‘Lawful purpose’ for visitors
All people coming to New Zealand must genuinely intend to stay for a 'lawful purpose'. We consider you to be coming to New Zealand for a lawful purpose if you are a visitor coming for the purposes of:
- family and social visits
- amateur sport
- business consultation
- medical treatment
- guest of Government visits.
As a visitor you may not work.
You may undertake one or more courses of study or training of not more than three calendar months' duration in total per visa, or in each 12-month period if your visa enables you to stay in New Zealand as a visitor for a minimum of 24 months.
School-age visitor visa holders can attend a primary, intermediate, secondary or composite school for a single period of study of up to three months per calendar year provided the study finishes within the calendar year. Study in Term One of a school year is not permitted if a single period of study in Term Four of the previous year was undertaken while on a visitor visa.
If you want to study for longer than three months in any given calendar year, you will need to apply for a student visa.
We consider you to be a genuine tourist if you are a visitor who:
- is not working and has not worked in New Zealand
- has not held a student visa
- is not sponsored
- has enough funds to provide for your maintenance and accommodation costs.
Having spent nine months in New Zealand, ‘genuine tourists’ may apply for another three months’ stay (making a maximum stay of 12 months) if they require more time to complete their travel.