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Obtain a Police Clearance

To prove that you have no criminal record or convictions, you have to submit police records with most visa applications.

You will need to obtain police certificates from your country of citizenship and all countries you have lived in over the past years.

We can let you know how you can apply to your police certificates.

Please note: Police records are only valid for a limited time.  If they are older than six months at the time of submission, Immigration New Zealand will not accept them as evidence for meeting the character requirements.

For Immigration NZ, there are three types of character issues. The ones that will delay your application, the ones that require a visa waiver and the Serious Issues. Serious Character issues will make you ineligible to apply for a visa.

Character issues that will delay your visa application

  • Being under investigation, wanted for questioning or have been charged with a conviction qualifying as Serious Character
  • Having an active arrest warrant for you in any country
  • Applying for a visa based on a relationship to a person whose own New Zealand residence status is under investigation.

Character issues that require a character waiver

If you:

  • have ever provided dishonest information supporting another person’s New Zealand visa application;
  • have ever been convicted for immigration and citizenship offences in any country;
  • have any conviction involving physical or sexual violence, illegal drugs or dishonesty;
  • have ever been imprisoned;
  • have been convicted in the last five years of dangerous driving or driving under the influence.
  • have ever publicly made a racist statement or belonged to a racist group.

To request a character waiver from Immigration NZ, you will have to provide information explaining the issue with supporting evidence. The final decision whether or not to grant you the waiver will be entirely up to Immigration NZ.

Serious character Issues:

You won’t be granted a visa if:

  • you have been imprisoned for five years or more;
  • you have been in prison for 12 months or more within the last ten years;
  • you are not legally allowed to enter New Zealand;
  • you have been deported from any country;
  • Immigration NZ thinks you have reasons to commit an illegal act.
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