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VIP border facilitation

Major events are attended by influential and significant people: political leaders, international business leaders, international leaders in sport and the arts.

Providing VIPs with airside greeting, reception and border facilitation acknowledges their status, importance and influence and enhances New Zealand’s reputation as a welcoming host country.


Who qualifies as a VIP?

For government border facilitation and hosting there are two formal categories:

  • Guest of Government, which applies to Heads of State, Heads of Government and Ministerial equivalents, members of the Royal Family and Foreign Royalty.
  • Partial Guest of Government, which applies to Associate, Junior and Vice Ministers in national or central governments, heads of international and regional agencies.

For non-government hosting, individuals who may be categorised as VIPs and may qualify for border facilitation are in roles such as CEO and board members of international sporting organisations, international business figures, international arts figures and administrators etc.


What can be provided?

  • airside meeting and greeting
  • separate lounge facilities where required
  • facilitation through Customs, Immigration and Biosecurity
  • priority luggage transfer.


Who provides it?

For government guests, VIP hosting and border facilitation are the responsibility of the Visits and Ceremonial Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. These two departments work closely together.

Requests for border facilitation for VIPs who are not government guests, but who it might be desirable to facilitate, are made through New Zealand Major Events and are presented to the Major Events Border Steering Group for discussion and a decision.



Applications must be made well ahead of the event:

  • Guest of Government and Partial Guest of Government status - three to six months out from the event.
  • VIP airport facilitation - one month out from the event.


How to apply

If the event has received Major Events Development Fund investment

If you have event guests/participants who might meet the border facilitation criteria, discuss it at an early stage with your Major Events Advisor. You will need to provide:

  • information about the candidate's current role
  • short biographical information
  • the proposed dates and duration of their visit. 

The New Zealand Major Events Advisor will take the process forward through the Major Events Border Steering Group, or if appropriate consider applying for Partial Guest of Government status in consultation with the Visits and Ceremonial Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  Granting this status is the prerogative of the Prime Minister and is a formal and lengthy process.


If the event has not received Major Events Development Fund investment

Contact the Coordinator, New Zealand Major Events +64 4 474 2641 or email majorevents@mbie.govt.nz to be directed to a Major Events team member to discuss the possibilities.


Last updated 3 May 2016