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Communtity Law Manual | Immigration | Limited Visas and Interim Visas: Special types of Temporary Visa

Temporary Visas: Working, studying or visiting for a limited time

Limited Visas and Interim Visas: Special types of Temporary Visa

Limited Visas

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 Visas

Immigration Act 2009, s 80

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.

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