The New Zealand (NZ) border is currently closed to almost all travellers, with limited exceptions, to help stop the spread of COVID-19. For more information, please visit the NZ Immigration website.
Apply for a visitor firearms licence
A visitor firearms licence will allow 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 will be determined by the intended length of your stay in New Zealand.
If you are intending to bring firearms into New Zealand, the details of your firearms types will be assessed to ensure that the correct permits and endorsements are granted and stipulated on your approved visitor firearms licence.
Criteria you must meet to be considered for a visitor licence
Before you start
Things to know and help you prepare for the application process
How to log in and apply for a visitor licence
Things to know if you want to bring a firearm with you
When you arrive
Things to know about your arrival in New Zealand
What to do to have a smooth departure
Eligibility criteria for a visitor firearms licence
You need to:
- Be 16 years of age or over
- Complete an online application at least one month before your visit to New Zealand
- Be from a country that practices a similar firearms safety and licensing regime as New Zealand
- Hold a current firearms licence in your home country
- Demonstrate that you are a fit and proper person to be in possession of and use firearms while in New Zealand
Note: Being a fit and proper person means meeting a certain standard of conduct and character. It is up to you to satisfy New Zealand Police that you are fit and proper. When applying for a visitor firearms licence, you must tell us about any:
- criminal convictions, this includes driving-related offences
- pending criminal charges
- unsatisfied judgments in court
- adverse findings against you by a court in civil proceedings
Home country criteria:
- Countries such as the United States of America, do not (in all states) issue firearms licences. If you are from a state that does not issue firearms licences then 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, by uploading a copy of one of the following:
- hunting permit
- concealed carry permit
- hunter education certificate
- You will also need to provide proof of your good character, such as a certified criminal history
You cannot get a visitor firearms licence if you intend:
- Staying in New Zealand longer than 12 months. You must apply for a New Zealand firearms licence
- To immigrate to New Zealand
Before you start you will need to:
- Create a RealMe® login or log into your existing one using the RealMe login box on this page.
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.
- Have a credit card ready to pay for your visitor firearms licence fee of NZ$25
- Study the Arms Code as you will be required to complete an online theory test as part of your application
- Have a recent photo of yourself (taken within 12 months of application) that is a good likeness of you. The photo must:
- be a full front view of your face, head, and shoulders with the head filling most of the photograph
- be of you without a hat or head covering (except where your religion requires you to wear a hat or head covering)
- have a plain, light-coloured background
- be a colour photograph
- meet the following technical requirements, the photo must be:
- 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
- Provide a scanned copy of your passport ID page
- Provide a scanned copy of your firearms licence for your home country
Note: If you do not have a home country firearms licence (for example, if you are from certain states in the United States of America) then upload the evidence as detailed in the eligibility criteria section.
- Demonstrate that 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). You will need to 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
The application process
- Access the online application using the RealMe login you created (get a login here)
- Complete all sections of the application
- Upload your photo (as described in the section above)
- Upload a scanned copy of your passport ID page
- Upload a scanned copy of your firearms licence for your home country
- You will need to 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
- Pay your visitor firearms licence application fee of NZ$25 by credit card
- Consent to the Police making inquiries to determine if you are a fit and proper person to be in possession of and use firearms in New Zealand and authorise any person approached by the Police in this matter to release or disclose all relevant information.
Note: Once your application for a visitor firearms licence has been approved, you cannot make any changes to your arrival date and/or your departure date. If you need to change either of these dates, you will need 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’ll write to tell you why.
Bringing firearms into New Zealand
If you are intending to bring your own firearms into New Zealand, you will need to make a selection from a list of standard firearms during the application and provide the following details:
- Action type
- Ammunition type
- Serial number
NOTE: Any part of a firearm now requires a permit to be allowed into New Zealand. As part of your application, you will need to provide full details of all firearms parts including magazines..
Importing prohibited offensive weapons other than firearms
Approval from the Police is required under the Customs Import Prohibition Order 2017 to import the following offensive weapons:
- Knuckledusters, knives incorporating knuckledusters, swordsticks (including, without limitation, any identifiable components of swordsticks), and any weapon disguised to give the appearance of another article.
- Any knife having 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 having 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 a knife of any of the kinds sometimes known as a fist knife, gimlet knife, punch dagger, push dagger, push dirk, push knife, T-handled knife, or throwing knife.
Note: Applicants must provide a compelling and appropriate reason for importation of prohibited offensive weapons. A permit must be obtained prior to the weapons arriving in New Zealand.
For enquiries relating to importation of prohibited offensive weapons, please contact Police at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The application to import offensive weapons [Form POL67OW] is available in the Firearms Forms and Guides section.
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 will be valid between the dates specified on your licence which are based on your arrival date and departure date.
If arriving by:
- air, airport staff will be able to 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, if you applied to bring firearms into New Zealand, all firearms and parts.
- issue a visitor firearms licence to you and (if applicable) a permit to import firearms and/or part.
- sea-port, go to the nearest local Police station in the area to pick up your approved visitor firearms licence.
- 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 will be stated in your approved visitor firearms licence email.
- You must declare all firearms to New Zealand Customs officials.
- If you arrive with firearms that are not listed in your approved visitor firearms licence email, then they will be seized and held by Police until you depart New Zealand.
Leaving New Zealand with firearms
- Take all firearms and parts that you brought with you out of New Zealand
- Complete any form(s) required for an export permit or for notification purposed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand.
If you need help, please contact the Export Controls office below:
Remember to arrange to import any firearms back into your country of origin before you leave New Zealand.
Police checks at the port of departure are important to ensure all firearms brought into New Zealand are taken back with visitors as per the conditions on their visitor firearms licence.
If leaving via:
- an airport: report to the Airport Police
- a sea-port: report to the nearest local Police station.
Web browser capability
The Police online licence application system will perform best using the latest web browser versions of:
Note: There is currently a fault preventing visitor licence applications from being completed. We apologise for any inconvenience as we work to fix the issue.
To apply for a visitor firearms licence or to login to an existing application, click on the RealMe login button below.
To access the firearms portal, you will need to log into RealMe. If you’ve used a RealMe login somewhere else, you can use it here too. If you don’t already have a username and password, just select Login and choose to create one.
If you need help, please contact Police at email@example.com