Apply for visitor firearms licence

Note: Visitor licence services will not be offered for the period 17 December 2022 to 8 January 2023.

 

If you are wanting to use a firearm unsupervised during your visit to New Zealand, you must obtain a visitor firearm licence.

To ensure your licence application is processed in time for your arrival in New Zealand, we recommend you apply a minimum of four months before your visit.

Who should apply?

If you are visiting New Zealand for less than 12 months and you are planning to use a firearm during your visit, you must apply for a visitor firearms licence. If you don’t obtain a visitor firearm licence, you can only use a firearm under the immediate supervision of a New Zealand firearms licence holder.
A visitor firearms licence allows you to use firearm(s) for hunting or competitions in New Zealand. The visitor firearms licence is valid for the time specified on the approved visitor firearms licence, which is determined by the intended length of your stay in New Zealand.

If you intend to bring firearms into New Zealand, you must provide details of your firearms types during the application process to ensure you are granted the correct permits and endorsements. See Bringing firearms into New Zealand for more information.

You cannot get a visitor firearms licence if you are staying in New Zealand longer than 12 months, or if you are immigrating to New Zealand. You must apply for a New Zealand firearms licence instead.

 

Eligibility criteria for a visitor firearms licence

To apply for a visitor firearms licence, you need to:

  • 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 be in possession of and use firearms while in New Zealand
  • provide proof of your good character, such as a certified criminal history.


*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. See Fit & proper definition for more information.

 

When applying for a visitor firearms licence, you must tell us about any

  • criminal convictions, including driving-related offences
  • current or pending criminal charges
  • 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.

 

Apply for a visitor firearms licence

Before you start

Before you start your application, you will need to:

  • Create a RealMe® login or log into your existing one using the RealMe login box below.
  • Be prepared to pay for your visitor firearms licence fee of NZ$25.
  • Study the New Zealand Police Arms Code - you are required to complete an online theory test as part of your application.
  • Have a recent photo of yourself that is a good likeness of you. See Photo requirements for more information.
  • Provide a scanned copy of your passport ID page.
  • Provide a scanned copy of your firearms licence from your home country. If you do not have a home country firearms licence, upload the evidence as detailed in the Eligibility criteria section.
  • Demonstrate you have made security arrangements for the safe storage of all firearms that you will be using (regardless of whether they are your own firearms or firearms that you intend to borrow while in New Zealand).
  • Provide the details of the New Zealand firearms licence holder(s) (with a current licence) that you will be storing firearms with while you are in New Zealand.

 

Application steps

Step 1: Access the online application using RealMe

Log in to RealMe to access the firearms forms upload portal to apply for a visitor firearms licence or log in to an existing application.

If you’ve used a RealMe login somewhere else, you can use it here too. If you don’t have a username and password, just select the Login button and choose to create one.


Note: You do not need to verify your account. RealMe is used to make it easier for people to access and use New Zealand online services offered by both government and the private sector. The service has been created to build trust and confidence by adhering to New Zealand Government security, identity and privacy legislation.

 

 

Step 2: Complete the online application

Complete all sections of the application and upload the required documents:

  • Upload your photo (as described in the Photo requirements section)
  • Upload a scanned copy of your passport ID page
  • Upload a scanned copy of your firearms licence from your home country

Provide details on:

  • the purpose of your visit
  • all firearm activities you will participate in during your stay
  • all types of firearms that you intend to use during your stay in New Zealand.

Provide the details of the New Zealand firearms licence holder(s) that you will be storing firearms with while you are in New Zealand. The required details are:

  • their New Zealand firearms licence number
  • the name and email address of the New Zealand firearms licence holder

 

Step 3: Pay the application fee

Pay your visitor firearms licence application fee of $25 NZD by credit card, following the instructions given on the online application portal.

 

Step 4: Consent to Police checks

Consent to the Police making enquiries to determine if you are a fit and proper person to be in possession of and use firearms in New Zealand. Authorise any person approached by the Police in this matter to release or disclose all relevant information.

 

Application approval
If your application is approved, you will receive an email advising you of your approved application and the conditions that apply.

 

Application refusal
If your application is refused, we will write to tell you why it has been refused.

 

Important: Once your application for a visitor firearms licence has been approved, you can only make minor changes to your arrival date and/or your departure date. If you seek to change any additional details you will have to re-apply for your visitor firearms licence.

Photo requirements

The visitor firearms licence application requires you to provide a recent photo of yourself that is a good likeness of you. The photo must meet the following criteria:

  • Taken within the last 12 months.
  • A full front view of your face, head, and shoulders with the head filling most of the photograph.
  • Not wearing a hat or head covering (except where your religion requires you to wear a hat or head covering).
  • Has a plain, light-coloured background.
  • Is a colour photograph (not black and white)
  • Is a portrait photo with a 4:3 aspect ratio
  • In jpg, jpeg or png format
  • Between 250KB and 5MB
  • Between 900 and 4500 pixels wide and 1200 and 6000 pixels high

Note: A scanned copy of a photo is not acceptable.

