Emergency Alert
September 17, 2017
Hurricanes Irma and Jose
Emergency Alert
October 2, 2017
Hurricane Maria

International Travel

English

Country Information

New Zealand

Country Information

New Zealand
New Zealand
Last Updated: September 13, 2017
ALL /
ALL /
Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Three months beyond the planned date of departure from New Zealand.

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

One page required for entry stamp.

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Not required for stays of less than three months.

VACCINATIONS:

None.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

Amounts over 10,000 NZD or more in cash or foreign equivalent.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

None.

ALL /
ALL /
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Auckland

Citigroup Centre, 3rd Floor,
23 Customs Street East
Auckland, New Zealand
Telephone: +(64)(9) 303-2724
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (64)(4) 462-6000
Fax: +(64)(9) 366-0870

U.S. Embassy Wellington

29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon
Wellington, New Zealand
Telephone: +(64)(4) 462-6000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(64)(4) 462-6000
Fax: +(64)(4) 499-0490

*** Consular Services to U.S. Citizens are only available at the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland. Consular Services are not available at the U.S. Embassy in Wellington even in case of emergency. Please contact the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland for consular assistance. ***

ALL /
ALL /
Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on New Zealand for information on U.S. – New Zealand relations. 

ALL /
ALL /
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

If you are a U.S. citizen, you are eligible for a visa waiver and do not need a visa for tourist stays of three months or less. You must have a passport that is valid for at three months beyond your planned departure from New Zealand. Visit the New Zealand Embassy website for the most current visa information.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of New Zealand. 

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

ALL /
ALL /
Safety and Security

While in New Zealand, you should review your personal security practices, be alert to any unusual activity, and report any significant incidents to local police.

Crime: The crime rate in New Zealand is relatively low, but theft from cars, recreational vehicles, and hostels is common, especially in areas frequented by tourists.

  • Do not leave passports or other valuable items in unattended vehicles.
  • Violent crime against tourists is rare; however, if you are traveling alone, you should be especially vigilant and avoid isolated areas.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: In an emergency, report crimes to the New Zealand Police by dialing 111. You may also contact the local New Zealand Police station for non-emergencies. Visit the website Find Police Stations for contact information. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
  • direct you to the New Zealand Victims Informtion website for assistance
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Consulate for assistance.

For further information:

ALL /
ALL /
Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. 

  • Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in New Zealand are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
  • In New Zealand, driving under the influence could land you in jail.  Roadside sobriety checks by police are common. Be aware that the blood alcohol limit in New Zealand is lower than that in most U.S. states.
  • Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Consulate immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Seismic Activity: Some heavily populated parts of New Zealand are in areas of high seismic activity. In recent years, several large earthquakes and aftershocks have occurred throughout the country, resulting in widespread damage to infrastructure, injuries, and deaths. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA).

Adventure Sports: Many tourists come to New Zealand to participate in extreme adventure sports, such as bungee jumping, sky diving, hiking, rappelling, climbing, motorcycling, and kayaking. Injuries and death can result from participating in such activities. You should use caution and common sense when engaging in adventure sports. Make sure you have travel medical insurance and that it covers your sport. See our section on Medical Insurance below.

Visit the New Zealand Department of Conservation website for advice and direction on how to safely and legally hike, bike, etc. in New Zealand.

Never participate in adventure sports alone. Always carry identification, and let someone else know where you are at all times. Before kayaking, check the river conditions and wear a life jacket. When hiking, rappelling, or climbing, carry a first aid kit, and know the location of the nearest rescue center.

Imports: New Zealand is an island nation, and the government is serious about preserving its delicate ecosystem. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) strictly regulates what can be imported into New Zealand.

  • If you do not declare goods that could be quarantined, you can be fined up to 100,000 NZD (approximately 80,000 USD) and/or face up to five years in prison.
  • If you do not declare goods considered to be a biosecurity risk, such as fresh fruit, seeds, and plants, you can receive an instant fine of 400 NZD (approximately 320 USD).
  • When importing a pet, you will need thorough veterinary documentation and a quarantine period will be required.
  • The MPI may seize and destroy unfinished wood products, used hiking shoes, gardening tools, fresh food items, and items such as used pet carriers. Thoroughly clean any hiking equipment or sports gear prior to your arrival in New Zealand.
  • For more information visit the Biosecurity New Zealand website.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in New Zealand.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility AssistanceWhile in New Zealand, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what they find in the United States.

