VIP border facilitation for events

This page has information about who qualifies as a VIP for events, what hosting and facilitation services can be provided to them, and how event participants apply for VIP status.

Who qualifies as a VIP

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

For government border facilitation and hosting there are 2 formal categories:

  • Guest of Government, which applies to heads of state, heads of government and ministerial equivalents, members of the British 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 therefore qualify for border facilitation are in roles such as chief executive and board members of international sporting organisations, international business figures, international arts figures and administrators and so on.

What can be provided, and by whom

The following hosting and border facilitation services can be provided for VIPs:

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

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 2 departments work closely together.

Requests for border facilitation for VIPs who are not government guests are made through us, and presented to the Major Events Border Steering Group for discussion and a decision.

Timeframes

You need to apply well before the event:

  • Guest of Government and Partial Guest of Government status — 3 to 6 months before the event
  • VIP airport facilitation — 1 month before the event.

How to apply

Events with Major Events Development Fund investment

If you have event guests/participants who might meet the border facilitation criteria, discuss it early on with your Major Events advisor. You'll need to provide:

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

Your New Zealand Major Events advisor will:

  • send this information to the Major Events Border Steering Group, or
  • if appropriate, consider applying on your behalf 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.

Events without 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.