Who Needs a Chest X-Ray for Their New Zealand Visa?

Do You Need a Chest X Ray for An NZ Visa Featured Image

When applying for a New Zealand Visa, it can often be confusing as to whether you will be required to get a Chest X-Ray or not. However, it’s especially important to get this right as failure to provide a Chest X-Ray if it is required by Immigration New Zealand may lead to your Visa Application being declined.

Do You Need a Chest X-Ray for an NZ Visa?

Typically, unless you are under 11 years old or pregnant, if you are applying for an NZ Visa, or intend to stay in New Zealand, for longer than 12 months in duration, you must have a Chest X-Ray. If your country does not have a low incidence of tuberculosis, this becomes 6 months.

Note: The time you intend to stay in New Zealand includes time you have already spent in New Zealand.

Of course, the above is only a general statement and the truth can often be a bit more technical. Follow the questions below for a more complete answer:

INZ Chest X-ray – Do You Need One?

1. Have you already had a Chest X-Ray for an earlier NZ Visa Application?

If no, go to question 2.

If yes, unless it has been more than 3 years since you had your last last X-Ray and submitted it to INZ, or unless since you had your last X-Ray you have spent more than 6 months in a country that “does not have a low incidence of TB”, you should not require a new Chest X-Ray.1

If it has been more than 3 years since you had your last X-Ray and submitted it to INZ, or if since you had your last X-Ray you have spent more than 6 months in a country that “does not have a low incidence of TB”, go to question 2.

2. Are You Under 11 Years Old or Pregnant?

If no, go to question 3

If yes, you are generally not required to have an X-Ray examination.2

3. Are you applying for a Student Visa?

If no, you are not applying for a Student Visa, go to question 4.

If yes, and you intend to stay in New Zealand for less than 6 months, you will not typically be required to have a Chest X-Ray.3

If yes, and you will stay more than 6 months, you will need to get a Chest X-Ray if you are from a country that “does not have a low incidence of TB”.

If yes, and you will stay for 12 months or more, you will need to get a Chest X-Ray if you are applying for a Student Visa on the basis of a PhD, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade scholarship, or as an exchange student.

Otherwise, you should not require a Chest X-Ray.

4. Do you intend to stay in New Zealand for more than 12 months?

If no, go to question 5.

If yes, you are generally required to provide a Chest X-Ray Certificate with your Application. This Certificate should have been issued less than three months prior to the Application being made.4

Please Note:

  • If you are applying for a Residence Class Visa, the answer to this question will be yes. In fact, typically, other than for the exceptions for those under 11 years old or pregnant, all applicants for Residence Class Visas must provide a Chest X-Ray Certificate (INZ 1096 Form) with their application.5

5. Are you a citizen of, or have you recently spent time in, a country that “does not have a low incidence of tuberculosis”?

If you are a citizen of, or have spent more than 3 months in the last 5 years, in a country that “does not have a low incidence of tuberculosis (TB)” and you intend to stay in New Zealand for more than 6 months, then INZ requires that you submit a Chest X-Ray with your Application.6

If you do not intend to stay in New Zealand for more than 6 months, including time you have already spent in New Zealand, then a Chest X-Ray will not usually be required regardless of the TB status of your country.7

If you are a citizen of a country that does have a low incidence of TB, you intend to stay in New Zealand for 12 months or less, and you haven’t spent more than 3 months in the last 5 years in a country that does not have a low incidence of TB, you should not be required to submit a Chest X-Ray.

Which Countries “do not have a low incidence of TB”?

Any country that is not included in the following list is considered to not have a “low incidence of TB” for the purpose of immigration instructions:8

  • American Samoa
  • Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Grenada
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel (including the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and East Jerusalem)
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Montserrat
  • Netherlands
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Puerto Rico
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks Caicos
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • Vatican City

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to get a Medical Examination as well?

Typically, if you will stay in New Zealand for less than 12 months you won’t need to undergo a Medical Examination on top of your Chest X-Ray. However, this depends on your circumstances. For more information, read INZ’s guide on who needs to get a medical examination.

How long is my Chest X-Ray valid for?

Your Chest X-Ray is valid for three months; it should be issued less than three months before the date you make your application for an NZ Visa.9

However, if you have already submitted a Chest X-Ray with a previous application, unless it has been more than 3 years since you had your last last X-Ray, or unless since you had your last X-Ray you have spent more than 6 months in a country that “does not have a low incidence of TB”, your previous Chest X-Ray should still be valid.10

How much does a Chest X-Ray cost in NZ?

In New Zealand, the price varies. For example, Broadway Radiology offers Chest X-Ray’s for $130.00 to $150.00. Auckland Radiology Group offers one for $95.00.

Outside of New Zealand, prices will vary evenly more widely. However, it is very important that whoever does your Chest X-Ray for Visa purposes is an INZ approved panel physician.

Can any Doctor/Clinic do my Chest X-Ray?

No, for Visa purposes your X-Ray must be done by an INZ approved panel physician.

If you are in New Zealand, and only need a Chest X-Ray (but no general medical), then you must visit an INZ Panel Medical Clinic, specifically.

What will I have to take with me to my X-Ray appointment?

At a minimum:

  1. Proof of your identity (e.g. Passport),
  2. INZ Form 1096 with Section A filled out.

How will INZ know I’ve had my Chest X-Ray?

After your appointment with your INZ approved panel physician, you will be provided with an “eMedical reference number” that you should give to INZ when you make your application.

If you are in a country that does not have any panel physician’s, you can provide INZ with a medical certificate instead.

Are there any exceptions to the outline provided above?

There are exceptions, but this article provides a good rule of thumb.

One major exception is that if you are applying for a Recognised Seasonal Employer Limited Visa, you will be required to have a Chest X-Ray regardless of the amount of time you will stay in New Zealand.

It is also worth being aware that INZ can generally require you to provide a Chest X-Ray, outside of the standard rules, when necessary for INZ to determine if you have an “acceptable standard of health” for your Visa.

Footnotes

  1. Immigration New Zealand (INZ) Operational Manual (Operations Manual), A4.20.d. and A4.25.c.
  2. Operations Manual, A4.20. and A4.25.
  3. Operations Manual, A4.25.d.i.
  4. Operations Manual, A4.25.a.
  5. Operations Manual, A4.20.a.
  6. Operations Manual, A4.25.1.
  7. Operations Manual, A5.25.5.
  8. INZ Website, Countries with a Low Incidence of TB
  9. Operations Manual, A5.25.a.
  10. Operations Manual, A4.20.d. and A4.25.c.

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Easy Legal is a New Zealand based website providing free legal resources. We cover immigration, employment, family matters, and more. All content on Easy Legal has been written or proofread by a New Zealand solicitor.

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In summary: The information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you wish to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter, you should engage a lawyer.

About the Author

This article was written by James Peacock. A graduate of the University of Auckland, James is a solicitor working at Focus Law in Newmarket.

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