Temporary Visas: Working, studying or visiting for a limited time
Limited Visas and Interim Visas: Special types of Temporary Visa
When will Immigration NZ grant a Limited Visa?
Immigration Act 2009, ss 81–85; INZ Operational Manual: Temporary Entry, E7.32, L2.30
If you apply for a Temporary Visa, Immigration New Zealand can instead grant a Limited Visa, which lets you be in New Zealand for a particular purpose only – this could be, for example, to go to a wedding or funeral, to get medical treatment, to do a short full-time study course, to visit a sick or injured relative, or to do seasonal work like picking fruit.
The visa has to include an expiry date, but the immigration laws don’t set down any maximum time a Limited Visa can be granted for.
Immigration NZ will consider granting a Limited Visa if you’ve applied for a Student Visa or Visitor Visa and they’ve decided there’s a small risk you’ll stay in New Zealand illegally after the visa expires (they call this “overstaying”). But for any greater risk – what Immigration NZ calls a risk that’s “more than marginal” – they’ll refuse you a visa.
Key restrictions on Limited Visas compared with Temporary Visas
Immigration Act 2009, ss 81(c)(i), 85, 206(2)(a)
Limited Visas have some important restrictions that don’t apply to Temporary Visas:
- As a Limited Visa holder, you can’t apply for a different type of visa, whether before or after your Limited Visa expires – you can only apply for another Limited Visa.
- Once your Limited Visa expires and you’re here illegally, you can be deported from New Zealand immediately, with no right to appeal your deportation to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal.
- Once your Limited Visa expires, you can’t ask for a visa as a special case under section 61 or through a special direction.
Interim Visa: Keeping your legal status while applying for another visa
If you’re in New Zealand under a Temporary Visa and you’ve applied for another visa (whether a Temporary or Resident Visa), Immigration New Zealand can grant you an “Interim Visa” so that you can maintain your legal status while they’re dealing with your application.