When people are planning to move to New Zealand, there are so many details to consider, especially, when it comes to documents. There are multiple moments to think through and be aware of, just in case.
- Applicants must provide a certified translation for all documents not written in English which are provided in support of an application for a residence class visa.
- Applicants must provide a certified translation for all police certificates and medical certificates not written in English which are provided in support of an application for a temporary entry class visa despite (d) below.
- If requested by an immigration officer, applicants must provide a certified translation for any other documents not written in English and provided in support of an application for a temporary entry class visa.
- Immigration officers may translate documents provided in support of temporary applications (other than police and medical certificates as per (b) above) where they have the appropriate language skills.
- Translations must:
- not be prepared by an applicant, any member of their family or an immigration adviser assisting with the application;
- be accompanied by the original documents or certified copies, unless legible copies are acceptable under;
The form in which documents must be submitted
- Unless the exceptions at (b) below apply, any passport, certificate of identity, birth certificate or other document provided as evidence of an applicant’s identity must be either the original or a certified copy.
- Documents specified in (a) do not need to be original or certified copies if provided in support of an application made:
- on an electronic form;
- by a diplomatic or consular official for a temporary entry class visa;
- for reconsideration of a decision to decline a further temporary entry class visa.
- All other documents submitted in support of an application must be originals, or certified copies, unless:
- Uncertified copies are specifically requested on the relevant INZ form or guide; or
- The application is made on an electronic form, in which case a legible scan of the original document must be provided in the manner specified by the online form or by an immigration officer; or the application is for a temporary entry class visa, in which case a legible copy of the original document may be provided.
- Despite (a) and (c) above, original documents must be provided if specifically requested on the relevant INZ form or guide, or if requested by an immigration officer.
Original documents must:
- Be copied or processed immediately;
- Be returned directly to the owner or the owner’s authorised agent (e.g. a solicitor) as soon as possible;
- Not be released to any other person unless the owner has made a written statement authorizing their release to a specified person.
- Certified copies must be stamped or endorsed as being true copies of the originals by a person authorized by law to take statutory declarations in the applicant’s country or in New Zealand. Examples: a lawyer, notary public, Justice of the Peace, or court official.
- If certified copies are supplied, immigration officers may also request the original documents.
- An immigration officer may certify copies submitted with the original document if they are satisfied that the copy agrees with the original inessential details.
- If the actioning officer is satisfied that the copy is a true copy, it must be marked with: the words “original sighted” and the date.
- An immigration officer should accept faxed copies of certified documents only if the originals, or certified copies, are then submitted at the earliest opportunity.
- Documents with evidence of having been tampered with, or unofficially altered, must be referred to an immigration officer, with Schedule 1-3 delegations, who will decide what further action to take.
- Where uncertified copies of original documents have been provided, an immigration officer may request to see the original documents before making a decision on the application.
- Uncertified copies:
- must be legible and an accurate reflection of the original document;
- must be paid for by the applicant and be certified as a correct translation made by a person familiar with both languages and competent in translation work;
- bear the stamp or signature of the translator or translation business;
- if applicable, be on the official letterhead of the translation business.
Translations may be prepared by:
- the Translation Service of the Department of Internal Affairs;
- reputable people within the community who are known to translate documents accurately, with the exception of those listed in A13.5(e)(i);
- embassies or high commissions (if the translation is endorsed with the appropriate embassy or high commission seal);
- any other private or official translation business.
An immigration officer may request a translation of the complete document where the translation is of a selected part(s) of the document and/or by a different (specified) translation service where they are not satisfied by the initial translation.
Where uncertified copies of original documents have been provided with translations, an immigration officer may request to see the original documents before making a decision on the application.
Situations requiring an interpreter
- An immigration officer may require the assistance of an interpreter when interviewing a person who is unable to understand the questions fully and give adequate answers in English.
- If an immigration officer is aware that such a situation may arise, they must make arrangements to obtain an interpreter before the interview.
Suitability of interpreters
- An immigration officer may use a staff member who understands and communicates in the interviewee’s language or a third party interpreter in whom they have confidence.
- If family members, friends or agents accompany interviewees who do not speak English fluently to an interview, an immigration officer should not use these people as interpreters, because they may have an interest in the outcome of the application and therefore may:
- provide an incorrect translation;
- give their own answers and ask their own questions rather than those of the applicant;
- seek to influence the applicant’s responses.