Police Clearance

When you apply for a NZ visa to stay long-term in the country, you may need to provide police clearance as evidence of good character. Police clearance is also known as police certificates, criminal checks, or penal records. These are official documents that provide official information about any criminal record you may have.

Your police certificates must be less than 6 months old and must be in English. If your police certificate is in another language, you need to provide an English translation of the certificate. Also, keep in mind that some applications require police certificates from more than 1 country, so you must check your application if you need to provide more than one clearance certificate.

To avoid confusion, you must take help from Licensed immigration consultants at ASIC. Our team will help you and provide assistance and guide you throughout your visa application process. We will also assist you on how you can obtain police clearance from your country.

Cases You Need To Provide Police Certificate

If you have provided police certificates before in your visa application, and are applying for another visa, you must check the character criteria of the visa you are applying for. Make sure you get your police checks from your native country or where you have lived in for at least 5 years since you turned 17. If your age is 19 years or less, you don’t need to provide police clearance.

If in any case you have a criminal record in any country, you need to provide the explanation of that record and the New Zealand immigration authority will review it and decide if you meet the good character requirement.

Police Clearance

Usually a visitor visa, student visa, work visa, employer accredited visa, or resident visa require police certificates as evidence of your good character. Or if your total stay time in New Zealand is 24 months or longer across all visits (including time you have spent in the past on other visas) then you need to provide police clearance.

What Is The Purpose Of Police Clearance?

You might be wondering why you need to provide police clearance as part of visa application even if you are a responsible citizen of your country. Don’t feel bad, this is just a part of the security check to make sure New Zealand has got sensible and responsible people in the country.

A police clearance is needed to conduct criminal background checks on applicants to ensure that individuals seeking to enter a country do not have a history of serious criminal activities that could pose a threat to the safety and security of the country and its residents. Because it is the responsibility of the government to provide security for their citizens.

Also, many countries (including New Zealand) have international agreements and obligations to prevent the entry of individuals who have engaged in serious criminal activities like human trafficking, drug trafficking, terrorism, and other transnational crimes. A police clearance helps enforce these agreements and enhances public confidence in the immigration system.

This will demonstrate that thorough background checks are conducted on individuals before giving them the entry permit.

What If Police Certificates Include Prior Conviction?

If your police clearance NZ includes a prior conviction, you might need to provide additional documentation at the time of visa application. These include court records, probation reports, or evidence of completed rehabilitation programs.

You must also provide accurate and complete information about the prior conviction in your residence visa or any other visa application. Include details such as the nature of the conviction, the date it occurred, the legal process involved, and any penalties or rehabilitation programs completed.

Additionally, you need to provide an explanation and context for the circumstances surrounding the offence. Explain any steps you have taken to rehabilitate yourself, demonstrate remorse, and ensure that you have moved past that phase of your life.

Obtain character references from individuals who can vouch for your rehabilitation and good character. These references can be from employers, community leaders, counsellors, or other relevant individuals who have had positive interactions with you since the conviction.

If applicable, provide evidence of rehabilitation efforts, such as completion of counselling, therapy, community service, or other programs that demonstrate your commitment to personal growth and change.

How Immigration Consultants Can Help

An immigration adviser can help you overcome difficulties associated with acquiring police certificates and ensure you are on the right path. Remember that each case is unique, and the requirements are different depending on the nature of the conviction.

At this time, ASIC will be by your side. We will work with you to request a character waiver depending on your situation. While in some extreme scenarios, you may require a special request to the Minister, granted at their discretion. We shall navigate the legal regulations and provide you with personalised advice to increase your chances of a successful visa application.

As your personal immigration consultants, we will determine if you require police clearance certificates by considering your citizenship, the time you spent in any other country, and the type of visa you are applying for.


As Auckland’s leading immigration Consultants, we are experts at assisting those who would like to migrate to New Zealand.

Whether it is a skilled migrant visa, work to residence visa, work visa, essential skills work visa, residence visa or something else that you require, our fully licensed immigration advisers can provide you with up to date information  and walk you  through advice.

Below is a list of the visas and migration options that we can help you with.

Work Visa

Visitor Visa

Assists you in coming over to New Zealand for a holiday or to stay in New Zealand temporarily. It is usually for visiting friends and relatives as well as sightseeing or could be for a dependent of a work visa or a student visa holder.

Visitor Visa

Student Visa

This enables a client to gain primary, secondary as well as tertiary education in New Zealand.  Auckland South Immigration Consultants Limited liaises with various recognised Tertiary Institutions to assist in career development in many occupations

Student Visa NZ

Work Visa

This could be through a job offer from a New Zealand employer, gaining Study to Work Instructions through a Graduate Job Search Visa or a Graduate work experience visa, joining a New Zealand resident or citizen as a partner or joining a student or work visa holder.

Residence Visa

A resident visa allows you to travel to and enter New Zealand anytime and allows you to stay in New Zealand Indefinitely.

Family/Partner Catagory Visa

Involves all types of visa applications. Talk to us today to see how we can help.

Skilled Migrant Visa

See the new changes to legislation for 2022/23

Paretnal Residence Visa

See the new changes to legislation for 2022/23

Special Cases

Pacific Access Category

New Zealand welcomes a number of citizens from the Pacific to settle in New Zealand each year.

Section 61 - Unlawful overstay

New Zealand welcomes a number of citizens from the Pacific to settle in New Zealand each year.

Domestic Violence

In cases of domestic violence, Immigration New Zealand may grant a special visa to allow continued stay in the country.

Deportation & Appeals

Deportation can be triggered by a number of factors. Let the team at ASIC see your situation and help.

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