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A visiting appointment is used to facilitate the visit of an academic or student from another institution for a specific purpose, such as research, collaboration on a project, expert consultation, training, skill and knowledge development, or lectures/talks.

Immigration requirements

Overseas academic or student appointees are not entering New Zealand for rest and recreation purposes (i.e. as tourists). They are here for the specific purpose of 'work'. There are a number of visa options for visiting academics and students:

Special Visitor Category: Visiting Academic

Only applies to visits of 3 months or less

Visiting academics coming to New Zealand to undertake activities of a pedagogical, educational, professional management or research nature can enter New Zealand on a visitor visa, as long as they meet certain criteria:

  1. Their stay is for three months or less (or multiple short stays amount to three months or less per calendar year)
  2. They are a national of a country where a visa waiver applies
  3. They are well qualified in their field, and are either employed by an overseas academic or research institution, or have wide experience
  4. The nature of their visit meets the pedagogical, educational, professional management or research requirements defined by immigration
  5. They have a formal offer from the University as a Visiting Academic

Longer stays will require a work visa.

It is unlikely that students would meet the criteria under points 3 and 4 above.

Full information is available in the Immigration NZ Ops Manual

Visa waiver countries

The Department of Immigration maintain the schedule of countries, including any relevant caveats. See the Immigration NZ Ops Manual for an up to date list.

Find out more in the Immigration NZ Ops Manual

Applying for a visitor visa

Visiting academics from countries whose nationals are required to hold a visitor visa to travel to New Zealand must apply for a visitor visa before travelling to New Zealand.

Immigration New Zealand information on how to apply for a Visitor's Visa

Payment for visiting academic appointees

It is possible to pay a visiting academic if they are visiting New Zealand under the 'Special Visitor Category: Visiting Academic' as long as the activities they are involved with are defined as "pedagogical, educational, professional management or research activities".

Further information is included in Immigration NZ Ops Manual (section F)

Working visas

Applies to visits of more than 3 months OR visits of up to 3 months that don't meet the Special Visa Category: Visiting Academic as above.

Visiting academics must apply for a work visa prior to travelling to New Zealand if they will:

  1. Undertake any activity that would fall within the Immigration definition of work and is not listed in the 'Special Visa Category: Visiting Academic' section above; or
  2. Stay in New Zealand for longer than three months (includes any personal holiday time); or
  3. Make multiple visits with a total duration of more than three months in any calendar year (includes any personal holiday time).

More information on how to apply for a work visa can be found on the Immigration NZ website.

Please note: The appointee needs to have applied for and received their work visa prior to departing for New Zealand. This needs to happen once the appointee receives their letter of appointment from Human Resources confirming the details of their Visiting Appointment. Due to Immigration NZ processing times, applications for a work visa should be made well in advance.

Find out more about working temporarily in New Zealand

Visiting academic appointment process

Human Resources issues formal offers of visiting appointment, on instruction from the host department.

The following documentation is required for a Visiting Appointment letter of offer to be issued:

Please forward these documents to the HR Services Team, Human Resources Division.

Once the documentation has been received, the process is as follows:

  • Human Resources will issue a Visiting Appointment offer letter to the appointee. If applicable, details about the process for applying for a work visa will be included in the letter.
  • The appointee accepts or declines the Visiting Appointment. The Host Department is advised.
  • If applicable, the appointee will then apply for a work visa.

Visiting Fellow

If the Visiting Appointee is to be awarded the title of Visiting Fellow or Visiting Professor, please refer to the 'Visiting Fellows - Guidelines for the Awarding of the Title' which can be found here.

View the Visiting Fellows - Guidelines for the Awarding of the Title

Visiting Student

On a case by case basis, the University allows students from other universities, referred to as visiting students, to visit Otago to carry out academic or other unpaid work related to their studies. The University may also host students who are not currently enrolled elsewhere, but who have a demonstrable connection with the University, such as prospective students carrying out preparatory work or recent Otago graduates completing tasks associated with their studies.

See the University's Visiting Students Policy for further information.

View the Visiting Students Application Process

Key contacts

Human Resources
General enquiries

64 3 479 8269

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