter along with academic certificates
  • Hotel reservations in case of visit; proof of residence in case of business, work, or student visas


General steps involved during the visa application

Regardless of the type of visa you wish to apply for, we are sharing a few steps that are sure to be involved; from application to issuance of visa.

  • Submission of all required documents at the nearest New Zealand consulate/embassy visa application desk
  • Submission of prescribed fees
  • Applying for the most appropriate visa that will fulfill your purpose
  • Submitting any supporting documents as demanded by the immigration department
  • Interview of the applicant(s) with the immigration department


aerial view of city buildings during sunset

Some things to remember

  • It may take 10-15 days for a visa application to be processed (depending on the nationality of the applicant and the place from where the visa is applied from)
  • All financial and bank statements must be notarized by a registered advocate
  • All documents must be in English; in case documents are in any other language then they must be translated by a professional translator and attached with the original)
  • Documents that are forged, fraudulently obtained, or misrepresent in a way are subject to cancellation and lifetime ban
  • Application for a visit visa as prescribed by the New Zealand immigration can be downloaded from here


Types of visas

Broadly speaking there are 3 types of visas (further divided into sub-categories), we discuss briefly each of them here.


Visit visa

A visit visa is for casual and pleasure travelers. People who intend to tour the country for a specified duration without involving in any business or commercial activity or any form of employment. A visit visa is usually valid for up to 9 months from the time of entry. Note that the visa holder must travel within 18 months after the visa has been awarded.


Student visa

A student visa is specifically for students who wish to study in New Zealand. Unlike other visas that are applied directly a the embassy, a student visa application process starts before application. An aspirant must secure admission to a school of his/her choice or eligibility and obtain the admission letter.

Another letter is sent by the school to the student immigration desk that endorses the admission. Note that the admission fee along with the advance fee (as per the school’s policy) must be paid and proof attached with the application.


Business visa

A business visa follows a speedy process and is issued to people who have ties or business affairs with a New Zealand company or government. Or in cases where an investor declares his/her intention to invest a sizeable amount in New Zealand. Note that not all investments must be in accordance with the government’s policies, the visa is given to businessmen who show their intention to invest in sectors highlighted by the state.

Work visa

Also known as a temporary residence visa, a work visa is issued against an employment letter from the employer before applying. Other necessary documents and fees are to be paid in full to ensure success.

Contact us