After passport renewal, the most logical thing to do is to transfer your visa to the new passport. Immigration New Zealand (INZ) requires you to transfer your valid visa into your new passport before you use it to travel. While there exists a form to use to request the transfer of physical visa labels, the INZ website does not really divulge much info about transferring eVisas to new passports. It only lists out what they require but they do not tell you exactly how to do the procedure. In this post I will share the steps on how to transfer an eVisa to a new passport.
Again I reiterate that this post is only for eVisas. An eVisa is a visa issued without a physical label. It usually is just a PDF document that you can print out whenever you need a physical copy of your visa otherwise New Zealand’s Immigration Act 2009 does not really require you to have a visa label placed in your passport to confirm your immigration status and entitlements in New Zealand.
Here are the requirements I prepared after talking to someone at the INZ Contact Centre:
1. Written request letter
The request letter should state your identity and contact details, and what your request is. I always quote my INZ Client Number because that makes things easier.
2. Printed copy of new passport – Please do not forget to sign it before making a copy. The passport is invalid without a signature.
After physically sighting my passport, the INZ staff photocopied my passport to a paper that states ‘original sighted’. I blurred some details out to ensure this will not be fraudulently copied.
I am not sure if it is absolutely necessary for the immigration to view the original passport so if you are mailing your visa transfer request, please do ask INZ at +64 4 914 4100.
3. Printed copy of current eVisa and old passport (optional)
I included copies just because I had extra but otherwise these are not required. If they have your Client Number like in my case INZ would be able to pull up your details.
After compiling the requirements above, I went to the INZ Christchurch branch which is now located at Christchurch Central. If you are from Christchurch you would find the lack of free parking spaces annoying. If ever you do not find free parking spaces in the area, please prepare to pay the nearest Wilson Parking $5.00.
The Christchurch branch’s contact details are as follows:
Office Hours (Application lodgement/Passport collection): Mon-Tue & Thu-Fri 08:30 – 16:00; Wed 10:00 – 16:00
Office Hours (Dropbox Hours): Mon-Fri 08:00 – 16:00
Address: Level 2, 161 Cashel Street, Christchurch Central, Christchurch 8011
Phone Number: +64 9 914 4100
If you are in another city please use the Office and Fees Finder tool on INZ’s website to find your nearest INZ office.
For Christchurch people, enter the building and ride the lift to Level 2.
You will find a glass door when you arrive at Level 2. Enter and INZ reception should be to your right.
You should see this:
The above pictures show the INZ Christchurch office’s public area.
Anyway, if there is no person to do the transfer on the spot, you should just drop your request to the drop box. As I mentioned earlier, someone did photocopy my passport to an official paper and instructed me to just use the drop box. I did not have an envelope at that time and the immigration had stopped giving free envelopes so I just stapled the documents together and dropped the stack to the drop box, hoping they would not get lost.
A week and a day after, I received an email literally containing my new eVisa. The visa was not even an attachment. It had a new start date so they treated this as a ‘new’ application with its own application number and all. How I wish they changed the expiry date to indefinite too, LOL.
Again I blurred some details out to ensure this will not be fraudulently copied.
Anyway, this is my experience in transferring an eVisa to a new passport. Hope this helps you, reader!
P.S. Forgot to mention that this visa transfer is FREE. No label = no fee.