Important Things You Need To Know About New Zealand’s Visitor Visa

One of the most common ways to gain entry in New Zealand is by holding a visitor visa. If you’re planning to stay in NZ for just a short period of time, getting a visitor visa is the best and most convenient option. Meanwhile here are some important things you need to know about travelling to New Zealand on a visitor visa.

How long can you stay?

New Zealand usually allows visitors to stay only for nine months in an 18-month period. To work this out, immigration officials will look at the last day that you intend to be in New Zealand and then count back 18 months from there. So when you apply for a visa, they will make sure that in that 18-month period, you won’t be spending more than nine months in the country.

If you’re planning to stay only for three months, you don’t need to apply for a visitor visa before you travel to the country.

In case you are a visa-free visitor, you can apply for entry at the border by filling in your arrival card. As mentioned earlier, you can stay for up to three months (or six months if you are from the United Kingdom) in New Zealand on this visit and more than six months in any 12-month period. Immigration officials will look at what date your three-month visit will end and count back 12 months from there to ensure that you won’t be overstaying in New Zealand.

Can you work while holding a visitor visa?

Generally, people staying in New Zealand via a visitor visa are not allowed to find employment in the country. No matter how long or short your stay will be, you will need to apply for a work visa to be able to secure an employment in New Zealand.

Volunteering, on the other hand, is an entirely different matter. If you hold a student, visitor, or work visa, you can volunteer, provided that you will not receive compensation for the activity you volunteer for. Here are examples to help you better understand volunteering in New Zealand:

  • If you were required to wear a uniform as part of your role, and you were provided with that uniform by the organisation, you would not have received any gain or reward and would not be in breach of your visa.
  • If you were given a clothing voucher in exchange for your voluntary activity, then you would have received a reward and you would be in breach of your visa.