How to Apply Process

If you need a visa, you must schedule an appointment for a visa interview, following the five steps outlined below. Your visa eligibility can only be determined by an officer of the Auckland Consulate General at an interview.

We encourage you to apply early, as there can be a wait time for a visa appointment during peak times of the year, and some cases require additional administrative processing that the Consulate is not able to waive. Applying two weeks before your intended travel date is generally sufficient to complete all necessary processing, but complicated cases can take longer.

You can find the current wait time for a visa appointment and processing at the Consulate General in Auckland on the Visa Wait Time section of travel.state.gov.

ALL nonimmigrant visa applicants are required to fill in the online application form (DS-160). Once completed, the information in the DS-160 will be electronically transmitted. The applicant must then print the confirmation page that includes some biographical information and a bar code confirmation number. Applicants must bring the DS-160 Confirmation Page to their interview.

NOTE – As you complete the visa application, save a copy on your hard drive and ‘save’ often. Fill out all required information completely and correctly, including selecting the appropriate visa type. Significant errors or information marked as “N/A”, “Nil”, etc. may result in your application being rejected at the time of your interview. This would require you to complete the entire application again and to reschedule your interview.

You will need one passport-sized photograph that is less than six months old. The photo should be in color, 2 inches x 2 inches (5 x 5 cm) on a plain background. It should be a front view, showing your full face. You can find details on photo requirements here.

Certain visa classes require original, official documents provided by your sponsor in the U.S.:

  • Student (F) visa applicants must have an I-20 from the intended school;
  • Exchange visitor (J) visa applicants must have a DS-2019 from the program sponsor;
  • Acceptance letter from your visa sponsor and/or copy of your job placement letter in the U.S., if applicable;
  • If your J program requires that you are enrolled full-time at a tertiary institution, a letter from your institution confirming your full-time student status or a copy of your transcripts (unofficial web version is fine.)
  • Work visa (H, L, O, P, Q, R) applicants must have an I-797 approved petition notice, although a legible photocopy is acceptable.

You will be required to prove to the satisfaction of the Consular Officer that you do not intend to remain in the U.S. after your legitimate purpose of travel has ended. This may require demonstrating strong social, economic, family and financial ties to New Zealand. It may be necessary to provide some of the following:

  • Letters of employment;
  • Proof of ongoing academic studies;
  • Proof of funds, i.e. bank statements, asset statements;
  • Evidence of ownership of property.
  • If visiting relatives, it is helpful to show that they are themselves in the U.S. in legal status.

Please note that supporting documents can vary from person to person depending on your personal situation.

Every applicant must pay the non-refundable, Machine-Readable Visa (MRV) application fee. You can pay the fee online with a credit card or in person at Kiwibank in New Zealand Post Shops.

The fees page of this site has a schedule of the current fees for different services.

Online Payment with a Credit Card

The most convenient payment method for your nonimmigrant visa application fee is online with a credit card. By clicking below to proceed with a credit card payment, the cardholder acknowledges that this is a non-refundable visa application processing fee required as a prerequisite to the processing of an application. Furthermore, the cardholder agrees explicitly that there is no refund possible regardless of the outcome of this application. The amount to be charged to the card is payment of the non-refundable application processing fee by or on behalf of the applicant and does not in itself indicate the existence of a contract with the applicant, nor does it guarantee a successful application.

The New Zealand Dollar amounts on the payment page are based on the consular currency exchange rate determined by the U.S. Department of State. Applicants who do not pay the correct fee for their visa type may be restricted from scheduling an interview.

After you have paid the visa application fee, print your receipt number for your records. Save your receipt number. It cannot be replaced if it is lost. You will not be able to schedule an appointment without your receipt number.

Payment in Person

Any nonimmigrant visa applicant in New Zealand can pay their visa application fee with cash, credit card, or debit card at any New Zealand Post. Before going to a Post Shop, you must print and carry the applicable U. S. deposit slip available below on this page. Take the printed deposit slip with you to pay your fee. Upon payment, you will receive a receipt. Save your receipt. It cannot be replaced if it is lost. You will not be able to schedule an appointment without your receipt number.

Select the deposit slip (PDF) that matches your visa application fee from the list below. Values are shown in U.S. dollars. This page has more information about the different visa application fees. Please note, the deposit slips are not compatible with the iPad and will not load correctly using the default Apple .pdf reader. The slips will load correctly on Apple computers if opened using Adobe Reader. If you cannot open or view the deposit slip, please download and install the latest version of Adobe Reader from the Adobe website. There is no fee to download or use Adobe Reader.

