There are a lot of visa categories out there, many of which have slight variations in the evidence required for an application. In saying this, there are some standard materials requested of you, regardless of what you’re applying for.
We will break down some of the key evidence requested from INZ, and how to ensure you have everything they need in the right formats, to make your application go as smoothly as possible.
A valid passport is required to come to New Zealand. INZ defines a valid passport as:
- Not damaged
- Not reported as lost or stolen, or
- Not invalidated by the government that issued it.
Additionally, there are some rules around passport expiration, it cannot expire 3 months after the date you plan to leave New Zealand, or 1 month after the date you plan to leave New Zealand only if your passport was issued by a country that has an embassy or consulate in New Zealand that can issue passports of that country.
New Zealand Traveller Declaration
New Zealand Traveller Declarations are there to record travel and COVID-19-related health information. This step is crucial because it will let you know what you need to do when you’re in the country to keep yourself and others safe.
Everybody who travels to New Zealand by air must complete a Travel Declaration and be issued a Traveller Pass. Once your flight is booked, this can be completed up to 28 days before you travel.
It can be completed online and requires the following:
- Your passport
- Proof of vaccination (if you are not a New Zealand citizen or resident)
- Your travel history for the past 14 days
- Your flight details
- Your contact details
- Your emergency contact details
- An email address you have access to
It’s best to complete this form as soon as you’re able. It takes around 30 minutes, and it’s useful to have all of your information handy so you can fill it out as easily as possible.
You can apply for your Travel Declaration here.
Photos are required as a part of your visa (or NZeTA) application. The rules around the photo differ from a passport photo, so you may not be able to use the same image. If you’re getting a professional to take the photo, you can find a handy outline here to pass on to your photographer.
Set up requirements:
- Have a plain light-coloured (but not white) background
- Stand 1 - 1.5 metres away from the background
- Stand 1 - 1.5 metres away from the camera
- Adjust the camera to be level with the eyes
- Arrange the camera for portrait mode
Digital photo requirements:
- File type: JPG. files
- File size: 500KB - 3MB
- File dimensions: between 900 x 1200 and 2250 x 3000 pixels
You can take the photo yourself, the main thing is to follow the specifications from INZ to better ensure you get the right photo the first time around.
Bona Fide and of Good Character
A key part of any visa application is that you are coming to New Zealand for the genuine reason stated on your visa application. Additionally, INZ wants to ensure that you are of good character. We’ll break down what this means.
The following are what INZ is looking for when assessing genuineness:
- You only intend to stay temporarily (for temporary and time-limited visas)
- You’re coming to NZ with lawful purpose
- You will comply with your visa conditions
- You will not stay in New Zealand without a valid visa
- You have the means to leave New Zealand when your visa expires or at the end of your stay
Lawful purpose depends entirely on the type of visa you’re applying for. If you’re visiting, you’re here for something like a holiday, sporting event, or other lawful leisure activity. If you have a student visa, you must be here primarily to study, and if you’re on a work visa, you must be working in, or operating, a legitimate business.
Good intention is assessed by the following:
- The information in your visa application
- Supporting documents for your visa application
- Information about your personal circumstances
- Information about any previous visa applications
If you intend to stay in New Zealand for over 24 months on a visa, you need to provide a police certificate as evidence. Police certificates may also be known as criminal checks, police clearance, or penal records. Some guidelines around this:
- The certificate must be less than 6 months old when you submit your visa application.
- The certificate must be translated into English if it is not already.
For more information on police certificates, check out this page on the INZ website.
A standard part of a visa application is to show that you are in good health. We highly recommend checking out what you require (a chest x-ray or medical examination) as the conditions change depending on what category you’re applying for.
Your medical examination or chest x-ray must be completed by a panel physician. A panel physician is simply a doctor or radiologist who is approved to complete these procedures for New Zealand visa applications.
Follow the link here to find a panel physician near you.
If you’re completing a digital application, your physician can send your medical results electronically via eMedical, INZ’s online health processing system. This is the most efficient method of submitting these documents.
If you are completing paper forms, please state your eMedical reference number to show you have done the necessary medical procedures.
If you are in a country that does not have panel physicians, you can go to any registered doctor who will complete the required medical certificates and send them to INZ. Please note that these forms must be completed in English.
English Speaking Background
For some visas, INZ wants to know that you have proficiency in the English language. If you’re just coming for a visit, you won’t need to worry about this step so much, but having an understanding of the English language is hugely helpful in communicating with New Zealanders. Especially if you’re planning to stay long-term.
There is a range of ways you can prove your English competency. It includes (but is not limited to):
- Certificates from schooling, either all years of primary school + 3 years of secondary education in English
- Certificates showing 5 years of secondary education in English
- Tertiary certificates taught in English for at least 3 years
- Further certificates or qualifications from specific courses outlined by INZ (check out more about this here).
- If English is your only language
- If the country (or previous country) you live in was primarily English-speaking
- If your family only speaks English/speaks English
- You speak English for work or previous work
An English language test may be requested to show your understanding to INZ. If this is not passed, you may need to take English lessons to improve your comprehension and communication.
While this post explains a lot of the key elements of visa applications, there will always be additional elements of the specific visa you’re applying for.
There is a wealth of information on the Immigration New Zealand website that will inform you of the materials you need to compile for your application. Empowering yourself with this knowledge before you apply can reduce the number of surprises you encounter later down the road.
If you have a tricky visa case, or just want some extra support throughout the process, get in touch with the VisaMaxNZ team. We’ll take the stress off your plate and work on behalf of you to get the best visa outcome possible.