Planning a trip to New Zealand? The beautiful country (and home to the world’s sexiest accent) is changing its immigration rules, so make sure you’ve done your homework and have everything sorted before you leave.
From 1 October 2019, some visitors must have an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority). This will allow travellers from 60 visa-waiver countries to stay in NZ for up to three months, but you must apply for it in advance.
Want to see if your country is part of the visa-waiver program? You can check the full list here.
British citizens can stay for up to six months, and you will definitely need an NZeTA even if you are transiting through the country or arrive on a cruise ship.
In a nutshell, the New Zealand visitor rules are now similar to the United States ESTA
It’s recommended that you apply online (www.immigration.govt.nz/nzeta) at least 72 hours before you enter New Zealand. It’s just $9 if you download the app.
You also have to pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL), which costs $35 and will go towards tourism infrastructure. Don’t worry – once you are approved, your NZeTA and IVL are valid for multiple visits and up to two years.
Who does not need an NZeTA
You do not need an NZeTA to travel to New Zealand if you:
- already hold a valid New Zealand visa
- are a New Zealand citizen travelling on:
- a New Zealand passport, or
- a foreign passport with an endorsement — for example, to say you are a permanent resident or citizen of New Zealand
- are an Australian citizen travelling on an Australian passport.
So, once you’ve sorted all that out with the New Zealand visitor rules, you can start exploring. Our top tip? Start with the country’s amazing food…