Immigration New Zealand

For the school known as "NZIS", see New Zealand Independent School Jakarta.

Immigration New Zealand or INZ (Māori: Ta Ratonga Manene; previously New Zealand Immigration Service, NZIS) is a service of the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. It is responsible for managing the benefits and consequences of immigration to New Zealand.


Visas are issued by INZ staff in offices throughout New Zealand and around the world. Visas are also issued by certain posts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (New Zealand).

Under the Immigration Act 2009, a visa is an authority for an individual to travel to, or stay in New Zealand (under the Immigration Act 1987 a visa only allowed you to travel to New Zealand and a permit allowed you to stay). A visa has conditions that indicate what the holder of the visa may do.

Because of understaffing turnaround times to process visa application have steadily increased over the years. Currently INZ expects to process visa applications within 60 working days after an application is lodged. According to INZ, processing a residence application usually takes 6 to 9 months, while endorsing a passport with Residence Permits and Returning Resident's Visa after 'approval in principle' has been granted takes up to 30 working days.


Residence class visas

Temporary entry class visas

Visas are generally issued in one of three forms:

Entry permission

Under the 2009 Act, visa holders instead apply for ‘entry permission’ using the arrival card. Normally, a person holding a visa is granted ‘entry permission’ to allow him or her to enter and stay in New Zealand for the time period allowed by their visa. However, in some cases people may be denied entry permission, for example, if:

Visa Free

Holders of passports of these countries may travel to New Zealand without obtaining a visa
  New Zealand
  Visa-Waiver Countries (3 months)
  United Kingdom (6 months)
  Australia (right of abode)

Unless otherwise provided for in legislation, regulations or policy all non-New Zealand citizens are required to hold a visa before boarding a flight to New Zealand. Immigration New Zealand has been using the Advance Passenger Processing (APP) system, which is cornerstone of the various border screening initiatives to risk-manage passengers. It is an electronic system connected to virtually all airlines worldwide. Passengers on arrival must apply for and be granted a permit to be in New Zealand. Certain classes of person are exempt from the requirement to hold a visa or a permit in certain circumstances.

Diplomats accredited to New Zealand are exempt from the requirement to hold a permit to be in New Zealand, as are military forces in New Zealand with the agreement of the New Zealand government.

Australian citizens are generally exempt from having to obtain a residence class visa to enter and remain in NZ. Holders of a current Australian Permanent Residence Visa (which includes a Resident Return Visa) are generally exempt from having to obtain a residence visa and will generally be granted a resident visa upon arrival in New Zealand.

British citizens and other British passport holders who produce evidence of the right to reside permanently in the UK can visit for up to six months without a visa.

Citizens of the following countries are exempt from holding a visa to travel to New Zealand for visits of up to 90 days: Under the Immigration Act 2009[1] and the Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010[2] holders of the following 60 passports may travel to New Zealand without obtaining a visa for up to 90 days.[3]

Purpose of the visit for all visa waiver countries must not be medical consultation or treatment

  1. ^  United Kingdom citizens and other British passport holders who produce evidence of the right to reside permanently in the United Kingdom may travel to New Zealand without visa for 180 days.
  2. ^ A visa waiver does not apply to people traveling on alien's (non-citizen's) passports issued by these countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
  3. ^ Only Greek passport holders whose passports were issued on and after 1 January 2006.
  4. ^ Portuguese passport holders must also have the right to live permanently in Portugal.
  5. ^ Residents of Hong Kong traveling on Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport or British National (Overseas) passport.
  6. ^ Residents of Macau travelling on Macau Special Administrative Region passport.
  7. ^ Permanent residents, as demonstrated by a personal identity number, of Taiwan traveling on Taiwan passports.
  8. ^ Including nationals of the USA.

Additionally, the visa waiver applies to the following categories:[4]

Organisational Structure

INZ is divided into several groups, including:

Service Delivery

Responsible for most onshore and offshore visa and permit branches

Auckland/Waikato Region

Southern New Zealand/Australia Region

Asia Region

Europe/Americas Region

Service Design

responsible for policy and systems development

Service International

Processes applications lodged through Online Services. This includes student applications from approved education providers and Working Holiday Visas for many countries.

The first point of contact for phone/email enquiries from clients in New Zealand and Australia.

Decides applications for refugee status made by persons within New Zealand.

Processes and provides treatment for refugees upon arrival.

Selects offshore refugees in order to meet the government’s humanitarian obligations.

Compliance, Risk and Intelligence Service

The main responsibility of Compliance Operations is locating and removing persons who are unlawfully in New Zealand. Compliance Operations is also responsible for managing the detention of persons who are detained and liable for deportation from New Zealand.

This branch is responsible for any immigration issues arising at New Zealand’s physical border (air and sea). INZ maintains a full-time presence at Auckland and Christchurch airports and a part-time presence at Wellington and Queenstown airports depending on flight schedules and demand.

This branch operates the Advance Passenger Screening Support Office in Auckland and organises the Airline Liaison Officer programme at selected offshore airports.

Investigations is tasked with investigating and prosecuting migration related offences under the Immigration Act 2009 and the Crimes Act 1961 and any other enactment relevant to the immigration sphere.

Receives and analyses intelligence which is relevant to the immigration field. Supported by intelligence analysts in Compliance Operations, Border Operations, Refugee Status Branch and the Immigration Profiling Group.



The Minister of Immigration was established by the First Labour Government in 1946, when Angus McLagan became the first minister from 19 December 1946. The current minister (from January 2013) is Michael Woodhouse.[5]

See also


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