For nationalities that are not eligible for the NZeTA, there are many types of New Zealand visa you need to apply for. Whether looking to study, travel for tourism, or join a family member, there is a wide variety of visa options to choose from. Each visa type will vary in terms of validity, required application materials, processing time, and conditions.

Applicants can apply for their New Zealand visa online or on paper. For online applications, all materials and fees can be submitted through the official New Zealand Immigration website. 

New Zealand visa types

There are several main categories of New Zealand Visas that you can select from. These

categories each include many sub-types of visas. Applicants can select the category that best

describes their purpose of travel. There are single-entry New Zealand Visas and multiple-entry

New Zealand Visas available for every category. There are also many New Zealand Permanent

Residence Visas for those looking to stay in the country for a longer period as well as New

Zealand Express Entry Program Visas for business persons.

There are two main categories of New Zealand visas:

Temporary Class Visas (Temporary Visa)

Residence Class Visas (include Resident Visas and Permanent Resident Visa)

New Zealand Visas can also be divided based on the purpose of travelling into:

New Zealand Visitor Visas

New Zealand Student Visas

New Zealand Working Visas

New Zealand Family Visas

New Zealand Business Visas

Many types of visas are considered to fall under multiple categories. The Working Holiday Visa for example is available for select countries and allows holders to visit, study, and work. Other visa types like APEC Business Travel Card is technically both a Visitor and Working Visa.


Each New Zealand Visa type will require a different process and documents. However, there are certain documents that are required for almost all visa types. The requirements for your application will depend on what category of visa you are applying for (Student, Working, Visitor, Business, etc.) and the visa type you select.

To apply for their visa type, most applicants will submit the following list of documents: 

Valid passport or identity document

All applicants will need to be able to present a valid form of identity document when they apply. For example, applicants seeking a Visitor Visa should ensure that their identity document is valid for at least 3 months after their expected departure date.

Application form (online or on paper)

Almost all New Zealand Visa applications can be submitted online. The New Zealand Visa application can be submitted through the official New Zealand Immigration website. Some applications may be submitted on paper depending on the visa type.

Applicant photo(s)

Applicants must provide clear, acceptable photos with their application. Online applications require one, while on-paper applications need two.

Medical insurance

Most applicants must show proof of medical insurance, valid for the entire duration of their stay.

Funds or sponsorship evidence

Applicants must show that they can support themselves during their stay. This proof of funds or sponsorship can be submitted as bank statements, traveler’s checks, pay slips, an employment agreement, or any other relevant financial document.

New Zealand visa application

The exact steps you will need to take to submit your New Zealand Visa application will vary depending on many factors including your nationality, the duration of your stay, and your purpose of travel, among other factors. The following is a list of steps that most applicants will need to take to apply for their New Zealand Visa. 

Determine your travel plans

Each visa type has a unique processing and application time so it’s important to have an idea of your travel timeline before applying for your New Zealand Visa.

Select your visa category and visa type

Every traveller will have a unique reason for visiting New Zealand. Determine your visa category and visa type based on your purpose of travel and duration of stay.

Gather application documents

Preparing an application will vary for every visa type. Before submitting your application, it’s important to gather all the necessary documents.

Submit your application

Most New Zealand visas can be applied for online through the New Zealand Immigration website. Others will need to be sent by post including a complete application form, a valid identity document, and other supplemental documents.

Wait for your visa decision

Application processing times depend on the visa type and other factors concerning your travel plans and nationality. If needed, the immigration officers will request further information and supplemental documents.

Arrive in New Zealand

If your application is successful, you will be able to travel to New Zealand for the purpose of visiting, studying, working, or engaging in business deals, among other activities.

Where to apply for a New Zealand visa

Nearly all New Zealand Visa types can be applied for online through the official New Zealand Immigration website.

Applicants will create an account and submit their application, upload any required documents, and pay the fees online. Some applicants may need to submit their application on paper and send their documents and proof of identity to the relevant immigration office. 

New Zealand visa application processing time

The amount of time required to process an New Zealand Visa depends on the visa type and the duration of travel. The processing time may be longer if you have submitted the application on paper or if you are asked to provide additional documentation. For example, a Visitor Visa can take between 5 and 51 days to process, while a Student Visa could take between 29 and 67 days on average.

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