Question Details: I need to go overseas urgently, but my passport has expired and I can't get a new one because of the political situation in my home country. Is there any way that I can travel overseas?
Filed under Refugee and Immigration Law | 2027 View(s)
You may be able to travel overseas with a Certificate of Identity. These are issued by the Department of Internal Affairs. You can apply for a Certificate of Identity if you are not a New Zealand citizen and are genuinely unable to obtain a passport from your home country.
The application form, along with information about the application process, can be accessed here: www.passports.govt.nz. Among other information, it will require you to list the countries you intend to visit. The application fee is $81.70.
If granted, a Certificate of Identity will allow you to leave New Zealand. It will expire one year from the date of issue.
You will still need to obtain a visa to enter other countries. Also, a Certificate of Identity does not automatically allow you to re-enter New Zealand - to do that you will need to obtain either a Returning Resident's Visa or a re-entry permit from Immigration New Zealand.
You say you need to go overseas urgently. The regular processing time for certificates of identity is a minimum of 20 working days. If your travel is more urgent than this, you should contact the New Zealand Passport Office - they may be able to help you. Their contact details can be found here: www.passports.govt.nz.
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