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New Zealand’s Good Character visa requirement explained

New World Immigration looked in to what it means from a New Zealand perspective.

New Zealand’S Good Character Visa Requirement Explained

New Zealand’s visa and immigration requirements state, among other requirements, that ‘all non-New Zealanders must be of good character’.

A person’s character is deemed poor if that person has criminal convictions against their name or the applicants provided false or misleading information in their application – in which case the applicant will not be granted a visa unless a character waiver is granted.


It is however important to remember that New Zealand immigration does not view unsubstantiated allegations and civil matters as sufficient reason to demonstrate that a person is not of good character. People are however required to declare whether or not they are under investigation by a law enforcement agency in any country, or have a criminal record.

Speak to your immigration consultant about pursing a character waiver should you have a criminal case against your name. In the case of character waivers, each application is considered on its individual merits and taking into account, for example, the seriousness of an offence, number of offences and how long ago the event/s occurred.

A special direction is considered under section 17 of the Immigration Act 2009 and allows exceptions to be given to a person who is not eligible for a visa. This includes people sentenced to a term of imprisonment of five years or more.

If a special direction is granted applicants then can apply for a visa to enter New Zealand. In these circumstances criminal convictions are not required to be considered by Immigration New Zealand when deciding the application, but all other requirements need to be met.

It is important to ensure that the information you provide on your visa application is always true and correct. If New Zealand Immigration finds that your application is fraudulent your application will be rejected outright and future applications will also be flagged, and chances are that other subsequent applications will also fail.


If you are concerned about this visa requirement but would like to apply for a New Zealand visa speak to an immigration consultant at New World Immigration. The team is clued up with the latest developments and legislation regarding immigration requirements and is likely to be able assist you towards the best possible outcome.

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