An interim visa allows a foreign national to remain in New Zealand lawfully, while they have a new temporary visa application processed.

Can I apply for an interim visa?

No. No one has the right to apply for an interim visa. If you hold a temporary visa and have applied for another temporary visa (of certain types), the Immigration Department will make an assessment for an interim visa shortly before the expiry of your current visa. There is no fee charged for interim visas.

People may be eligible for an interim visa if they:

  • are in New Zealand
  • hold a temporary visa, and
  • have applied for another temporary visa that is accepted for processing by INZ. The types of temporary visa applications that will qualify for an interim visa assessment are work, student, visitor, and military, diplomatic, consular or official visas.

 

Applicants for the following visas will not be eligible for an interim visa:

  • limited visas
  • transit visas
  • group visas or group transit visas
  • holders of temporary visas applying for variations of conditions
  • people being considered under section 61 of the Immigration Act 2009 (section 61 relates to people who are in New Zealand unlawfully). 


I do not hold a valid visa, can I be granted an interim visa?

Not usually. If you do not hold a valid temporary visa, you will not be eligible for an interim visa. You may be in New Zealand unlawfully. In order to be assessed for an interim visa, a temporary visa application must have been accepted for processing by the Immigration Department. People whose applications are returned without being assessed will not be eligible for an interim visa.

Interim visas are valid for six months from the day after the person’s previous temporary entry class visa expired, or until a decision is made on their temporary visa application, or until they depart from New Zealand – whichever is earlier.

The conditions of an interim visa depend on the type of visa the person held previously and the type of visa they are applying for. The table below shows the different combinations:

Visa currently heldVisa applied forInterim visa conditions
Visitor Visitor Visitor
Visitor Work Visitor
Visitor Student Student (open)
Student Visitor Visitor
Student Work Visitor
Student Student Student (open)
Work Visitor Visitor
Work Student Student (open)
Work (employer specific) Work (employer specific - same employer, position and location) Same work conditions as currently held
Work (employer specific) Work (employer specific - different employer and/or position and/or location) Visitor
Work (employer specific) Work (open) Visitor
Work (open) Work (open where same type of open visa) Work (open)
Work (open) Work (open where different type of open visa) Visitor
Work (open) Work (employer specific) Visitor
Military, Diplomatic, Consular, Official Same type of diplomatic, official, consular, or military visa as currently held Same conditions as currently held

 

Note: Open work conditions allow work in any occupation, for any employer, in any location in New Zealand.  Open work visas include several types of applications: asylum seeker, working holiday maker, graduate job search, partnership, partner of a worker, partner of a student, and victim of domestic violence. Open student conditions are conditions that allow study in any course, at any educational institute, in any location in New Zealand.

If you hold a work visa for a specific employer with a variation of conditions to study part time, and you apply for a work visa to work for a different employer from the one you are working for, any interim visa granted will have visitor conditions and your variation of conditions will not apply. You will not be able to continue studying or working on your interim visa.

Will I be able to travel on an interim visa?

No. Interim visas do not include travel conditions. This means that if you travel outside New Zealand while on an interim visa, your interim visa will automatically expire.

Can I apply to have travel conditions put on my interim visa?

No. No one can apply for travel conditions on their interim visa.

How will I be told whether or not I have been granted an interim visa?

If you are assessed for an interim visa then you will be sent an email or a letter telling you whether or not you have been granted an interim. If you are granted an interim visa then this email or letter will also detail the conditions of the interim visa. Note that no visa label will be placed in your passport.  You will be sent an email or letter informing you of the outcome of an interim visa assessment close to the date your previous temporary visa expires.

Can I apply for another visa while I hold an interim visa?

No. If you hold an interim visa, you may not make another application for a visa. However, the application for a temporary visa you have already made will be processed as usual.

Can I get a second interim visa if this interim visa expires before a decision is made on my application?

No. If you are granted an interim visa while awaiting the outcome of your temporary visa application and no decision is made on that application by the time the interim visa expires (after six months), you will not be granted a second interim visa for the same application. In such a case, you will be considered unlawful.

If I am not granted an interim visa, will that decision affect my temporary visa application?

No. A decision not to grant an interim visa does not affect a person’s temporary visa application. The application will be processed as usual.

Can I appeal against a decision not to grant an interim visa?

No. There is no right of appeal against any interim visa decision.

The conditions of an interim visa depend on the type of visa the person held previously and the type of visa they are applying for. The table below shows the different combinations: