In 2019 the New Zealand government introduced the NZeTA visa, with the intention that this new revenue will go towards border security and regional infrastructure.
Whether it’s actually landing there, we locals don’t know, and quite possibly it’s just being paid to increase the staff to process the visas in the first place! Regardless, just like the US has the ETSA visa for visa waiver countries which lasts two years, New Zealand does too.
One of my most popular posts is about how long your passport needs to be valid for travel to these 30+ 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?
The new NZeTA, NZ Electronic Tourist Authority, and the International Visitor Conservation & Tourist Levy (IVL) are designed to bring in a bit of extra cash for the government (just like the US ESTA visa does for tourism promotion in America).
These new visas and their fees are going towards border security and regional infrastructure. Which, to be honest, needs a little boost.
The wonderful thing about so many of New Zealand’s iconic destinations is that they are so pure and beautiful, but they are also sorely strained when it comes to drinking water, sewers, camping areas and the general weight of their own popularity.
Here’s what you need to know about the NZeTA
- From July 2019 travellers need to request an ETA either online or via the app.
- Exceptions are passengers travelling on a New Zealand or Australian passport, as well as travelers who hold a valid New Zealand visa (such as Resident or Temporary Visas).
- An ETA will last up to 2 years and cost NZD $9.00 for mobile application requests and NZD $12.00 for web browser requests. (This is so strange!)
- The IVL will be charged at the same time as making the application for the ETA and will cost NZD $35.00. Once paid, the IVL will last as long as the ETA is valid.
- Australian permanent residents will not be required to pay for an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL).
Where do I apply for the NZeTA?
Click here to go to the Immigration NZ website for all you need to know about what type of visa you need and where to grab your ETA.
As well, on the plane before you land the crew will hand out a Customs Declaration card. This is where you let officials know if you know the contents of your luggage, whether you are brining any food into the country – and on that DO NOT BRING ANY FRUIT OR FRESH FOOD IN!
New Zealand is hugely strict on enforcing fines for those who even bring an apple off the plane. As an island nation we have been able to keep many international pests at bay, although the odd moth or fruit fly has been known to sneak in with potentially devastating consequences to our fruit industry.
You hand this card in after you have collected your luggage and before you exit the airport. Depending upon your answers you will either be sent for a luggage X-ray, a personal inspection or whistle through in the “green” lane.
If you are planning to migrate to New Zealand, check if you fit into the skilled migrant category of current needs we have in this post.
So, now you’re coming, you might like to read my post on How to see the North Island in 2 glorious weeks!
Or this post on How to visit the South Island.
In both I give each region and major city, along with my suggestions for how long you might want to spend in each, or which ones you could miss as some areas have similar offerings.