New Zealand eTA Now Compulsory for Many Foreign Visitors

new zealand eta compulsory for many foreign visitors

New travel rules for New Zealand that came into full effect on October 1st, 2019, affect foreign nationals visiting the island from 60 countries. Passport holders from eligible countries who wish to visit NZ for up to 90 days must hold an electronic travel authority for New Zealand, otherwise known as NZeTA before they can board flights or cruises to New Zealand.

More than 200,000 people have applied for eTAs since the NZeTA application form opened to the public at the end of July. New Zealand anticipates about 98,000 visitors of those expected to visit this October will also have to request the authorisation.

Foreign passport holders needing an NZeTA for entry to New Zealand are advised to allow 3 business days for processing, although most applications are granted within 1 business day.

Over a million travellers who do not need a visa for NZ are now required to register online by filling out a form with their personal, passport and travel details. Furthermore, they also need to answer some basic questions regarding their health and criminal history while requesting an NZeTA before departure.

Applicants required to pay the Tourism Tax Conservation IVL for New Zealand, along with their NZeTA will be charged automatically as they submit their eTA application. The IVL was implemented in order to allow foreign visitors to contribute to the natural environment and infrastructure they enjoy during their trip.

Benefits of NZeTA

Immigration policy director Nick Aldous declared it was encouraging to observe most visitors are arriving well-prepared, having applied in advance for their eTA NZ rather than leaving their authorisation to the last minute. This proved the tourism industry’s initial preoccupation regarding the potential for chaos —should large numbers of travellers arrive at check-ins without an eTA— unnecessary.

Here are some of the more prominent benefits the new eTA for New Zealand has to offer:

  • NZeTA grants holders multiple visits
  • The travel authority is valid for up to 2 years
  • The electronic authorization facilitates the border arrival process
  • The application for the NZeTA takes around 5 minutes to complete
  • More than 99 per cent of eTA requests are processed automatically
  • Increased security within the island for both residents and visitors alike
  • The eTA allows NZ immigration authorities to pre-screen visa-exempt nationals in order to detect and prevent people who may pose a risk on New Zealand’s security from entering
  • The entire application process can be completed online, eliminating the need to visit a New Zealand embassy or consulate
  • Immigration New Zealand has stationed staff around the globe to manage any glitches with the new eTA

Find out If You Are Eligible

Citizens from the following visa-waiver countries are now required to carry a valid NZeTA upon their arrival to New Zealand:

– All European Union citizens:

– Other Countries:

For more in-depth information, make sure to consult the detailed guide: New Zealand eTA Visa Waiver eligible countries.

Travel Recommendations for New Zealand

In order to ensure a smooth and hiccup-free trip to the island country, make sure to keep the following expert advice in mind:

  • Check that your passport is valid for at least 3 months past your intended date of departure from New Zealand when planning a trip to the country
  • Remember to apply for your NZeTA at least 3 business days ahead of your departure date to allow sufficient time for processing
  • If you have dual citizenship, you must choose which passport you wish to travel on and enter the preferred passport’s data on your NZeTA application form (issue date and country, expiry date, passport number, etc.)
  • NZeTA is an electronic document that is digitally associated with your passport as soon as it is approved. Nevertheless, remember to print out a hard copy of your travel authorization in case you are requested to present it to immigration authorities before boarding your plane or ship to NZ
  • If you are transitting through New Zealand en route to another country and wish to exit the airport during a longer layover, you may want to apply for an NZeTA rather than an NZeTA for transit (which does not allow you to leave the airport area)
  • If you are arriving to NZ on a cruise ship, you will need to show staff evidence of your NZeTA for cruise ship or the appropriate visa prior to boarding
  • International travellers with health concerns may wish to read our expert advice on flying to New Zealand with medical conditions
  • Families visiting NZ with minors will find our article on NZeTA when travelling to New Zealand with children very useful