Changes to passport requirements for temporary visas
Immigration New Zealand has received a large number of applications for temporary visas since New Zealand’s international borders fully reopened on 31 July.
The volume has been much greater than forecast and INZ acknowledges there have been delays in processing some visitor visa applications. INZ has taken steps to introduce some changes to improve the ability to manage the increased number of applications.
They have temporarily removed the requirement for most applicants to provide a physical passport. Applicants still need to submit a high-quality scanned copy of their passport with their applications, but in most cases, they will not need to provide their physical passports.
There will still be some instances where an Immigration Officer will ask an applicant to submit their physical passport to their nearest Visa Application Centre because it is needed to process their application. This will be done on a case-by-case basis.
INZ will monitor the impact of this change to make sure it is helping us process applications without causing any significant issues and will confirm if this is to continue in the long term.
Applicants applying for a student visa or group visitor visa through the Immigration Online form will receive an automated letter asking for a passport to be submitted – however, this is not required. To clarify, the passport waiver applies to all temporary visa applicants – so student, work, and visitor etc. The letters are being updated overnight in INZ's system and will be operational for Saturday. In the meantime, if you receive a letter for a temporary visa application telling you to send the passport for a scan then please ignore it.