Getting immigration advice

If you wish to apply for a New Zealand visa there are three main ways to do this:

1. Complete the application form yourself

You can choose the visa you need using the Visa Options Check and complete the application form yourself with the information provided by Immigration New Zealand.

Each visa type has an application form and accompanying guide. We recommend you read the guide before attempting to complete the application form.

Don’t worry if you get stuck along the way; you can contact Immigration New Zealand for help.

Explore your visa options | Immigration New Zealand

Contact us | Immigration New Zealand

2. Engage a licensed immigration adviser

New Zealand visa application

There are three main ways to apply for a visa: 

1. Complete the application form yourself

2. Engage a licensed immigration adviser

3. Engage someone who is exempt from the license requirements

You can engage a licensed immigration adviser to assist you with your visa application but they must have a current licence.

A person who provides New Zealand immigration advice without being licensed or exempt commits an offence.

Before engaging an adviser, check the register of licensed immigration advisers to make sure the person you are engaging has a valid immigration adviser licence. Check the licence expiry date and type of licence (some advisers may only be able to advise on limited areas).

The Government's Immigration Advisers Authority provides information on who can give New Zealand immigration advice and explains how to complain if you are unhappy. They also provide a useful guide about Licensed Immigration Advisers. 

Should you have any difficulty finding a licensed immigration adviser or complaining about one, you can contact the Immigration Advisers Authority directly. The Authority is responsible for licensing immigration advisers, receiving complaints and taking action against those giving immigration advice without a licence.

Find a licensed immigration advisor | IAA

Who can give immigration advice? | IAA

About licensed immigration advisors | IAA (PDF 160 KB)

3. Engage someone who is exempt from the license requirements

You can also seek immigration advice from people who are exempt from the requirement to hold a licence.

Outside New Zealand this exemption includes:

  • education agents who are only permitted to give immigration advice on student visas
  • lawyers with a current New Zealand practising certificate
  • foreign diplomats and consular staff
  • employees of the New Zealand Government who provide immigration advice as part of their job.

In New Zealand this exemption includes:

  • lawyers with a current New Zealand practising certificate
  • members of Parliament and their staff who provide immigration advice as part of their jobs
  • government employees who give immigration advice as part of their jobs
  • volunteers at Community Law Centres or Citizens Advice Bureau.

The Law Society website can help you find a lawyer or legal firm or check that your existing lawyer has a current New Zealand practising certificate.

Find a lawyer | New Zealand Law Society

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Page last updated: 31/08/2016

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