New Zealand is a land of diverse geography and immense natural beauty, so it’s easy to understand how many tourists can lose track of time and commit a New Zealand visa overstay. What’s more, travelers staying in the island nation with the eTA New Zealand or another New Zealand type are unable to renew the visa online if it has already expired, and must request an extension in writing. Read on to find out about overstaying New Zealand visa penalties, the renewal process and how to apply for the New Zealand visa waiver online.
What you need to know to not overstay your eTA for NZ
In the coming months, the New Zealand eTA electronic travel authority will be launched by the government, and the 60 visa-exempt nationalities will be required to pre-register an eTA New Zealand application before traveling to the country.
Countries announced as eligible for the eTA include:
All European Union citizens:
Citizens of Australia will continue to be allowed visa-free travel to New Zealand, although permanent residents of Australia will be required to obtain an eTA before traveling to the country (but not to pay the New Zealand tourist levy).
The New Zealand eTA requirements for eligible citizens will involve:
- A valid passport from an eTA-eligible country.
- Paying the visa fee and NZ tourist levy with a credit or debit card.
- Having a current email address to receive the eTA to New Zealand in the inbox.
Additional eTA visa waiver requirements may be announced by the New Zealand government closer to the eTA for New Zealand launch and will be published on this website.
The eTA New Zealand will streamline the process of attaining travel authorization and improve security and border control in the country. Eligible citizens will be able to fill out the simple New Zealand eTA application form, which will only take minutes to complete.
Candidates will be required to fill in their name, address, contact details, travel plans, and all the data from the passport information page including date of birth and nationality. They will also be asked a range of security and health-related questions. The information provided will be checked against security databases before approval.
It’s important to provide correct information and revise everything entered on the form, as errors can lead to the rejection of the New Zealand eTA visa waiver application. When approved, the eTA to New Zealand will be sent by email to the candidate to print for presentation upon arrival.
Overstaying New Zealand eTA Visa Waiver Penalties
The eTA New Zealand will be available for the 60 visa-exempt countries and will allow them a stay of 90 days maximum in the country, with a total validity of 2 years.
As the eTA for New Zealand will be attached to a specific passport, citizens will have to transfer the visa to their new passport if the old one expires and they still wish to have New Zealand visa validity.
Those with the New Zealand eTA wishing to stay in the country longer, or to study, work or live will require a different type of New Zealand visa before traveling. However, no matter which visa for New Zealand is obtained, an overstayed New Zealand visa can incur severe penalties.
If a foreign citizen finds themselves with an overstayed New Zealand tourist visa, then they are legally obliged to leave the country immediately. Travelers who remain in New Zealand illegally may be subject to the following overstaying New Zealand visa penalties:
- Prohibition from working, studying and having access to healthcare.
- Criminal charges and immigration status review for family members who helped the overstayed visa holder remain in New Zealand.
- Risk of detention and deportation on the traveler’s own dollar, even if they have already submitted a visa New Zealand renewal request.
- A travel ban to New Zealand for those with an overstayed New Zealand visa of more than 42 days.
Holders of overstayed New Zealand visas who are deported may not return to the country until the prohibition period is over and the deportation fees have been repaid.
How to Renew an Overstayed New Zealand eTA
The rules about a New Zealand visa overstay are very strict. Normally an overstayed New Zealand tourist visa holder would have to go back to their home country or another country and reapply for a visa online from there. An overstayed New Zealand visa is unlikely to be renewed apart from in very special circumstances. However, the overstayed visa holder can make a written request under section 61 of the New Zealand Immigration Act.
The written request for a visa for New Zealand should be directed by post to:
Immigration New Zealand
PO Box 76895
The applicant should explain in as much detail as possible their circumstances and supply supporting documents to back up their request. They should provide:
- Name, date of birth and the Immigration New Zealand client number for identification.
- An explanation for the New Zealand visa overstay and any reasons for not returning to their home country to apply for an eTA for New Zealand from there.
- Reasons to support a further stay in New Zealand, such as work or family obligations.
- Information about how that the applicant can contribute to the country, especially if wanting to stay in New Zealand on a long-term basis.
However, New Zealand immigration officers are under no obligation to consider the request or grant the desired visa. It’s wiser to get the eTA New Zealand or another relevant type of visa before traveling and trying to avoid overstaying New Zealand visa penalties.