A New Zealand visa for US citizens is not required for visits of up to 90 days. However, New Zealand has introduced an Electronic Travel Authority, the eTA New Zealand, for Americans and nationals of 59 other countries.
Do US citizens need a visa for New Zealand?
United States passport holders may currently enter for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa for New Zealand from the USA. However, American citizens are required to get the NZeTA before travelling to the island nation.
Since October 1st 2019, a New Zealand eTA from the United States has been a mandatory requirement for all Americans heading to the country for short stays.
eTA New Zealand from the United States
The NZeTA for New Zealand is available to citizens of 60 visa-exempt countries, including the United States, visiting New Zealand for tourism or business purposes as well as transit.
This applies to cruise passengers and to American citizens who need to transit through Auckland International Airport as they reach their final destination.
Some exceptions apply. Crew and passengers of cargo ships and non-cruise vessels as well as foreign citizens invited by the New Zealand government do not need an eTA.
The eTA New Zealand for US citizens was implemented in order to improve border security. Applicants are required to complete the eTA New Zealand application form before entering the country.
How can I apply for an eTA New Zealand from the USA?
The NZeTA for US citizens is available via a simple online application process. It is necessary for applicants to enter personal and contact information including travel plans, data from the passport information page and a current address. Basic health and security-related questions may also be asked.
After paying the New Zealand eTA for US citizens fee and a tourist levy NZ, the eTA New Zealand application from the USA is quickly processed and sent to the applicant by email. In some cases, additional documentation may be required in order for the NZeTA from the USA to be approved.
Most applications for the NZeTA for US citizens are approved within 1 business day. However, travellers are advised to apply for the NZeTA least 3 business days ahead of their intended departure day to allow enough processing time in case they are requested to present additional documents.
eTA New Zealand requirements for Americans
The New Zealand eTA requirements must be met in order to successfully apply. Americans require a valid US passport to apply for the eTA New Zealand for US citizens.
Applicants who have an additional passport due to dual nationality need to make sure they apply with the same passport they travel with, as the eTA for New Zealand for US citizens can only be associated with one passport.
The US passport used for the NZeTA application must remain valid for at least 3 months beyond the intended exit date from New Zealand.
Applicants require a valid credit or debit card to pay the eTA for New Zealand for US citizens fee and tourist levy (if applicable), as well as a current email address. All the data entered should be double-checked before the application is submitted.
How long can a US citizen stay in New Zealand without a visa?
United States passport holders are exempt from obtaining a traditional visa for New Zealand from the USA for trips of up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes. However, they are required to get a relevant NZeTA to enter the country.
American transit passengers with a layover in New Zealand on their way to another destination need to obtain a Transit NZeTA, not a transit visa.
The eTA New Zealand for US citizens is valid for 2 years in total. However, this doesn’t mean that eTA holders can stay in New Zealand for 2 consecutive years.
US citizens who wish to spend more than 90 days per stay in New Zealand are advised to visit an NZ embassy or consulate in order to apply for the appropriate type of visa.
Travel to New Zealand from the USA
Upon receiving the eTA New Zealand for Americans, travellers will be able to print a copy to present to border control and begin planning their travel to New Zealand. Once it is approved, the NZeTA for American citizens will remain digitally linked to the traveller’s passport, eliminating the need to have the passport stamped upon arrival.
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