Bringing firearms into New Zealand

If you are intending to bring your own firearms, firearm parts or ammunition into New Zealand, you will need to select from a list of standard firearms during the application, and provide the following details:

  • Make
  • Model
  • Calibre
  • Action type
  • Ammunition type
  • Serial number.

Prohibited firearms and parts

Certain firearms and parts are prohibited in New Zealand. You cannot bring these items into New Zealand with you.
Prohibited firearms:

  • Semi-automatic firearm, excluding:
    • a semi-automatic firearm that is capable of only firing 0.22 calibre or lower rimfire cartridges; has a magazine capable of holding no more than 10 cartridges; does not have a lower receiver that can be attached to a centerfire upper receiver to result in a firearm that can function
    • a semi-automatic shotgun with a non-detachable tubular magazine or magazines that cannot hold more than 5 cartridges
    • a small semi-automatic pistol
  • Pump-action shotgun that can be used with a detachable magazine
  • Pump-action shotgun that has a non-detachable tubular magazine or magazines that cannot hold more than 5 cartridges
  • Centrefire pump-action rifle that can be used with a detachable magazine
  • Centrefire pump-action rifle that has one or more non-detachable magazines (tubular or otherwise) that can hold more than 10 cartridges

See sections 2A, 2B and 2C of the Arms Act 1983 for details on the firearms, magazines and parts that are prohibited in New Zealand. If you aren’t sure if a firearm or part is prohibited, refer to this guide.

 

For enquiries about prohibited weapons, please contact Police at permitfirearms@police.govt.nz.

When you arrive in New Zealand

Your approved visitor firearms licence will be issued to you by New Zealand Police upon your arrival in New Zealand. Your approved visitor firearms licence is valid between the dates specified on your licence (based on your arrival date and departure date).
If you are arriving by air, airport staff will direct you to the nearest Police desk or office at your arrival airport. The New Zealand Airport Police will then:

  • check your passport
  • check your firearms licence issued by the country you live in
  • check all firearms, parts and ammunition (if you applied to bring any of these into New Zealand).
  • issue a visitor firearms licence to you and (if applicable) a permit to import firearms and/or parts, or ammunition.

If you are arriving by sea-port, go to the nearest local Police station in the area to pick up your approved visitor firearms licence.

Important points

  • If you only applied for a visitor firearms licence and did not apply to bring firearms with you as part of your application, then you will not be allowed to bring any firearms into New Zealand with you.
  • If you applied to bring firearms with you as part of your application, you can only bring the firearm(s) that have been approved by Police for you to import. These are stated in your approved visitor firearms licence email.
  • You must declare all firearms, parts and ammunition to New Zealand Customs officials.
  • If you arrive with firearms, parts or ammunition that are not listed in your approved visitor firearms licence email, they will be seized by New Zealand Customs.

Leaving New Zealand with firearms

You must:

  • take all firearms and parts that you brought with you out of New Zealand
  • report to the Airport Police (if leaving via an airport) or the nearest Police station (if leaving via sea-port)
  • complete any form(s) required for an export permit, or if you are exempt from an export permit, complete notification of export forms. Follow the links below to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website for more information.
 
Export permit
Exemptions form
If you need help, please contact the Export Controls office:
  exportcontrols@mfat.govt.nz
  +64 4 439 8227
Webpage: www.mfat.govt.nz/

 

Remember to arrange to import any firearms back into your country of origin before you leave New Zealand.

Prohibited offensive weapons other than firearms

Prohibited offensive weapons require a permit to import to New Zealand, as required by the Customs Import Prohibition (Offensive Weapons) Order 2021 (see New Zealand Customs website)

 

 
You can apply to import prohibited offensive weapons using the FRM670W (PDF 90KB) application form. Send the completed application form to permitfirearms@police.govt.nz.

 

The following offensive weapons cannot be imported to New Zealand unless you have a consent to import:
  • Bayonets.
  • Knuckledusters and knives incorporating knuckledusters.
  • Swordsticks (including any identifiable components of swordsticks).
  • Any weapon disguised to give the appearance of another article.
  • Any knife with a blade that opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring, or other device in or attached to the handle of the knife (sometimes known as a flick knife or flick gun).
  • Any knife with a blade that is released from the handle or sheath by the force of gravity or the application of centrifugal force, and that, when released, is locked in place by means of a button, spring, lever, or other device (sometimes known as a gravity knife or butterfly knife).
  • Any knife, with the exception of a folding pocket knife with a blade less than 10 cm in length, that:
    • is designed for ease of concealment on the person, or
    • has a blade with at least 2 edges that is designed or suitable for stabbing or throwing (as opposed to cutting), or
    • is known as a fist knife, gimlet knife, punch dagger, push dagger, push dirk, push knife, T-handled knife, or throwing knife.

Web browser capability

The Police online licence application system will perform best using the latest web browser versions of:

  • Chrome
  • IE
  • Safari

 

 

 

Related information

 

Firearms Storage

Arms Code

Secure Storage Guidance for Firearms and Ammunition (PDF 945KB) has been created by Police with assistance from the Firearms Community Advisory Forum (FCAF) and is designed to assist firearms licence and endorsement holders and firearms licence applicants understand how the security conditions may be met.

 

Need help?

 
Find your local Firearms Office