New Zealand Visa & Migration Specialists

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character requirement


There are lots of requirements associated with a permanent visa in New Zealand. In addition to having a clean bill of health and showing you have the financial capacity to live in New Zealand, there are character requirements you need to meet.


New Zealand requires all its visa applicants, especially in the Skilled Migrant category, to be of good character. Now, the term “character requirement” tends to be misleading and ambiguous. After all, it is subjective. What one group of people considers as “good character” may not be the case for another.


More importantly, how do you prove that you have a good character as per the requirements?


Owing perhaps to its ambiguity, people often underestimate its importance in deciding your visa status and can end up suffering.

Meeting visa application character requirements

What are they looking for?

New Zealand carries out character checks on every applicant over 17 years of age who is applying for even a temporary entry lasting 24 months or longer. They check to see if you have:


  • Been convicted or imprisoned for over five years, or for over 12 months in the last ten years
  • Deported or removed from New Zealand under any enactment
  • Excluded from New Zealand under any statute or from any other country
  • Been involved in terrorist activities or affiliated with any organisation engaged in such activities
  • Committed or assisted others in committing criminal offences in New Zealand
  • Associated yourself with an organisation that poses a threat to New Zealand
  • Potential to be a security threat to New Zealand

Accepted proof of good character

In order to provide evidence that you have a good character, visa applicants are supposed to provide police certificates from the countries they have lived in, which includes the country of citizenship and any country the applicant has resided in for 12 months or more over the last ten years. Temporary entry visa applicants need to furnish police certificates from any country they have resided in for over five years.

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