Visiting International Academics Guidelines


These guidelines apply to all staff members and visiting academics at the University


To explain the New Zealand visa processes that may apply to visiting academics from overseas



Requirements for visiting international academics

  • Academic visitors to the University who are entering New Zealand for a period of less than three months in any calendar year will not require a work visa if they meet the criteria below
  • If they are travelling on a passport from a visa waiver country they will be granted a visitor visa on arrival at the airport, upon production of a letter of invitation. If they are not from a visa waiver country they will need to obtain  a visitor visa from Immigration New Zealand prior to their departure to New Zealand
  • Any visit(s) totalling more than three months per calendar year will require the visitor to obtain a work visa

Requirements for letter of invitation

The visitor will need to provide a letter of invitation from the University which includes:

  • confirmation they are well qualified in their field and are either employed by an overseas academic or research institution, or have wide experience in such employment
  • confirmation that the activities being undertaken are of a pedagogical, educational, professional management or research nature
  • the dates they will be in New Zealand

The letter does not need to be lengthy and an example appears below.

Activities qualifying to allow entry as a visitor:

  • collaborating on research projects with academics working at New Zealand tertiary education institutes (including publishing work with New Zealand academics)
  • presenting at one-off seminars or conferences organised by the institution
  • providing teaching or tutoring for short courses in specialised areas in which New Zealand academics do not have subject knowledge
  • sourcing research material only available in New Zealand (including literature) or conducting research only able to be undertaken in New Zealand
  • planning and management; including designing, developing, implementing and reviewing/auditing academic and research courses, programmes and resources
  • professional development, including teaching methods and curriculum development
  • sourcing resource materials for academic and research programmes
  • meeting with a post-graduate student who they co-supervise if the student is enrolled at a New Zealand institution from which they will be receiving their qualification, if successful
  • undertaking performance classes (e.g. in theatre, dance or music) or studio master classes (i.e. recording and mastering music)
  • participating on assessment panels for oral or practical examinations, including for theses
  • study tours


The following definitions apply to these guidelines:

Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full or part time basis

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries

Visiting academic means a scholar from an institution who is visiting the University, where he or she is projected to teach, lecture, or perform research on a particular topic

Document management and control

Owner: Director, Human Resources

Content manager: Associate Director, Talent and Recruitment

Approved by: Vice-Chancellor

Date reviewed: 19 April 2018

Review date: 19 April 2021