Summary of Terms

What are police certificates

These are certificates you obtain from the police to prove you are of good character. 

Who is required to provide police certificates

If you are seeking residence in New Zealand


You must provide police certificates for everyone 17 years of age or over included in your application, from:


  • each person’s country of citizenship, and
  • each country that they have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years.


If you are in New Zealand temporarily, for example, to study or work


You must provide police certificates if you are 17 years of age or over and you are intending to stay in New Zealand for 24 months or longer, unless one of the exceptions applies.


We need to see certificates from:

  • your country of citizenship (unless you can prove you never lived there), and
  • any country you have lived in for 5 or more years since turning 17 years of age.




You do not need to provide a Police Certificate:

  1. if you have provided a Police Certificate with a previous temporary entry visa that was made within 24 months of the date of issue of the police certificate, or 36 months for student applications.
  2. if you hold a student visa and are applying for a subsequent student visa, and:
    • are younger than 20 years, and
    • held a student visa on your 17th birthday, and
    • have held student visas (or interim visas with study conditions) continuously since turning 17.


Note: If you are applying for a student visa for the first time after turning 17 years of age, Immigration New Zealand will obtain a New Zealand Police Certificate directly.

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