A Visa is granted by a New Zealand Embassy, High Commission or Consulate and allows the holder to travel to New Zealand.

Business visitors planning short visits for a limited range of purposes may apply for Business Visitor Visas. However, to carry out any other form of work in New Zealand valid Work Permit is required.

Visitor visas may be extended to a maximum period of 9 months in any 18 month period, subject to the applicant showing sufficient funds to support themselves for the requested period. The nominal amount required is $1000 per month unless accommodation is provided.

Citizens of some countries may travel to New Zealand without the need to obtain a visitor visa. However, they will need to show a current air ticket indicating further travel to another country to which they have the right of entry. They will also need to show sufficient funds for the support of themselves and their family, whilst in New Zealand.

Click here for a list of 'Visa Free' countries

Citizens and Residents

A New Zealand citizen will have either a NZ Birth Certificate or Certificate of Naturalisation and usually a passport. In some cases, a Certificate of Identity may be held. NZ allows multiple citizenships and a person may hold a valid passport from more than one country at any time.

A New Zealand resident will hold a foreign passport with a 'Residence Visa and possibly a Returning Residence Visa.


When a visa expires, the holder is automatically regarded as an overstayer and is required to leave the country. However, s/he may lodge an appeal against removal with the Immigration & Protection Tribunal within 42 days of the expiry of the visa. It is unlikely that action would be taken to remove the appellant until the appeal has been decided.
In special circumstances, it may be possible to have a new visa issued under Section 61 of the Immigration Act without having to go through the appeal process. This is a very carefully controlled area of discretion granted to senior immigration officers and expert advice should be sought before attempting to lodge a Section 61 request.