New Zealand visa policy is a set of rules specifying types of visas available for certain travelers according to their nationality, the purpose of travel as well as the duration of planned stay in the country.
Travelers from around 70 different countries can enjoy visa-free travel to New Zealand as long as they do not plan a stay longer than 6 months. Nevertheless, although they are visa-exempt, they still do need to complete the pre-registration for a New Zealand eTA before the planned journey.
Australian citizens are the only exception – they neither need to apply for NZeTA nor a regular visa as under the Trans-Tasman travel agreement, they can enjoy travel freedom.
Those foreigners who are not eligible for the NZeTA online application, need to visit the nearest embassy or consulate and obtain a visa in person. The same rule applies to travelers who plan longer stays in New Zealand, or whose traveling motives are not covered by the eTA.
Apart from the visa requirements, travelers must also hold other documents, including a passport that will remain valid for at least 90 days from the date of intended departure.
Currently, New Zealand maintains no visa bans for any nationality. The country borders were fully reopened to all travelers in the summer of 2022, and the NZ authorities discontinued COVID-19 restrictions.
You no longer need to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus to enter New Zealand. Nevertheless, before going for a trip, make sure to confirm the travel requirements with your travel provider since they may differ from New Zealand entry requirements.
Entry requirements to New Zealand include documents that need to be obtained prior to the planned travel. Make sure that you meet all the requirements to avoid any problematic issues upon entering the country.
Following, there are documents that should be gathered before going to New Zealand:
Important: Since travel requirements can change at short notice, travelers should remember to consult the official website of New Zealand and check the latest rules and the list of necessary documents before starting the journey.
There are around 70 different countries whose nationals can visit New Zealand visa-free but need to register for the Electronic Travel Authority (eTA) prior to the planned arrival.
The New Zealand eTA is issued as a multiple-entry authorization. The NZ authorities made it mandatory in 2019 for all visa-exempt citizens, including cruise and airline crew members.
The NZeTA application can be completed online, and once approved, it is automatically matched to the applicant’s passport.
A holder of a valid New Zealand eTA is allowed to travel to the country numerous times and stay for up to 90 days each time. The electronic travel permit remains valid for 2 years from the date of issue and covers the purpose of leisure, transit, or business.
Airline and cruise crew members are granted eTAs with a 5-year validity period.
The NZ immigration policy states that nationals of more than 50 countries are required to apply for a regular visa for New Zealand, irrespective of their traveling motive and planned duration of stay.
Applying for a visa at an embassy entails the need to book an embassy appointment and provide a number of supporting documents. Since it may be a time-consuming process, an applicant should start the visa application procedure weeks in advance of their travel date.
Visa waiver nationals do not need to apply for an embassy visa for short-term tourism-related purposes. However, they will need a regular visa whenever they plan to visit NZ for purposes different than those covered by eTA or for long-term stays.
The New Zealand authorities introduced an online system through which travelers to NZ can fill out the declaration before arriving in the country.
Travelers completing the New Zealand Traveler Declaration need to ask customs, health-related, immigration, and biosecurity questions. The online application has been suspended and is planned to be reintroduced on 21 June 2023. Until its reintroduction, travelers can fill out a paper-based Passenger Arrival Card. The forms are handed out during the flights to New Zealand.
Since 2019, the NZ authorities have required all visitors to cover a small tourist tax (IVL). The tax is levied for the purpose of protecting New Zealand’s nature and infrastructure. The collected money is invested in various national conservation projects as well as sustainable tourism programs.
Applicants eligible for a New Zealand eTA have the tax included in the electronic visa fee, while all remaining nationals who hold different types of visas still must pay the IVL fee.
Electronic visa for New Zealand (NZeTA)
*Australian nationals traveling to New Zealand do not need a visa. Nevertheless, they can be restricted from entering New Zealand if they have specific criminal convictions with jail time served, if they have been removed or deported from any country, if they are members of a terrorist entity, or if they, in general, may pose a risk to the public order.
There are no separate travel entry requirements for children visiting New Zealand.
Although there is no formal requirement, underage travelers should hold written permission for travel signed by parents or legal guardians if a minor is traveling with a third-party person or with only one parent.
Certain foreign nationals can transit through New Zealand without a visa if the layover takes place at Auckland Airport and does not exceed 24 hours. To be considered a transit passenger, one cannot leave the transit area when awaiting the connecting flight.
All those travelers whose transit stop at Auckland airport exceeds 24 hours, or they plan to leave the transit area, or who will be transiting through another airport in New Zealand, need to obtain either an NZeTA or a consular NZ transit visa (depending on the eligibility).
Yes. Most nationalities need to obtain a visa for New Zealand. Travelers from visa-exempt countries still do need to apply for the NZeTA before arriving in New Zealand. Only Australian nationals can enter New Zealand without a visa or eTA under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement.
New Zealand distinguishes a few methods of getting a visa depending on the traveler's nationality, traveling motives, or planned duration of stay in the country. Also, it is the nationality that determines whether one needs to obtain a regular visa or eTA by applying online.
Only the Australian passport holder can be automatically granted a free online visa on arrival. Other eligible countries must register for NZeTA online application prior to the planned arrival in New Zealand.
Travelers to New Zealand should hold a passport valid for at least 3 months, a valid visa or NZeTA (if coming from visa-exempt countries), an outward or return ticket, and Passenger Arrival Card. Also, all visitors are subject to criminal background screening before being granted a visa.
Transiting through New Zealand visa-free is only permitted at Auckland Airport, provided that a passenger will remain within the transit area and their layover lasts no more than 24 hours. In any other situation, one needs to obtain either NZeTA or a consular transit visa.
Children traveling to New Zealand are subject to the same entry requirements to New Zealand. If they are traveling without parents or legal guardians, or with only one of them, they are also recommended to hold a permission signed by both parents.
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