  • Every new building and major reconstruction in New Zealand must provide "reasonable and adequate" access for individuals with disabilities, but be aware that most buildings pre-date this requirement. Most facilities have wheelchair access.
  • Some buses in towns and cities are equipped to cater to indvididuals with disabilities, but most public transport is not.
  • If you are planning a holiday and need information on facilities for individuals with disabilities, please visit and the New Zealand Tourism website.
  • Most transport operators can serve individuals with disabilities, but it is a good idea to phone ahead to tell them in advance what your needs are.
  • Car parking allocated for individuals with disabilities is available in New Zealand. We suggest you bring a letter from your medical provider on his or her professional letterhead detailing your medical condition and your need for accessible parking. You can read more about how to qualify for accessible parking spaces on the CCS Disability Action website.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

ALL /
ALL /
Health
  • Quality medical care is widely available in New Zealand.
  • Waiting lists exist for certain types of treatment.
  • Access to medical care may be less available in rural areas.
  • Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.
  • Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. 
  • We do not pay medical bills.

Medication: High-quality medication (both over-the-counter and prescription) is widely available at local pharmacies, although the name of the product may differ from the U.S. version.

  • If traveling with prescription medication, check the government of New Zealand regulations at New Zealand MedSafe to ensure the medication is legal in New Zealand. Always, carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

  • We strongly recommend supplemental insurance  to cover medical evacuation. 

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

ALL /
ALL /
Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: While in New Zealand, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.

  • Renting a car or a camper is a popular way to enjoy New Zealand's natural beauty, but if you are unfamiliar with local conditions, you should be extremely careful. New Zealand has only 100 miles of multi-lane divided motorways. Most intercity travel is on narrow, two-lane roads. While these roads are in good condition, New Zealand's rugged terrain means motorists often encounter sharper curves and steeper grades than those found on the U.S. Interstate Highway System.
  • You should also use caution to avoid animals when driving in rural areas.
  • There is very limited cell phone coverage on large portions of scenic highway in the South Island, which is remote and has little traffic.
  • Pedestrians do not have the right of way except in crosswalks. New Zealand law requires that cars stop for pedestrians who are in a crosswalk and that cars stop at least two meters (approximately 6 feet) from a crosswalk that is in use.

Traffic Laws   

  • All traffic travels on the left in New Zealand, and you should exercise extra caution if you are accustomed to driving on the right. Driving on the wrong side of the road is a leading cause of serious injury and death for U.S. tourists.
  • Make sure to follow the posted speed limit signs. The speed limits are much lower than they are in the United States.
  • Proceed carefully through intersections. Traffic circles are common throughout New Zealand. When approaching a traffic circle, always yield to traffic coming from the right--noting that traffic already in the circle has the right-of-way--and merge to the left into the circle. Left turns on a red traffic signal are not permitted.
  • New Zealand prohibits driving while texting as well as driving while using a cell phone.

Public Transportation: New Zealand has public transport systems in all major cities and some towns. Comprising buses, trains, and ferries, public transport in New Zealand is generally easy to use and reliable. See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of the New Zealand Transport Agency for information about safe driving in New Zealand.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of New Zealand’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
ALL /
ALL /
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Auckland

Citigroup Centre, 3rd Floor,
23 Customs Street East
Auckland, New Zealand
Telephone: +(64)(9) 303-2724
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (64)(4) 462-6000
Fax: +(64)(9) 366-0870

U.S. Embassy Wellington

29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon
Wellington, New Zealand
Telephone: +(64)(4) 462-6000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(64)(4) 462-6000
Fax: +(64)(4) 499-0490

*** Consular Services to U.S. Citizens are only available at the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland. Consular Services are not available at the U.S. Embassy in Wellington even in case of emergency. Please contact the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland for consular assistance. ***

ALL /
ALL /
General Information

 

New Zealand and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Convention (Hague Abduction Convention) since October 1, 1991.

For information concerning travel to New Zealand, including information about the location of the U.S. Consulate General, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for New Zealand.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

 

 

 

ALL /
ALL /
Hague Abduction Convention

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizen Services, Office of Children's Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including New Zealand.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.

Contact information:

Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone: 1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States: 1-202-501-4444
Fax: 1-202-485-6221
Website

The New Zealand Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention is located in the Ministry of Justice.  The Central Authority has an administrative role in processing Hague Abduction Convention applications by reviewing applications received and, if complete, forwarding to the nearest District Court.  They can be reached at:

New Zealand Central Authority
Ministry of Justice
Level 3  Vogel Centre
19 Aitken Street
DX SX10088
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in New Zealand, the left-behind parent or the relevant Central Authority must submit a Hague application along with supporting documentation to the New Zealand Central Authority.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the New Zealand Central Authority, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes. 

