New Zealand Fern

Do I need a Visa for New Zealand?

So you are planning a trip to New Zealand. Good on you! You have to take care of a lot of things before you set on a plane. One of them is finding out whether or not you need a visa for New Zealand.

You don’t want to be held up at immigration when you arrive in Auckland or Christchurch. Or even worse send home because you don’t have the proper documents. So we did a little research to help you on your way to New Zealand.

Do I need a visa for New Zealand

If you come to New Zealand on holiday, you will need to get either a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority or a visitor visa. Unless you are an Australian citizen, other rules apply. In this article, we will help you find the needed documents.

*We will link to the website of the New Zealand Government multiple times for the actual and accurate information.

Who needs an NZeTA?

Since October 1st of 2019 visitors from visa-waiver countries and Australian permanent residents must request an Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) for traveling in New Zealand. You can find an up-to-date list on the website of New Zealand Immigration. 60 countries have a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand. All citizens of these countries will need an NZeTA for New Zealand when they are going on holiday that lasts less than 3 months.

Czech Republic

Hong Kong 

San Marino
Saudi Arabia

Slovak Republic
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States of America 
Vatican City

What is an NZeTA?

In short, the NZeTA is an electronic document that confirms that you meet the official requirements to enter New Zealand for a holiday. 

If you are eligible you can visit the country without a visa. The electronic Travel Authority shows you are allowed to travel to New Zealand. It helps increase security at the border.

  • NZ is short for New Zealand
  • eTA is short for electronic Travel Authority
What is an NZeTA?

How can I get this travel document?

This is very easy, but also a bit tricky. There are a lot of companies popping up and selling so-called NZeTA documents. Do NOT use them. Some of them are legit but others are a scam. You won’t receive the eTA or you are charged 10 times the normal price.

The best way to obtain the needed documents is through the website of New Zealand Immigration. There are two ways to apply. You can use the form on the NZ Immigration website or use the Apple or Android App.

How much does this electronic document cost?

There are two digital ways to apply:

  • An online form through the website of NZ Immigration
    NZD 12
  • And an Apple and Android App available in the app store
    NZD 9

But that is not all. You will also have to pay a new International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL). It is an NZD 35 tourist tax. You will arrange the IVL and NZeTA at the same time.

The total costs per person are NZD 44 when you apply throught one of the apps. And NZD 47 throught the online form. *Prices for 2019. 

How does the app work?

We tried the app and it is straight forward and easy to use. The fastest, cheapest and easiest way to request your NZeTA is by downloading the free apps to your mobile phone. It will take less than 5 minutes to complete. Scan your passport and the necessary details will upload automatically. You will take a picture (a selfie) and answer a couple of questions and you are done. Payment is done by Credit Card.

How long does it takes before I get approval?

New Zealand Immigration says it takes up to 72 hours for processing your request. It can take as little as a few minutes, but we had to wait about one working day. You will receive an email of your request and another email when your request is approved. If the provided details are not correct, you may not be able to travel. So take your time and check all the information given by the app. They won’t send the details you entered in an email, so there is no way to check them after you applied. We made screenshots from the application while filling out the form.

Do Transit Passengers need an NZeTA as well?

The short answer is YES. Transit passengers and cruise ship passengers will need an NZeTA from October 2019. Even if they won’t be leaving the boat or the airport. 

Who needs a Visitor Visa?

You need to apply for a visitor visa before you arrive in New Zealand if any of the following statements apply. You: 

  • are not from a visa-waiver country, check the list with 60 countries;
  • want to visit New Zealand for more than 3 months (or 6 months if you are from the United Kingdom);
  • have a criminal history;
  • have health problems that could be a danger to public health or be expensive for NZ’s health services.

More information about the Visitor Visa

When you have a Visitor Visa you can come to New Zealand. During your stay, you need enough money to support yourself. You can stay up to 9 months and visit friends, family and, explore New Zealand. For more details about  applying for a visitor visa you can go to the New Zealand Immigration website.

What else do I need to know before entering New Zealand?

Upon your arrival at the New Zealand border, you must apply for entry permission. Even if you have the requested NZeTA or Visitor Visa. When you are visiting from a visa-waiver country you can apply for a visa and entry permission when you arrive. You will be given an arrival card on the plane or ship before you arrive. The immigration office will need this card and your passport or travel document. They may also want to see your return flight or boat ticket. Sometimes they want to know if you have sufficient funds for the duration of your stay. Make sure you can provide them with the necessary information.

Are you ready for your New Zealand adventure?

So, that looks like a lot. But rest assured it is not a big deal getting the necessary documents. Just take your time. Read this blogpost again and visit the website of the New Zealand Immigration.

We have some great blogs about different places and regions in New Zealand with amazing tips for spending your time in Aotearoa. So you will go well informed on your way. And check out our Kiwishirts designs, you might want to buy one of our shirts or tanktops before embarking on a Kiwi-adventure.

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