In August 2019, the New Zealand government introduced an electronic travel authority –known as the NZ eTA– for citizens of 60 countries, including Latvia, who are eligible to enter the country without a visa.
The eTA program is intended to improve the New Zealand border security and make it easier to identify anyone who poses a security risk. It also simplifies the immigration process.
The eTA application can be done entirely online, on a computer, tablet, or a smartphone, in a matter of minutes. There is no need to visit the New Zealand embassy or consulate before travelling.
eTA New Zealand’s Application Process for Latvian Citizens
The NZ visa waiver system makes it easy to apply for an eTA to New Zealand from Latvia since the application form can be completed at any time and from anywhere in the world. Candidates do not need to reside in Latvia at the time of application.
Latvian passport holders are required to fill in the NZ eTA application form with their essential personal information including:
- Full name(s)
- Date and place of birth
- Date and place of birth
- Contact information (address, phone, email address)
Applicants from Latvia must also provide their passport details such as:
- Passport country
- Passport number
- Passport date of issue
- Passport date of expiry
On the other hand, travellers of Latvia must note that in order to apply, the passport must be valid for at least 3 months after the return date from New Zealand. Latvian citizens whose passport is about to expire, are required to obtain a new one before submitting their application.
Moreover, Latvian citizens must answer several health-related questions such as whether the purpose of their travel is medical treatment and security-related questions about their past criminal record.
All the information entered in the application form has to be completely truthful and correct. If this is not the case, the visa waiver approval may be delayed and even denied.
Payment of the NZ eTA processing fee from Latvia
Before submitting the application form, Latvian applicants must pay the eTA processing fee. It is possible to use any international debit or credit card as payment method.
Payment is done through a secure online system. The New Zealand eTA registration system uses secure servers that guarantee privacy and safety of travellers’ information.
NZ visa waiver’s processing time for Latvian travellers
Most New Zealand eTA for Latvia are processed within 24 hours, although in some cases it may take up to 3 business days before the applicant receives the eTA confirmation by email.
To avoid longer waits, it is advisable that Latvians nationals double-check all the information provided since any mistake or lack of information can generate a delay in the delivery of the visa waiver to NZ.
What Are the New Zealand eTA Requirements From Latvia?
Travellers must meet the eTA New Zealand requirements for Latvians to obtain the visa waiver. These requirements include:
- Having a valid Latvian passport
- Filling in the New Zealand eTA’s application form for Latvians
- Having an active email address that they check regularly, to receive their travel authorisation
- Having a valid payment card (either debit or credit) to pay eTA processing fees online
- Paying New Zealand tourist tax known as the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL)
- Printing out a copy of the eTA that they will show to the border immigration officer in New Zealand along with the passport
Good health is also assessed by NZ before permitting Latvians into the country. Therefore, it is recommended that travellers from Latvia consult a doctor before their journey to New Zealand.
When are Latvians eligible for an NZ visa waiver?
Visitors from Latvia are eligible for a New Zealand eTA if they are:
- Planning to stay in New Zealand for less than 90 days
- Travelling for tourism, leisure, or short family visits
- Transiting through Auckland airport on the way to another destination
Some Latvian visitors, such as crew and passengers of a non-cruise vessel and guests of the government of New Zealand, are exempt from the visa waiver.
The New Zealand eTA is valid for 2 years from the issue date and can be used for multiple visits during that period.
Criminal record requirements to enter New Zealand from Latvia
New Zealand has strict character requirements for anyone who wishes to visit the country.
Latvian passport holders who have previously been deported from another country and who have any criminal convictions that might pose a threat to New Zealander citizens will not be allowed to obtain a New Zealand eTA.
The only way a Latvian individual with major character issues can gain access to New Zealand is by obtaining a special direction, where the Immigration Minister of New Zealand waives a requirement. Note that this permit is only granted in exceptional circumstances.
Moving to New Zealand From Latvia
Latvian citizens looking to join family members in New Zealand are offered several different visa options, depending on their relationship with the family member who is residing in New Zealand.
The NZ type of visa required will be different for Latvian nationals joining their partner, children, parents, and extended family members.
Latvian citizens are advised to contact the nearest New Zealand embassy for more information about moving to New Zealand.