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or New Zealand central authorities.  Court costs and attorney fees are covered by New Zealand's legal assistance program.  The left-behind parent may be required to cover additional costs, including travel arrangements for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

 

ALL /
ALL /
Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, New Zealand.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

ALL /
ALL /
Visitation/Access

A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in New Zealand.  The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

ALL /
ALL /
Retaining an Attorney

Retaining a private attorney is not required in order to submit a Hague Convention application to a court in New Zealand. The New Zealand Central Authority will appoint an attorney for left-behind parents who are pursuing the return of or access to a child who was habitually resident in a Convention country. The New Zealand Central Authority provides legal assistance to applicants regardless of their financial situation.

The U.S. Consulate General in Auckland, New Zealand, posts list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law. 

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

ALL /
ALL /
Mediation

The New Zealand Central Authority strongly promotes mediation in abduction cases and will attempt to initiate mediation in all Hague Abduction Convention cases. Counsel appointed to represent the left-behind parent will investigate mediation options for the parents.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
ALL /
ALL /
Hague Convention Information

New Zealand is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention).  Intercountry adoption processing in Hague countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of New Zealand]. New Zealand is not a sending country for intercountry adoptions. The only adoptions that are likely to take place from New Zealand are relative adoptions. The Central Authority does not retain intercountry adoption dossiers sent from overseas for non-relative children.

Below is the limited adoption information that the Department has obtained from the adoption authority of New Zealand. U.S. citizens interested in adopting children from New Zealand should contact the Central Authority of New Zealand to inquire about applicable laws and procedures. U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents living in New Zealand who would like to adopt a child from the United States or from a third country should also contact New Zealand’s Central Authority. See contact information below.

New Zealand became party to the Hague Adoption Convention in 1999 and adopted the Adoption (Intercountry) Act of 1997 as its implementing legislation. An intercountry adoption from a non-Convention country can be recognized in New Zealand under certain conditions established by Section 17 of the Adoption Act of 1955.  Under the Convention, New Zealand considers child placement options in New Zealand before placing a child for an intercountry adoption.  As a result, New Zealand usually requires prospective adoptive parents to be permanent residents of New Zealand.

Please visit the Department’s Country Specific Information for more information on travelling to New Zealand and the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland website for information on consular services.

WARNING: The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5 Letter”) to the New Zealand Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from New Zealand where all Convention requirements are met and the consular officer determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States. This letter will inform the New Zealand’s Central Authority that the parents are eligible and suited to adopt, that all indications are that the child may enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.

Do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in New Zealand before a U.S. consular officer issues the Article 5 Letter in any adoption case.

Remember: The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process.

ALL /
ALL /
Who Can Adopt
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
Who Can Be Adopted
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
How to Adopt
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
Traveling Abroad
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
After Adoption
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
Contact Information

U.S. Consulate General in Auckland
American Consulate General, 3rd floor,
Citibank Bldg., 23 Customs Street East, Auckland 1010
Tel: Immigrant Visa Section  - (64-9) 303-2724 ext. 2810

New Zealand’s Adoption Authority
Child, Youth & Family (CYF)
Ministry of Social Development 
P.O. Box 1556
Wellington 6140 
New Zealand
Email for Adoption Inquiries: webadoption@cyf.govt.nz
Website: http://www.cyf.govt.nz/

Embassy and Consulate of New Zealand
New Zealand Embassy   
37 Observatory Circle NW   
Washington DC 20008 
Tel: (202) 328-4800 
Email: wshinfo@mfat.govt.nz
Website: http://www.nzembassy.com/usa 

New Zealand Consulate General
2425 Olympic Blvd. Suite 600E 
Santa Monica, CA 90404  
Tel: (310) 566-6555; Opt. 0
Fax: (310) 566-6556
Email: contact@ngcgla.com  

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
SA-17
Washington, DC 20520
Tel:  1-888-407-4747
E-mail:  AskCI@state.gov 
Website: http://adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)

1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 48 Months
A-2 None Multiple 48 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 12 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 60 Months
N-9 None Multiple 60 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
ALL /
ALL /
Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

ALL /
ALL /
Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

ALL /
ALL /
General Documents

Please check back for update

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

The Registrar's Office in Wellington issues birth certificates. Beneath the columns containing facts of birth, including parent's details, is the seal of the Registrar and the date on which the certificate was issued, but such sealed copies bear no signature. Short form Certificates of Date of Birth which do not show the parents' details are not acceptable for visa purposes. For more information including current fee, please click here.