After you have paid the visa application fee, keep the New Zealand Post receipt for your records. Save your receipt. It cannot be replaced if it is lost. You will not be able to schedule an appointment without your receipt number.

All applicants for F, M or J visas must also pay the SEVIS Fee by credit card at http://www.fmjfee.com/.  Be sure to print a copy of your receipt and bring it with you to the interview.

Also, note that if you are not traveling on a passport from New Zealand, Samoa, Great Britain, or Korea, you may have to pay an additional fee, known as a reciprocity fee.  These fees must be paid at the Consulate General, either by certified bank check or cash (U.S. or New Zealand currency is accepted.)  You will be informed of any additional fees at the time of the interview. You may also check the web site of the Bureau of Consular Affairs for more information.

All first-time nonimmigrant visa applicants are required to appear at the Consulate General in Auckland for a personal interview. Some applicants renewing their visas, as well as all official and diplomatic travelers on official business, are exempt from the personal appearance requirement and may apply for their visa by mail.

Important Notice! After paying a nonimmigrant visa application fee, you must wait to schedule your appointment

If you pay at New Zealand Post, schedule your interview at any time four hours after making payment. If you make payment at New Zealand Post on a Saturday, schedule your interview at any time after 12 noon the following Monday.

To make an appointment, applicants can schedule an appointment through the online appointment website http://www.ustraveldocs.com/nz or via call center (+64) 9 887 5999.

In certain circumstances, you can request an expedited appointment if there is not an available appointment as early as you need.  If you meet any of the following criteria, please call the U.S. Visa Information Service and ask for an expedited appointment:

  • To attend the funeral of an immediate family member;
  • Medical emergency;
  • Fulbright scholars;
  • Member of cultural group replacing an original member due to illness/unforeseen contingency;
  • J1 and F1 visa applicants who received DS-2019 or I-20 form less than 14 days before program is due to start;
  • Unexpected, time sensitive business travel significant to U.S. economic interest;
  • Journalists traveling to cover fast-breaking news.

Please note: If you are coming to New Zealand from the Pacific Islands to apply for your visa, please be sure to make an appointment before arranging your travel.  The New Zealand consular district includes New Zealand, Samoa and the Cook Islands. Residents of Tonga should apply in the U.S. Embassy in Suva, Fiji, which has responsibility for Tonga.  For more information on applying for a visa at the U.S. Embassy in Apia, please visit their web site.

Certain visa classes require original, official documents provided by your sponsor in the U.S.:

  • Student (F) visa applicants must have an I-20 from the intended school;
  • Exchange visitor (J) visa applicants must have a DS-2019 from the program sponsor;
  • Acceptance letter from your visa sponsor and/or copy of your job placement letter in the U.S., if applicable;
  • If your J program requires that you are enrolled full-time at a tertiary institution, a letter from your institution confirming your full-time student status or a copy of your transcripts (unofficial web version is fine.)
  • Work visa (H, L, O, P, Q, R) applicants must have an I-797 approved petition notice, although a legible photocopy is acceptable.

You will be required to prove to the satisfaction of the Consular Officer that you do not intend to remain in the U.S. after your legitimate purpose of travel has ended. This may require demonstrating strong social, economic, family and financial ties to New Zealand. It may be necessary to provide some of the following:

  • Letters of employment;
  • Proof of ongoing academic studies;
  • Proof of funds, i.e. bank statements, asset statements;
  • Evidence of ownership of property.
  • If visiting relatives, it is helpful to show that they are themselves in the U.S. in legal status.

Please note that supporting documents can vary from person to person depending on your personal situation.

Submit the above documents in person on your designated appointment date.

If approved, applicants receive their passport and visa by mail. This usually takes 3-4 business days, but can take longer, depending on individual circumstances. Arrival after mailing is dependent on the New Zealand postal system. As it is registered mail, an adult will have to be home to sign for receipt of the package.

The Consulate General cannot be held responsible for extra costs due to changing tickets or rebooking flights if delivery is delayed. We therefore strongly urge you not to purchase tickets until you have received your visa and passport in the mail. When you have received your visa it is important to check it. Please take some time to read our frequently asked questions page.