Visitor Visa Information
The New Zealand government has confirmed that beginning October 1 2019, all travellers from a list of 60 visa waiver countries will need to hold an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) prior to entering the country. While not explicitly labeled as such, New Zealand’s ETA is similar to an eVisa. In addition to implementing ETA requirements for all travellers arriving from visa waiver countries, New Zealand will also implement a new tax on foreign visitors. Here’s what travellers can expect beginning on October 1.
Unlike visas, New Zealand’s ETA doesn’t come with a waiting period or super-high fees. Beginning in October 2019, travellers from countries that were previously included in New Zealand’s visa waiver program must have an ETA prior to entering the country. Here are the exact details of the new ETA requirements:
• Travellers will be required to hold an Electronic Travel Authority effective October 1, 2019
• This includes travellers who are transiting through New Zealand, meaning even if New Zealand is not a traveler’s final destination, they must still hold an ETA prior to entering the country
• Travellers can apply for the ETA via the official mobile app or via a browser. The cost of an ETA obtained via the app is $9 NZD (~$6.19 USD) while obtaining an ETA via a standard web browser costs $12 NZD (~$8.25 USD)
• All international airline crew will be required to obtain an ETA at a set price of $9 NZD (~$6.19 USD)
• The standard passenger ETA is valid for two years while a crew ETA is valid for 5 years
• Travellers can begin applying for New Zealand’s ETA on July 1, 2019
There are some exemptions, including Australian citizens. However, Australian permanent residents will still need to obtain an ETA.
New Zealand’s official website claims that the new ETA will “enhance security and reduce immigration risks, address smuggling and biosecurity risks, improve the traveler experience, support New Zealand’s international relationships and agreements, [and] adapt to the changing needs and requirements of the government, stakeholders and travellers over time.”
This information was correct at 26th March 2019.