Death Certificates

Death certificates can be obtained from the Registrar's Office in Wellington. For more information including current fees, please click here.

Cook Islands Birth and Death Certificates

Available from:

Ministry of Justice
Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages
Rarotonga, Cook Islands

E-mail offices@justice.gov.ck or contact Cook Islands High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand for application forms:

Phone: (64 -4) 496-5126
Email: cookislands@cookhicom.org.nz


Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Marriage and Civil Union certificates can be obtained from the Registrar's Office in Wellington. For more information including current fees, please click here.

The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act effective 19 August, 2013 enables couples to marry regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. The new statutory definition of marriage in the Marriage Act defines marriage as "the union of 2 people, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity."

Divorce Certificates

Certified and sealed copies of Divorce Decrees Absolute/ Dissolution of Marriage may be obtained from the Registrar of the District Court Registry in which the divorce was obtained. A statement giving full information regarding when and where the divorce/dissolution of marriage was granted should accompany a request for a divorce decree.

Cook Islands Death Certificates

Available from:

Ministry of Justice
Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages
Rarotonga, Cook Islands

E-mail offices@justice.gov.ck or contact Cook Islands High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand for application forms:

Phone: (64 -4) 496-5126
Email: cookislands@cookhicom.org.nz

Adoption Certificates

Please check back for update

ALL /
ALL /
Identity Card

Please check back for update

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

New Zealand Police Headquarters will not accept requests for police certificates or records directly from individuals.

To obtain a New Zealand Police clearance certificate for U.S. Immigration the applicant can download the form from the U.S. Embassy Wellington website, http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/Supplemental/ACK%20-%20Auckland.pdf  

The requestor can deliver the request along with the required items in person, or send the completed request to the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland, via email (AucklandIV@State.gov), regular mail or courier post to: U.S. Consulate General by mail:  23 Custom Street East, Citi Group Building, 3rd floor, Private Bag 92022, Auckland New Zealand. Requests can be accepted by email as long as all attachments are included and the applicant’s name is in the subject line of the email. 

All applicant requests must include:

  • A copy of the completed N.Z. clearance request, which must include: The Post case number  (e.g. ACK for Auckland) or  A#
  • A photocopy of the applicant’s passport biographic page
  • The NVC BAR CODE SHEET  if the clearance is to be returned to the NVC.

As standard operating procedure, if a request is sent by an applicant, the vetted clearance results will be forwarded to the NVC, unless different instructions are provided.

DO NOT CONTACT THE REQUESTING OFFICE REGARDING THE STATUS OR RECEIPT OF YOUR CLEARANCE

NEW ZEALAND POLICE DO NOT DEAL DIRECTLY WITH THE PUBLIC FOR THESE REQUESTS

Court Records

For any conviction in New Zealand you must obtain the court record from the actual court where the conviction occured, NOT the Ministry of Justice central office.    

NOTE: If you were arrested or convicted in another country, you will need to obtain the Police/Court records from the relevant authority of that country.

Prison Records

Unavailable.

Military Records

Unavailable, but some former personnel have discharge/service records.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Please check back for update

Other Records

Not applicable

Visa Issuing Posts

Auckland, New Zealand 

Embassy Street Address:
29 Fitzherbert Terrace Thorndon
Wellington

Tel: (64) (4) 462-6000
Fax: (64) (4) 471-2380

Consulate General Street Address:
Citibank Centre, Level 3
23 Customs Street East (between Commerce and Queen Streets)
Auckland, New Zealand 1142

Tel: (64) (9) 303-2724
Fax: (64) (9) 366-0870 After hours: (64) (4) 462-2000 

Visa Services

All visa categories for all of New Zealand and the areas listed below:

  • American Samoa
  • Samoa
  • Cook Islands
  • Niue

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 328-4800 (202) 667-5227

Los Angeles, CA (310) 566-6555 (310) 566-6556

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Consulate General Auckland
Citigroup Centre, 3rd Floor,
23 Customs Street East
Auckland, New Zealand
Telephone
+(64)(9) 303-2724
Emergency
+(64)(4) 462-6000
Fax
+(64)(9) 366-0870
New Zealand Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

Country Information

New Zealand
New Zealand
ALL /
ALL /
Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Three months beyond the planned date of departure from New Zealand.

