February 29, 2016

Do I need a visa to visit New Zealand?

One of my most popular posts is about how long your passport needs to be valid for travel to these 24 countries, so with that in mind, I figured this is probably next on the lips (or finger tips in the case of you Google searchers) : do I need a visa to travel to New Zealand?

NZ visa requirements

Auckland city in the distance from Waiheke Island

The answer : it depends.

Hmm, not very helpful. Let’s unpack it a bit.

On the plane before you land the crew will hand out the “New Zealand Passenger Arrival Card” which you need to fill out. It includes the usual passport info and also how long you intend to stay. This doubles as your application for entry and you hand that in at the Immigration desk (once you’ve walked through Duty Free and stocked up on your booze.)

If you’re visiting New Zealand for three months or less and you have a passport from a visa-waiver country (listed below), then come on in! Easy peasy.

You may need to provide proof of your return air ticket and possibly how you expect to support yourself (if you look like you have no money!) Everything’s electronic these days so you won’t be given a stamp in your passport if you’re a collector of the ink, sadly 🙁

nz visa

Cricket on the lawn at Man O War Bay winery

So who can travel to New Zealand without a visa?

Australians can come in no questions asked, unless they have significant “character issues”. (Such a charming way to describe crims!) They can stay indefinitely to work or study, but when they leave it will expire and they’ll have to start again when they come back.

UK passport holders can visit New Zealand for up to six months without requiring a pre-arranged visa.

And if you’re from any of these countries you also do not require a prearranged visa as your Arrival Card, completed on the plane, is considered to be your visa application and subject to you completing that correctly and to the satisfaction of the custom’s officials (smile nicely), you’re in for up to three months.

Andorra
Argentina
Austria
Bahrain
Belgium
Brazil
Brunei
Bulgaria
Canada
Chile
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia1
Finland
France
Germany
Greece2
Hong Kong3
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Japan
Korea (South)
Kuwait
Latvia1
Liechtenstein Lithuania1
Luxembourg
Macau4
Malaysia
Malta
Mexico
Monaco
Netherlands
Norway
Oman
Poland
Portugal5
Romania
Qatar
San Marino
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Slovak Republic
Slovenia
South Africa
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan6
United Arab Emirates
United States of America7
Uruguay
Vatican City
nz visa requirements

Rotorua is one of New Zealand’s most popular city for tourists

1A visa waiver does not apply to people travelling on alien’s (non-citizen’s) passports issued by these countries.

2Greek passport holders whose passports were issued on and after 1 January 2006. (Greek passports issued before 1 January 2006 are not acceptable for travel after 1 January 2007.)

3Residents of Hong Kong travelling on Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or British National (Overseas) passports.

4Residents of Macau travelling on Macau Special Administrative Region passports.

5Portuguese passport holders must also have the right to live permanently in Portugal.

6Permanent residents of Taiwan travelling on Taiwan passports.  A personal identity number printed within the visible section of the biographical page of the Taiwan passport demonstrates that the holder is a permanent resident of Taiwan.

7Including nationals of the USA.

So, now you’re coming, you might like to read my post on How to see the North Island in 2 glorious weeks!

For more info on NZ immigration and visa waivers and applications, click here >>

About Megan Singleton

Megan

Megan Singleton is a travel writer, blogger and radio correspondent. She's been gallivanting around the world telling stories for the last 16 years and has her suitcase always half packed (or half un-packed!) Follow along on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for monthly newsletters if you want to keep up with the journey!

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