How can you Obtain a Police Certificate?

Applicants for visas must be of good character.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. If you are working with us, we will take care of character formalities.

Self-Check Tool:

An excellent tool for finding out how you can apply for a police certificate is provided on the Immigration New Zealand government website:  How to Obtain a Police Certificate.

Using the filter provided on the Immigration New Zealand website, you will find all necessary information on how to obtain a police certificate for your country:

  • What to request, i.e. 'Police clearance for immigration';
  • How to apply - electronically or by post;
  • The relevant contact details of the agency in charge of police clearance in your country;
  • What to provide - i.e. completed application form, your full name, including your maiden name or other names you have used, personal identity number, date and place of your birth, a copy of your passport, your signature, the reason for your request;
  • Fees to pay.

Please note: You will need to have your character clearance in place when you are ready to submit your visa application. In many cases, this will be as soon as you have a New Zealand job offer.

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;

Timing is important:

On one hand, you need to allow enough time to obtain your police certificates before they are required for your visa application. On the other hand, your certificate or document must be less than 6 months old when you submit your visa application to Immigration New Zealand.

From our experience, the processing time for your police clearance can be quite significant. It varies from one country to another and in some cases, police clearances will have to be obtained from more than one country. We recommend that you contact the issuing authorities well ahead to find out how long your request for a police certificate will take. Any delays in obtaining your character clearance will also delay your visa application process and potentially upset your New Zealand employer.

Our Licensed Immigration Advisers will provide you with a list of documents and document guidelines, individually tailored to your visa requirements. We will ensure that all necessary documents are in place as soon as you are eligible for your New Zealand visa,  while also timing your process according to your personal and professional timing for your move and avoiding any unnecessary delays.  

Read more about character:

Read more Visa FAQ's:

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Which Visa is Right for You?

Read more about the Points System:

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Read more about Critical Workers:

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