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

One page required for entry stamp.

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Not required for stays of less than three months.

VACCINATIONS:

None.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

Amounts over 10,000 NZD or more in cash or foreign equivalent.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

None.

ALL /
ALL /
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Auckland

Citigroup Centre, 3rd Floor,
23 Customs Street East
Auckland, New Zealand
Telephone: +(64)(9) 303-2724
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (64)(4) 462-6000
Fax: +(64)(9) 366-0870

U.S. Embassy Wellington

29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon
Wellington, New Zealand
Telephone: +(64)(4) 462-6000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(64)(4) 462-6000
Fax: +(64)(4) 499-0490

*** Consular Services to U.S. Citizens are only available at the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland. Consular Services are not available at the U.S. Embassy in Wellington even in case of emergency. Please contact the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland for consular assistance. ***

ALL /
ALL /
Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on New Zealand for information on U.S. – New Zealand relations. 

ALL /
ALL /
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

If you are a U.S. citizen, you are eligible for a visa waiver and do not need a visa for tourist stays of three months or less. You must have a passport that is valid for at three months beyond your planned departure from New Zealand. Visit the New Zealand Embassy website for the most current visa information.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of New Zealand. 

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

ALL /
ALL /
Safety and Security

While in New Zealand, you should review your personal security practices, be alert to any unusual activity, and report any significant incidents to local police.

Crime: The crime rate in New Zealand is relatively low, but theft from cars, recreational vehicles, and hostels is common, especially in areas frequented by tourists.

  • Do not leave passports or other valuable items in unattended vehicles.
  • Violent crime against tourists is rare; however, if you are traveling alone, you should be especially vigilant and avoid isolated areas.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: In an emergency, report crimes to the New Zealand Police by dialing 111. You may also contact the local New Zealand Police station for non-emergencies. Visit the website Find Police Stations for contact information. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
  • direct you to the New Zealand Victims Informtion website for assistance
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Consulate for assistance.

For further information:

ALL /
ALL /
Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. 

  • Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in New Zealand are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
  • In New Zealand, driving under the influence could land you in jail.  Roadside sobriety checks by police are common. Be aware that the blood alcohol limit in New Zealand is lower than that in most U.S. states.
  • Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Consulate immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Seismic Activity: Some heavily populated parts of New Zealand are in areas of high seismic activity. In recent years, several large earthquakes and aftershocks have occurred throughout the country, resulting in widespread damage to infrastructure, injuries, and deaths. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA).

Adventure Sports: Many tourists come to New Zealand to participate in extreme adventure sports, such as bungee jumping, sky diving, hiking, rappelling, climbing, motorcycling, and kayaking. Injuries and death can result from participating in such activities. You should use caution and common sense when engaging in adventure sports. Make sure you have travel medical insurance and that it covers your sport. See our section on Medical Insurance below.

Visit the New Zealand Department of Conservation website for advice and direction on how to safely and legally hike, bike, etc. in New Zealand.

Never participate in adventure sports alone. Always carry identification, and let someone else know where you are at all times. Before kayaking, check the river conditions and wear a life jacket. When hiking, rappelling, or climbing, carry a first aid kit, and know the location of the nearest rescue center.

Imports: New Zealand is an island nation, and the government is serious about preserving its delicate ecosystem. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) strictly regulates what can be imported into New Zealand.

  • If you do not declare goods that could be quarantined, you can be fined up to 100,000 NZD (approximately 80,000 USD) and/or face up to five years in prison.
  • If you do not declare goods considered to be a biosecurity risk, such as fresh fruit, seeds, and plants, you can receive an instant fine of 400 NZD (approximately 320 USD).
  • When importing a pet, you will need thorough veterinary documentation and a quarantine period will be required.
  • The MPI may seize and destroy unfinished wood products, used hiking shoes, gardening tools, fresh food items, and items such as used pet carriers. Thoroughly clean any hiking equipment or sports gear prior to your arrival in New Zealand.
  • For more information visit the Biosecurity New Zealand website.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in New Zealand.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility AssistanceWhile in New Zealand, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what they find in the United States.

