How Long Can You Stay in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands?
With atolls as glorious as the Cook Islands, you can be forgiven for wanting to stay in the tropical paradise for longer. But how long can you legally stay in the Cook Islands on a visitor visa? We answer just that in this complete guide to the length of stay in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands, as well as give advice on visa extensions and how to stay longer.
Do I Need a Visa for the Cook Islands?
Tourist permits are granted to all international passport holders entering the Cook Islands if the entry conditions are met, including how long your passport is valid beyond the date of intended stay, evidence of an outbound ticket, proof of accommodation and any other current entry requirements. See Cook Islands Tourist Visa: Do You Need a Visa to Visit Rarotonga & the Cook Islands? for a full guide on the entry conditions for visitors.
How Long Can You Stay in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands on a Visitor Visa?
How long can you visit the Cook Islands? On a standard tourist visa that is granted upon arrival into the Cook Islands, the following duration of stay applies:
- For all international passport holders (excluding New Zealand citizens), the Cook Islands tourist visa allows you a stay of up to 31 days in the Cook Islands.
- For all New Zealand passport holders, the Cook Islands tourist visas allow you a stay of up to 90 days in the Cook Islands.
For more conditions of your tourist visa, check out Cook Islands Tourist Visa: Do You Need a Visa to Visit Rarotonga & the Cook Islands?
How to Stay in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands for Longer
There are several ways to legally stay in the Cook Islands for longer. For the purpose of visiting the Cook Islands for longer, in other words, staying for recreation and holiday, there are visitor visa extensions available. Otherwise, seeking a work permit or residency are other ways to stay for longer – see “Other Visas to Stay Longer in the Cook Islands” section below.
Cook Islands Visitor Visa Extensions
Extensions for visitors to stay in the Cook Islands are available for up to a total of six months. Applications are available to extend your visitor visa on a monthly basis for all international passport holders, except for New Zealand citizens who can extend their visitor visa by three months per application.
How to Apply for a Cook Islands Visitor Extension
In any case, all visitor visa extension applications must be made two weeks prior to your visa expiring. Applications must be made to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI).
Address: 2nd Floor of the Government Building, Takuvaine Road, Avarua District
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm
What are the Conditions for a Visitor Extension for the Cook Islands?
There are some conditions you’ll need to meet in order to be granted a visitor visa extension for the Cook Islands. First, you need to prove that you have adequate financial means of supporting your extended stay. Second, you need confirmed booking or payments with the contact information of the accommodation provider you are staying with. There is also a fee for the visa extension application, which we detail in How Much Does a Visa to Rarotonga & the Cook Islands Cost?
Other Visas to Stay Longer in the Cook Islands
Other ways to stay in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands for longer is by obtaining a work permit or being granted Cook Islands residency.
Cook Islands Work Permits
Those wishing to live and work in the Cook Islands require an entry permit with permission to work. For work permits, you must be sponsored by a person or organisation in the Cook Islands agreeing to employ you. The application must show that you have the relevant skills and qualifications for the vacant position, as well as satisfy health and character requirements.
It is the responsibility of the employer/sponsor to arrange the appropriate work permit with the MFAI.
Cook Islands Residency
A quota of expression of interest (EOI) applications is offered on a yearly basis for becoming a Cook Islands permanent residence (PR). See the MFAI website for information on how to apply.
More About How Long You Can Stay in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands
That’s it for our complete guide to how long you stay in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands on a visitor visa. Now, how long should you stay? If you’re lucky enough to have the time to stay for the full 31 days and even extend your visa, we fully recommend it! Otherwise, here’s a list of itineraries to show what you can do during the durations that most visitors tend to stay in the Cook Islands:
- The Best Rarotonga & Cook Islands Itineraries for 5 Days
- The Best Rarotonga & Cook Islands Itineraries for 7 Days
- The Best Rarotonga & Cook Islands Itineraries for 10 Days
- The Best Rarotonga & Cook Islands Itineraries for 14 Days
Finally, be sure to check out all of the documents you may need for the Cook Islands listed in What Documents Do I Need to Travel to Rarotonga & the Cook Islands?