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Police Certificates for your New Zealand Visa

If you want to apply for a visa for New Zealand you must be of good character.

Will you need a police certificate?

Resident visa applicants

If you want to apply for a resident visa, you - and everyone in your family who is 17 years of age and older - will need to provide police clearances from

  • your country, or countries, of citizenship, and
  • any country you have been to for 12 months or more in the last 10 years, whether in one visit or more.

Temporary entry visa applicants

If you are applying for a temporary visa, you may need a police certificate from any country you have lived in for 5 or more years since turning 17.

When will you probably not be considered of good character?

If any of the following applies to you, your visa application might be declined:

  • You have been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for 5 years or more (this applies even if any of your offences have later been taken off the record);
  • In the past 10 years, you were convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for 12 months or more;
  • You are subject to a period of prohibition on entry to New Zealand under section 179 or 180 of the Immigration Act 2009;
  • You have been deported or removed from New Zealand under any enactment (whether before or after the commencement of the Immigration Act 2009);
  • You are excluded from New Zealand under any enactment;
  • You have, at any time, been removed, excluded, or deported from another country;
  • You have been involved in terrorist activities, or belonged to or supported any organisation involved in terrorist activities;
  • It is believed you are likely to commit – or to assist others to commit – criminal or drug offences, or an act of terrorism, in New Zealand;
  • It is believed you are likely – due to any international circumstances – to be a danger to New Zealand’s security or public order;
  • It is believed you are associated with an organisation or group that has criminal objectives or is engaged in criminal activities and for that – or any other reason – you’re considered to be a threat to the public interest or public order of New Zealand.

You will probably be refused a visa for New Zealand on character grounds if any of the above applies to you.

Can you apply for a Character Waiver?

If you have any previous convictions and think that you might have difficulties with demonstrating that you are of acceptable character, please talk to one of our Licensed Immigration Advisers.

We might be able to assist you with obtaining a character waiver.

Do you qualify for a Skilled Migrant Resident Visa?

Find out by going to our our Quick Self-Check Guide.

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