  • Every new building and major reconstruction in New Zealand must provide "reasonable and adequate" access for individuals with disabilities, but be aware that most buildings pre-date this requirement. Most facilities have wheelchair access.
  • Some buses in towns and cities are equipped to cater to indvididuals with disabilities, but most public transport is not.
  • If you are planning a holiday and need information on facilities for individuals with disabilities, please visit and the New Zealand Tourism website.
  • Most transport operators can serve individuals with disabilities, but it is a good idea to phone ahead to tell them in advance what your needs are.
  • Car parking allocated for individuals with disabilities is available in New Zealand. We suggest you bring a letter from your medical provider on his or her professional letterhead detailing your medical condition and your need for accessible parking. You can read more about how to qualify for accessible parking spaces on the CCS Disability Action website.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

ALL /
ALL /
Health
  • Quality medical care is widely available in New Zealand.
  • Waiting lists exist for certain types of treatment.
  • Access to medical care may be less available in rural areas.
  • Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.
  • Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. 
  • We do not pay medical bills.

Medication: High-quality medication (both over-the-counter and prescription) is widely available at local pharmacies, although the name of the product may differ from the U.S. version.

  • If traveling with prescription medication, check the government of New Zealand regulations at New Zealand MedSafe to ensure the medication is legal in New Zealand. Always, carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

  • We strongly recommend supplemental insurance  to cover medical evacuation. 

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

ALL /
ALL /
Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: While in New Zealand, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.

  • Renting a car or a camper is a popular way to enjoy New Zealand's natural beauty, but if you are unfamiliar with local conditions, you should be extremely careful. New Zealand has only 100 miles of multi-lane divided motorways. Most intercity travel is on narrow, two-lane roads. While these roads are in good condition, New Zealand's rugged terrain means motorists often encounter sharper curves and steeper grades than those found on the U.S. Interstate Highway System.
  • You should also use caution to avoid animals when driving in rural areas.
  • There is very limited cell phone coverage on large portions of scenic highway in the South Island, which is remote and has little traffic.
  • Pedestrians do not have the right of way except in crosswalks. New Zealand law requires that cars stop for pedestrians who are in a crosswalk and that cars stop at least two meters (approximately 6 feet) from a crosswalk that is in use.

Traffic Laws   

  • All traffic travels on the left in New Zealand, and you should exercise extra caution if you are accustomed to driving on the right. Driving on the wrong side of the road is a leading cause of serious injury and death for U.S. tourists.
  • Make sure to follow the posted speed limit signs. The speed limits are much lower than they are in the United States.
  • Proceed carefully through intersections. Traffic circles are common throughout New Zealand. When approaching a traffic circle, always yield to traffic coming from the right--noting that traffic already in the circle has the right-of-way--and merge to the left into the circle. Left turns on a red traffic signal are not permitted.
  • New Zealand prohibits driving while texting as well as driving while using a cell phone.

Public Transportation: New Zealand has public transport systems in all major cities and some towns. Comprising buses, trains, and ferries, public transport in New Zealand is generally easy to use and reliable. See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of the New Zealand Transport Agency for information about safe driving in New Zealand.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of New Zealand’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
ALL /
ALL /
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Auckland

Citigroup Centre, 3rd Floor,
23 Customs Street East
Auckland, New Zealand
Telephone: +(64)(9) 303-2724
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (64)(4) 462-6000
Fax: +(64)(9) 366-0870

U.S. Embassy Wellington

29 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon
Wellington, New Zealand
Telephone: +(64)(4) 462-6000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(64)(4) 462-6000
Fax: +(64)(4) 499-0490

*** Consular Services to U.S. Citizens are only available at the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland. Consular Services are not available at the U.S. Embassy in Wellington even in case of emergency. Please contact the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland for consular assistance. ***

ALL /
ALL /
General Information

 

New Zealand and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Convention (Hague Abduction Convention) since October 1, 1991.

For information concerning travel to New Zealand, including information about the location of the U.S. Consulate General, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for New Zealand.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

 

 

 

ALL /
ALL /
Hague Abduction Convention

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizen Services, Office of Children's Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including New Zealand.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.

Contact information:

Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone: 1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States: 1-202-501-4444
Fax: 1-202-485-6221
Website

The New Zealand Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention is located in the Ministry of Justice.  The Central Authority has an administrative role in processing Hague Abduction Convention applications by reviewing applications received and, if complete, forwarding to the nearest District Court.  They can be reached at:

New Zealand Central Authority
Ministry of Justice
Level 3  Vogel Centre
19 Aitken Street
DX SX10088
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in New Zealand, the left-behind parent or the relevant Central Authority must submit a Hague application along with supporting documentation to the New Zealand Central Authority.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the New Zealand Central Authority, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes. 

