Do I need a visa for New Zealand?
New Zealand offers a range of different visa types as well as visa waivers —the latter is known as an NZeTA, or New Zealand Travel Authority.
Whether you need a visa or an NZeTA to enter the country depends on:
- Your nationality
- The amount of time you wish to stay
- What you intend to do during your visit
If you plan to visit for tourism purposes, citizens of 60 nationalities can currently travel to New Zealand with the new Tourism NZeTA. Starting October 2019 it is obligatory for nationals of these 60 countries to pre-register for an eTA application online before travelling to the country.
If you plan to take a cruise that departs from and returns to New Zealand, you are required to obtain a Tourism NZeTA, regardless of your nationality.
If your flight has a layover in New Zealand and you hold a passport from a visa waiver or transit visa waiver country, you are required to carry a valid Transit NZeTA. Transit passengers must remain on board their flight or in the transit area of Auckland International Airport.
Foreign passport holders not eligible for the eTA are required to obtain a New Zealand Visitor Visa.
If you wish to work or study (for more than 3 months), it is necessary to obtain the appropriate visa at an embassy or consulate.
Do I need a tourist visa for New Zealand?
Whether you need a New Zealand tourist visa or a Tourism eTA to enter the country depends on your nationality, the length of time you wish to spend in New Zealand, and the purpose of your stay. Citizens of numerous countries including the United States, all European Union member states, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and Japan can enter New Zealand for periods of up to 90 days with the New Zealand eTA.
Citizens from the United Kingdom can enter for periods of up to 6 months with the NZ eTA.
Eligible travellers must pre-register for an NZeTA tourist online application before departing towards the country.
Australia permanent residents, are required to apply for the eTA, regardless of their nationality. Their status as permanent residents of Australia grants them eligibility for a Tourist NZeTA, while rendering them exempt from paying the associated IVL.
Australians can stay in New Zealand indefinitely without a visa as they are granted automatic residency status on arrival.
Travellers that do not comply with any of the following conditions are required to obtain a visitor visa to visit New Zealand for tourism purposes:
- A citizen or permanent resident of Australia
- A citizen of one of the 60 visa waiver eligible countries and territories
- A holder of the United Nations laissez-passer
- eligible for visa-free travel under other specific provisions
In order to obtain a visitor visa for New Zealand, you will need to visit an embassy or consulate. Remember to bring your valid passport along with you, as well as any supporting documents, such as accommodation reservations, or tour reservations.
Visitor visa types for New Zealand
There are a few different types of New Zealand travel visas and visa waivers that are available to cater to different travellers’ needs, depending on the duration and purpose of their trip.
NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority)
The New Zealand eTA is obligatory for eligible citizens visiting the island nation after October 2019. Individuals planning a trip to NZ can apply online in a matter of minutes without needing to visit an embassy.
The vast majority of applications are quickly approved and the eTAs are sent to travellers electronically.
The Tourism NZeTA is available to passport holders from one of the 60 eTA eligible countries as well as travellers taking a cruiseship in NZ, regardless of their nationality.
The Transit NZeTA is available to all transit passengers from one of the visa waiver or transit visa waiver countries (please note that this list of countries is different from the 60 NZeTA eligible countries mentioned above).
Transit passengers passing through Auckland International Airport on the way directly to or from Australia are also eligible for the eTA.
The New Zealand Visitor Visa is for travellers who are from non visa-exempt countries (or from visa-exempt countries but wish to stay for longer than the time limit). The visas allow visitors to enter for tourism, adventure activities, amateur sports events, and for studying (for up to 3 months).
The validity of visitor visas varies though the longest is 9 months. Partners and dependent children (aged 19 and under) can be included on the visa application. Applicants need to prove they have enough money to support themselves during their stay in NZ.
Group Visitor Visas
If you are organizing a group trip to New Zealand where everyone is travelling for the same purpose, and has the same travel arrangements, it is possible to obtain a New Zealand Group Visitor Visa.
The group must travel to and leave New Zealand together. The group leader must complete the group application and each individual also needs to complete a visitor visa application. They are valid for a maximum of 1 month.
Working Holiday Visas
New Zealand offers working holiday visas to young people (normally between 18 and 30, though sometimes up to 35 years old) from numerous countries. These types of New Zealand holiday visas are normally valid for up to 12 months (up to 23 months for citizens of the UK or Canada).
To successfully apply, applicants need to have a return ticket, or be able to demonstrate they have enough money to pay for one. The main intention of the stay should be to holiday, and work should be the secondary intention.
How can I get an eTA New Zealand tourist Visa Waiver?
If you hold a passport from one of the visitor visa waiver countries (an eTA eligible country), you can obtain a New Zealand eTA online.
The New Zealand eTA online application process is quick and straightforward. Travellers from eligible countries need to complete the application form, meet the basic eTA requirements, and pay a processing fee and tourist levy (IVL) using a credit or debit card.
Documents required for the eTA New Zealand tourist visa waiver
Travellers taking a cruise to New Zealand (regardless of their nationality), and passport holders from one of the 60 New Zealand eTA eligible countries can apply for the New Zealand eTA tourist visa waiver. The above applicants must have a valid passport that remains current for at least 3 months beyond the intended exit date from NZ.
Travellers must be in good health to travel to New Zealand. When requesting the NZ eTA all applicants are asked if they are travelling to the country for treatment or medical consultation.
When eligible travellers require the tourist eTA visa waiver for New Zealand, they will be required to answer some questions about their character.
Good character requirements mean that the applicant must answer questions about their criminal history and history of deportation. An eTA will not be granted to people who:
- Have a criminal conviction
- Have been deported, removed or excluded from another country
If the New Zealand authorities have a reason to believe the applicant may be a risk to the country’s security, public order or public interest, the eTA will not be approved.