February 29, 2016

New online visas required to visit New Zealand!

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?

NZ visa requirements
Auckland city in the distance from Waiheke Island

From 1 October 2019, the New Zealand government is introducing a new electronic visa waiver, just like the USA and Canada.

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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

  • Both levies are only for travel after 01 October 2019. If you are traveling to New Zealand before 1 October 2019 you are fine.
  • From July 2019 travellers will 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 you 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.

nz visa
Cricket on the lawn at Man O War Bay winery

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.

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

About Megan Singleton

Megan

Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio every week and a few newspapers and mags from time to time. I set off on this travel writing journey 18 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!)I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for monthly newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!

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