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or New Zealand central authorities.  Court costs and attorney fees are covered by New Zealand's legal assistance program.  The left-behind parent may be required to cover additional costs, including travel arrangements for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

 

ALL /
ALL /
Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, New Zealand.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

ALL /
ALL /
Visitation/Access

A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in New Zealand.  The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

ALL /
ALL /
Retaining an Attorney

Retaining a private attorney is not required in order to submit a Hague Convention application to a court in New Zealand. The New Zealand Central Authority will appoint an attorney for left-behind parents who are pursuing the return of or access to a child who was habitually resident in a Convention country. The New Zealand Central Authority provides legal assistance to applicants regardless of their financial situation.

The U.S. Consulate General in Auckland, New Zealand, posts list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law. 

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

ALL /
ALL /
Mediation

The New Zealand Central Authority strongly promotes mediation in abduction cases and will attempt to initiate mediation in all Hague Abduction Convention cases. Counsel appointed to represent the left-behind parent will investigate mediation options for the parents.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
ALL /
ALL /
Hague Convention Information

New Zealand is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention).  Intercountry adoption processing in Hague countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of New Zealand]. New Zealand is not a sending country for intercountry adoptions. The only adoptions that are likely to take place from New Zealand are relative adoptions. The Central Authority does not retain intercountry adoption dossiers sent from overseas for non-relative children.

Below is the limited adoption information that the Department has obtained from the adoption authority of New Zealand. U.S. citizens interested in adopting children from New Zealand should contact the Central Authority of New Zealand to inquire about applicable laws and procedures. U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents living in New Zealand who would like to adopt a child from the United States or from a third country should also contact New Zealand’s Central Authority. See contact information below.

New Zealand became party to the Hague Adoption Convention in 1999 and adopted the Adoption (Intercountry) Act of 1997 as its implementing legislation. An intercountry adoption from a non-Convention country can be recognized in New Zealand under certain conditions established by Section 17 of the Adoption Act of 1955.  Under the Convention, New Zealand considers child placement options in New Zealand before placing a child for an intercountry adoption.  As a result, New Zealand usually requires prospective adoptive parents to be permanent residents of New Zealand.

Please visit the Department’s Country Specific Information for more information on travelling to New Zealand and the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland website for information on consular services.

WARNING: The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5 Letter”) to the New Zealand Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from New Zealand where all Convention requirements are met and the consular officer determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States. This letter will inform the New Zealand’s Central Authority that the parents are eligible and suited to adopt, that all indications are that the child may enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.

Do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in New Zealand before a U.S. consular officer issues the Article 5 Letter in any adoption case.

Remember: The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process.

ALL /
ALL /
Who Can Adopt
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
Who Can Be Adopted
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
How to Adopt
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
Traveling Abroad
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
After Adoption
enter text here
ALL /
ALL /
Contact Information

U.S. Consulate General in Auckland
American Consulate General, 3rd floor,
Citibank Bldg., 23 Customs Street East, Auckland 1010
Tel: Immigrant Visa Section  - (64-9) 303-2724 ext. 2810

New Zealand’s Adoption Authority
Child, Youth & Family (CYF)
Ministry of Social Development 
P.O. Box 1556
Wellington 6140 
New Zealand
Email for Adoption Inquiries: webadoption@cyf.govt.nz
Website: http://www.cyf.govt.nz/

Embassy and Consulate of New Zealand
New Zealand Embassy   
37 Observatory Circle NW   
Washington DC 20008 
Tel: (202) 328-4800 
Email: wshinfo@mfat.govt.nz
Website: http://www.nzembassy.com/usa 

New Zealand Consulate General
2425 Olympic Blvd. Suite 600E 
Santa Monica, CA 90404  
Tel: (310) 566-6555; Opt. 0
Fax: (310) 566-6556
Email: contact@ngcgla.com  

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
SA-17
Washington, DC 20520
Tel:  1-888-407-4747
E-mail:  AskCI@state.gov 
Website: http://adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)

1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 48 Months
A-2 None Multiple 48 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 12 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 60 Months
N-9 None Multiple 60 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
ALL /
ALL /
Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

ALL /
ALL /
Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

ALL /
ALL /
General Documents

Please check back for update

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

The Registrar's Office in Wellington issues birth certificates. Beneath the columns containing facts of birth, including parent's details, is the seal of the Registrar and the date on which the certificate was issued, but such sealed copies bear no signature. Short form Certificates of Date of Birth which do not show the parents' details are not acceptable for visa purposes. For more information including current fee, please click here.

