So, you’re all ready for your once-in-a-lifetime trip to New Zealand – you’ve got your bags packed, flights booked, and you've ‘Googled’ some Kiwi slang, you’re all set! It would be a real shame to be stopped in your tracks by a finer technicality like not having enough months till expiry on your passport or not having the right visa. We love hearing about our guests' awesome New Zealand adventures so, to make sure you only have positive stories to tell, we've done the homework for you and put together the answers for some questions we always get asked around New Zealand passport and visa requirements.
New Requirements for 2019
From 1 October 2019 most visitors to New Zealand must have an Electronic Travel Authority and pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL).
You need to check if you need a NZETA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority or need to pay the levy.
You must request an NZETA before you travel to New Zealand if you are:
- Travelling on a passport from a Visa Waiver country (eg USA, Canada, UK and most European countries)
- A permanent resident of Australia (Australian citizens don't need an NZETA but permanent residents do)
- A cruise ship passenger, regardless of your nationality
- See the list of Visa Waiver countries here.
Who does not need an NZETA?
- Australian citizens travelling on Australian passports
- Anyone who already holds a valid New Zealand Visa
- New Zealand citizens travelling on a New Zealand passport
- New Zealand permanent residents
Visitors from countries which require a visa to enter New Zealand
If you're from a country not on the visa waiver list, you will be required to apply for a New Zealand entry visa and will be charged the IVL alongside your application. See more details about applying for your New Zealand entry visa below.
When to request an NZETA and pay your IVL
Make sure you request your NZETA well in advance of your trip to New Zealand. It can take up to 72 hours to be approved. If you do not hold your NZETA when you check in for your flight or cruise you will not be allowed to board.
How and where to I apply?
You can request your NZETA and pay your IVL by downloading an app to your mobile phone or on the Immigration New Zealand website here.
How much will it cost?
- The NZETA costs NZD $9 for requests submitted through the app or NZD $12 for requests submitted through the website.
- The IVL costs NZD $35 per person and is charged in the same transaction as the NZETA.
- They are both valid for multiple visits and up to 2 years.
What are the NZETA and IVL for?
The NZTEA is to streamline and pre-check visitors to ensure domestic security in New Zealand.
The IVL is to help fund infrastructure in New Zealand used by visitors such as waste water systems, public toilets and facilities in national parks and conservation areas. Especially in smaller population areas where the resident rate payer base is small and does not support the level of investment required.
Do I need a visa to travel to New Zealand?
Short answer - it depends what country you are from. Australians travelling to New Zealand are lucky; they can come hang with us Kiwis whenever they want without a visa. They can even study, work and live here indefinitely.
If you are not a citizen of Australia, New Zealand or Great Britain, or don't hold a passport for these countries, don’t worry! We have an agreement which lets citizens from the USA, Canada, Germany, France, as well as many more countries, travel to New Zealand without visas so make sure you check out the visa waiver countries to see if your country make the list.
Even if you don't need a Visa to New Zealand, you still need to apply for the new NZETA outlined above. Unless you're on an Australian passport, then you're all good cobber!
How long can I stay on holiday?
If you are from one of the visa waiver countries, you have three months to see the sights – that’s heaps of time to enjoy New Zealand. If you are a British citizen or have a British passport, you can stay for twice as long – 6 months! But if you want to delve even deeper into our rich kiwi culture and stay a bit longer, you can apply for a nine month visitor visa.
I'm not from a visa waiver country - what are my options?
Just because you’re not from visa waiver country doesn’t mean you will miss out – you can apply for the same 9 month visitor visa we chatted about above. With this visa there is even an option for you to study for up to 3 months, so you can return home a real Kiwi expert. Check the criteria at immigration.govt.nz. Remember, you can only use this visa for travelling, visiting people or a little bit of study; if you want to work, look into our work visa options.
How to I apply for a New Zealand visa?
Remember, if you’re from Australia, Great Britain, America, Canada or another visa waiver country, you can travel to New Zealand visa-free for 3 months (or more for you Aussies and Brits). You still need your NZETA though, read the information outlined above.
If you’re not from one of those countries, it’s pretty easy to apply for a New Zealand visa or visa waiver online at immigration.govt.nz or you can print out an application form, if you want. Just make sure you have everything you need to make it as stress-free as possible:
- Two passport photos taken in the last six months
- Passport valid for three month after the date you intend to depart New Zealand
- Proof of a plane ticket home from New Zealand
- Proof you have enough money to support yourself during your stay
- You may need a police certificate for a proof of character
- You may need to provide health certificates
Then it is time for you to cross your fingers and your toes while Immigration New Zealand assesses your application. But don’t worry too much – if you meet the requirements and have provided everything – you should be hitting our shores in no time.
How long does my passport need to be valid for after departure?
Just because you have a valid passport now doesn't mean it will be all good when you get to New Zealand border security. There is actually a rule in New Zealand that says your passport needs to be valid for another three months after you leave New Zealand. So, as soon as you decide to jet off on your New Zealand adventure, check the date of your passport and look at the date you’re departing and renew it if you need to.
What if I'm travelling to both New Zealand and Australia on my trip?
It’s pretty straightforward to travel to New Zealand through Australia; you don’t need to get a visa if you are in Aussie for under 8 hours, have an onward ticket already sorted and don’t need to go through customs. If you don’t meet these criteria, have a look at getting a transit visa which is valid for 72 hours.
If you’re coming out to visit and travelling around on one of our tours, just give us a call and we’d be happy to answer any questions you have about what you need to travel. Unless you’re planning to do something like take over the government while you’re here, getting everything sorted for your Kiwi trip is all pretty easy.