- be 16 years of age or over
- hold a current firearms licence in your home country
- be from a country that has similar firearms safety and licensing practices to New Zealand
- complete an online application at least four months before your visit to New Zealand
- demonstrate you are a fit and proper person to possess and use firearms while in New Zealand.
Being a fit and proper person means you meet a certain standard of conduct and character. It is up to you to satisfy New Zealand Police that you are fit and proper.
- criminal convictions, including driving-related offences
- pending criminal charges
- unsatisfied judgements in court
- adverse findings against you by a court in civil proceedings.
If your home country/state does not issue firearms licences:
- Some countries or states do not issue firearms licences. If you are from a country or state that does not issue firearms licences, you will need to provide proof that you can legally own a firearm in your own country/state, and that you have been trained in the safe use of firearms.
- You can do so by uploading a copy of one of the following:
- Hunting permit.
- Concealed carry permit.
- Hunter education certificate.
- Other relevant document.
- You will also need to provide proof of your good character, such as a certified criminal history. See Immigration New Zealand’s advice on how to obtain a police certificate (also known as a criminal history check) from other countries.
You cannot get a visitor firearms licence and must instead apply for a New Zealand firearms licence if:
- you intend to stay in New Zealand for longer than 12 months
- you intend to immigrate to New Zealand.
The application process
See Apply for visitor firearms licence & import permits page for step-by-step instructions to apply for a visitor firearms licence.
Once your application for a visitor firearms licence has been approved, you can only make minor changes to your arrival date. If you change either of these dates you will have to re-apply for your visitor firearms licence, including paying another application fee.
If your application is approved, you will receive an email advising you of your approved application and the conditions that apply.
If your application is refused, we will write to tell you why it has been refused.
A fit and proper person:
- is a person of good conduct and character
- possesses and uses firearms responsibly
- stores firearms securely
- abides by the laws of New Zealand
When Te Tari Pūreke assesses if you are a fit and proper person, we consider:
- your overall character and conduct
- information provided by you and your referees
- information we hold or receive from any source
The Arms Act 1983 gives some circumstances in which Te Tari Pūreke may find you are not a fit and proper person to have and use firearms.
If any of these circumstances apply to you, we do not automatically refuse your application. However, we will probably have more questions.
- You have been charged with or convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment.
- You have been charged with or convicted of an offence under the Arms Act 1983, against section 231A of the Crimes Act 1961, or against the Game Animal Council Act 2013, the Wildlife Act 1953, or the Wild Animal Control Act 1977.
- You have had a temporary protection order made against you under section 79 of the Family Violence Act 2018, or section 14 of the Domestic Violence Act 1995.
- You have given grounds for a protection order under the Family Violence Act 2018.
- You have had a restraining order made against you under the Harassment Act 1997.
- You have not complied with the requirements of the Arms Act, regulations made under the Arms Act, or the conditions of a permit, licence, or endorsement issued to you under the Arms Act. You have been a member or affiliated with a gang or organised criminal group.
- You have exhibited, encouraged, or promoted violence, hatred, or extremism.
- You have been assessed as a risk to national security.
- You have a mental or physical illness or injury that affects your ability to safely possess firearms.
- You have abused alcohol or been dependent on alcohol. You have used drugs that affect your judgement or behaviour.
If Te Tari Pūreke has a reason to find you are not a fit and proper person, we tell you the reason (some exemptions apply) and give you an opportunity to refute or comment on it.