Death Certificates

Death certificates can be obtained from the Registrar's Office in Wellington. For more information including current fees, please click here.

Cook Islands Birth and Death Certificates

Available from:

Ministry of Justice
Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages
Rarotonga, Cook Islands

E-mail offices@justice.gov.ck or contact Cook Islands High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand for application forms:

Phone: (64 -4) 496-5126
Email: cookislands@cookhicom.org.nz


Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Marriage and Civil Union certificates can be obtained from the Registrar's Office in Wellington. For more information including current fees, please click here.

The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act effective 19 August, 2013 enables couples to marry regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. The new statutory definition of marriage in the Marriage Act defines marriage as "the union of 2 people, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity."

Divorce Certificates

Certified and sealed copies of Divorce Decrees Absolute/ Dissolution of Marriage may be obtained from the Registrar of the District Court Registry in which the divorce was obtained. A statement giving full information regarding when and where the divorce/dissolution of marriage was granted should accompany a request for a divorce decree.

Cook Islands Death Certificates

Available from:

Ministry of Justice
Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages
Rarotonga, Cook Islands

E-mail offices@justice.gov.ck or contact Cook Islands High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand for application forms:

Phone: (64 -4) 496-5126
Email: cookislands@cookhicom.org.nz

Adoption Certificates

Please check back for update

ALL /
ALL /
Identity Card

Please check back for update

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

New Zealand Police Headquarters will not accept requests for police certificates or records directly from individuals.

To obtain a New Zealand Police clearance certificate for U.S. Immigration the applicant can download the form from the U.S. Embassy Wellington website, http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/Supplemental/ACK%20-%20Auckland.pdf  

The requestor can deliver the request along with the required items in person, or send the completed request to the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland, via email (AucklandIV@State.gov), regular mail or courier post to: U.S. Consulate General by mail:  23 Custom Street East, Citi Group Building, 3rd floor, Private Bag 92022, Auckland New Zealand. Requests can be accepted by email as long as all attachments are included and the applicant’s name is in the subject line of the email. 

All applicant requests must include:

  • A copy of the completed N.Z. clearance request, which must include: The Post case number  (e.g. ACK for Auckland) or  A#
  • A photocopy of the applicant’s passport biographic page
  • The NVC BAR CODE SHEET  if the clearance is to be returned to the NVC.

As standard operating procedure, if a request is sent by an applicant, the vetted clearance results will be forwarded to the NVC, unless different instructions are provided.

DO NOT CONTACT THE REQUESTING OFFICE REGARDING THE STATUS OR RECEIPT OF YOUR CLEARANCE

NEW ZEALAND POLICE DO NOT DEAL DIRECTLY WITH THE PUBLIC FOR THESE REQUESTS

Court Records

For any conviction in New Zealand you must obtain the court record from the actual court where the conviction occured, NOT the Ministry of Justice central office.    

NOTE: If you were arrested or convicted in another country, you will need to obtain the Police/Court records from the relevant authority of that country.

Prison Records

Unavailable.

Military Records

Unavailable, but some former personnel have discharge/service records.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Please check back for update

Other Records

Not applicable

Visa Issuing Posts

Auckland, New Zealand 

Embassy Street Address:
29 Fitzherbert Terrace Thorndon
Wellington

Tel: (64) (4) 462-6000
Fax: (64) (4) 471-2380

Consulate General Street Address:
Citibank Centre, Level 3
23 Customs Street East (between Commerce and Queen Streets)
Auckland, New Zealand 1142

Tel: (64) (9) 303-2724
Fax: (64) (9) 366-0870 After hours: (64) (4) 462-2000 

Visa Services

All visa categories for all of New Zealand and the areas listed below:

  • American Samoa
  • Samoa
  • Cook Islands
  • Niue

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 328-4800 (202) 667-5227

Los Angeles, CA (310) 566-6555 (310) 566-6556

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Consulate General Auckland
Citigroup Centre, 3rd Floor,
23 Customs Street East
Auckland, New Zealand
Telephone
+(64)(9) 303-2724
Emergency
+(64)(4) 462-6000
Fax
+(64)(9) 366-0870
New Zealand Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.