From 27 August 2018, interim visas will be valid for 21 days after a temporary entry visa is declined or withdrawn.


Interim visas are granted to individuals who have applied for a further temporary visa, but who run out of legal status before their substantive visa application is decided.

Previously, interim visas were valid until a decision was made on the substantive application, or six months after the interim visa was first granted (whichever came first).

This meant that individuals became unlawful the day after their application was declined. This did not give them a reasonable period of time to leave New Zealand lawfully. Further, applicants were not given an opportunity to challenge the decision, whilst holding lawful status.

Who will be impacted?

Any individual applying for a New Zealand temporary entry visa, whether online or through a paper-based application.


This is a positive change for all temporary visa applicants. Benefits include:

  • Not becoming unlawful the day after a visa application is declined.
  • Having 21 days to either challenge the visa decision or organise their affairs and depart New Zealand.
  • Having a further 21 days to work, for those applicants who were granted work rights.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.