Character Requirements

A5.1 Requirement of good character

Applicants for all visas must:

  1. be of good character; and
  2. not pose a potential security risk.

If any person included in the application fails to meet the necessary character requirements and the character requirements are not waived, the application may be declined.

A5.5 Character checks

See also Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010 Regs 5(2)(d)(iii), 6(2)(c)(iv), 10(2)(e)(iii), 12(3)(d)

  1. Character checks must be carried out for the following categories of applicant:
    1. those aged 17 and over applying for residence class visas; and
    2. those aged 17 and over applying for temporary entry class visas who intend to stay in New Zealand for 24 months or longer; and
    3. other applicants for temporary entry class visas who warrant a character check if the immigration officer decides it is necessary.

      Note: the 24-month period in A5.5(a)(ii) above includes time already spent in New Zealand prior to the application being made.

  2. It is a mandatory requirement (see R2.40) for first time applicants for a residence class visa aged 17 and over to obtain a police or similar certificate from:
    1. the applicant’s country of citizenship; and
    2. each country in which the applicant has lived for 12 months or more (whether on one visit or intermittently) in the last 10 years (but see A5.10.1).

    Applicants for a further residence class visa under RV2 or RV4 will not usually need to submit a police or similar certificate, unless specifically asked to by an immigration officer. Applicants for a further residence class visa applying under any other category are required to submit a police or similar certificate as if they were applying for residence for the first time.

    Note: the requirement in A5.5(b) above does not apply to Australian citizens, holders of a current Australian permanent residence visa and holders of a current Australian resident return visa, applying for a resident visa at an immigration control area.

  3. If required, applicants aged 17 and over applying for a temporary entry class visa must obtain a police or similar certificate from:
    1. their country of citizenship; and
    2. from any country in which they have lived for five or more years (whether on one visit or intermittently) since attaining the age of 17 years.
  4. Despite (c) above, student visa applicants do not have to provide a police or similar certificate until they are aged 20 or over if they:
    1. held a student visa when they turned 17; and
    2. have held consecutive student visas (or interim visas with study conditions) since the date they turned 17; and
    3. are applying for a further student visa.
  5. Despite (d) above, a police or similar certificate is required if an immigration officer decides it is necessary.