Visa Extension Guide for Expat
If you are living in Auckland and want to extend your visa, the Auckland Immigration office is located at:
Immigration New Zealand
280 Queen Street
Phone: +64 9 914 4100 or 0508 55 88 55
Office hours: 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Friday.
You can also go online at http://www.immigration.govt.nz
Once you know you want to extend your visa, you should contact NZ Immigration as soon as possible to begin the process. Extensions are often granted in person in the office, so a visit to Queen Street can be very beneficial. Here is some basic information about visa extension and renewal to keep in mind before you go.
If you wish to attend the immigration office in person, then you can either make an appointment with an immigration official in advance, or just turn up at the branch, take a number then wait to be seen.
The immigration officer will require certain documentary proof to go along with your application to extend your visa, however, whilst there is a basic list of what proof you’ll need to show, there may also be additional items required. The best option is to contact the immigration office prior to attending, and ask them what documents they would like you to bring.
Some of the documentary proof you may need to supply, depending upon the type of visa extension you apply for, is:
- Current passport
- Ticket proving you have an exit flight booked, or proof of funds to buy a ticket
- Bank statements to prove you have enough funds to continue to support yourself
- Proof of working in either horticulture or viticulture – letter from an employer for example
- Tax statements to prove you have been of benefit to New Zealand
- And many other options….
Once you’ve stayed three months as a visitor, the general rule is that you must leave New Zealand. If your time is running out and you wish to stay longer, you can apply for an extension so long as you do not exceed the maximum amount of time allowed for visitors which will vary depending upon which country you are from and it is best to clarify this with the immigration officer handling your request.
Additionally, you will need to prove that during your visit to New Zealand:
- You’ve supported yourself financially, and have enough money to continue supporting yourself
- and, you have not worked, been sponsored, or held a Student Permit.
If you are granted the extension, at the end of the extension you will need to leave New Zealand and will not be able to return as a visitor for 12 months or more. To apply for an extension you should contact your local immigration office.
If you wish to stay longer, you can apply for a Work, Student or Residence Permit.
Working Holiday Visa
If you are currently in New Zealand on a Working Holiday Visa, you may be able to extend your visa for three months if you can prove that you have undertaken seasonal work for three months or more in the horticulture or viticulture industries.
If you think you are eligible, you should:
- Fill in the SSE Work Visa Application (INZ 1153) PDF
- Provide letters from your employers and Inland Revenue Department statements that prove you have been working in either the horticulture or viticulture industry
- Provide evidence you have a ticket to leave New Zealand, or sufficient funds to buy one
- Send the application to the nearest Immigration New Zealand branch or apply in person at your local branch. With the Auckland branch you can either make an appointment in advance, or just show up and take a number.
- You do not need to provide medical evidence for this extension unless specifically asked to do so by an immigration officer
Alternatively, if you wish to stay in New Zealand upon expiry of your Working Holiday or Work Visa but you do not wish to work, then you may apply for a Visitor’s Visa.
You may be eligible to extend your Work Visa to a total of three years. Eligibility will depend on the kind of work you specified on your original application and whether or not that work is still considered valuable in New Zealand.
People working under a temporary work visa can also apply for residence in New Zealand after two years under several categories:
- Skilled Migrant – if you have been working in New Zealand and have skills the country needs.
- Family – if you‘re in a genuine and stable relationship with a New Zealand citizen or resident, or you have immediate family who can sponsor you.
- Investor – if you have a minimum of $NZ 1.5 million to invest.
- Entrepreneur – if you plan to establish a business in New Zealand and have the funds, business plan and experience necessary to do so.
You can apply for further student permits, provided you don’t exceed the total maximum time stated on your original visa permit. Make sure you apply for your next student permit before your current permit runs out. You may be eligible for a further study permit if you can prove that the additional study is necessary for you to gain membership to your profession. If you want to change your course or go to a different school, you’ll need to apply to have the conditions of your permit changed. You must have an offer of a place in the course you wish to change to, or with another approved education provider. If you want to work while you study, or stay and work after you are finished studying, you can apply for a Work Permit or a Residence Visa.
Two years to the day from when you first enter New Zealand under a Residence Visa, your Returning Resident Visa will expire. You will need to renew your visa before that date or you will not be allowed back into New Zealand as a resident if you leave for any reason. Your second and subsequent Returning Resident’s Visa may be granted for an indefinite period, a 12 month period, or a 14 day period depending on your demonstrated commitment to New Zealand over the first two years.
This commitment can be demonstrated by proving:
- Time spent in New Zealand (your passport will indicate how much time you’ve spent in NZ)
- Tax status
- Investments in New Zealand
- Family Ties