Do I need a visitor visa or NZeTA to vacation in New Zealand?

Use the following guide to learn about visitor visa requirements for your upcoming New Zealand travels.

For many, New Zealand is a bucket list destination. With incomparable nature, adventure and culture, it is a destination that offers so much.

Before planning your itinerary, though, be sure to check your entry requirements. Without a valid visa (or visa waiver/NZeTA) you’ll be turned away at the border – and that’s no way to start a vacation.

The following information will help you establish if you need a visa and will allow you to start planning accordingly.

DISCLAIMER: This entry information is provided in an informal way, designed to help you understand the process of travelling to Aotearoa.

In New Zealand, official immigration advice must be provided by a licensed immigration adviser, unless the person/company is exempt.

We suggest you get an overview here and then confirm details with an official source.

Passport pages with immigration stamps.
Photo credit: Daimon Eklund.

Your Guide to New Zealand Visitor Visas

Most travellers require more than 3 months validity on their passports from the intended date of departure from New Zealand

To be safe, we’d recommend even more time on your passport validity (6 months+) in case you get held up in New Zealand.

To avoid an expensive and inconvenient turn-around at the airport, it is important to check that you are meet your obligations upon entry to New Zealand.

If there’s one New Zealand travel tip that you listen to, make sure it’s this one!

Do I Need a Visitor Visa to Visit New Zealand?

Nationalities That Do Not Require a Visa to Visit New Zealand

The following passport holders do not require a visa to visit New Zealand:

  • New Zealand citizens or residents – indefinite stay.
  • Australian citizens – indefinite stay.
  • Australian permanent residents (note that you will need an NZeTA, see below) – indefinite stay.
  • Citizens/passport holders from the United Kingdom (note that you will need an NZeTA, see below) – maximum 6-month stay.
  • Citizens from countries with a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand (note that you will need an NZeTA, see below) – maximum 3-month stay.
  • Visitors arriving on cruise ships (note that you will need an NZeTA if you do not have a valid visa/exemption and you will need to meet normal visa requirements for vacation time following your cruise) – maximum 28 days.
Two men standing on the golden fields with a river up ahead and the other guy pointing at something.
Enjoy spectacular views from Mount Alfred.

Nationalities That do Not Require a Visa but Do Need an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA/NZeTA) – Visa Waiver Countries

As of the 1st of October 2019, residents from the following countries require a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority to enter the country.  This is also known as an ETA or NZeTA.

In addition, Australian permanent residents will also need to apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (though citizens do not).

List of countries with visa waived when visiting New Zealand.

WARNING: Do not use a secondary site to apply for your NZeTA. The official channel is quick, cheap and easy. There is no need to pay to have an agent complete this on your behalf.

The New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority is easy to apply for online.  It’s affordable and valid for multiple visits over a period of two years.

  • The visa itself costs NZD23 if completed online and only NZD17 if you use the free app. Though a number of agents sell NZeTAs, these companies add massive fees and do not offer any additional service. Go through the official channel to apply for your NZeTA.
  • In total, most people will be charged approximately NZD50 each, including your International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) – more on that shortly. Check your receipt to ensure this has been included.
  • Allow up to 72 hours for your electronic visa to be issued.  In reality though, you can expect your visa to be issued almost right away!
  • Your ETA must be issued before arriving in New Zealand.
  • You’ll need access to your passport, along with a valid credit card and email address to apply for your NZ Electronic Travel Authority.

It is important that your NZeTA has the correct information. If you have made a mistake or your details have changed, learn about making a change to your digital document.

Pro Tip: If you pass through New Zealand on the way to another country (and do not leave the transit lounge at Auckland International Airport) you are considered a transit passenger. If you would typically need an NZeTA, you will still be required to organise one in advance for your transit. If you are not eligible for an NZeTA, you will need a transit visa.

Two people standing on the rocks of beautiful waters of Haast Gorge.
The stunning Haast Blue Pools.

Nationalities That Require a Visa to Visit New Zealand

If you do not fall into one of the above categories (or you do and would like to stay longer), then you’ll need to apply in advance for a visitor visa to visit New Zealand for up to 9 months.

To determine whether you need a visa to visit New Zealand, we recommend you check your visa requirements online.

Applying on the NZ Immigration site is also the most efficient way of doing so.  It’s also worth noting that you can include your partner and dependent children (19 years and younger) on your own visa application.

Be sure to apply whilst you have plenty of time up your sleeve!

>>> Prefer to move to New Zealand? Check to see if you’re eligible for an NZ Working Holiday Visa.

Do I Have to Pay the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL)?

People Who Do Not Need to Pay the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy

  • Those travelling to New Zealand on a New Zealand passport
  • People with a New Zealand resident visa
  • Australian passport holders
  • Many passport-holders from the Pacific Islands
  • Transit passengers that are simply arriving and then leaving from Auckland International Airport
  • Passengers with a Business Visitor Visa or APEC business travel card

There are also some other visa holders who are exempt from paying the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy.

To be sure of your own requirements, you can search for your specific visa online.

People Who Need to Pay the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy

If you do not fall into one of the above categories, it is likely that you will need to pay for an IVL.  This is done at the time you apply for your NZeTA or New Zealand visa and costs NZD35.

It is important that this is paid in advance of arriving in New Zealand.

A woman sitting on her harness while riding on a zip line in the middle of the forest.
Fly through the trees with Rotorua Canopy Tours.

Now that you know your visa requirements (and if you need to pay the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy), you’re able to begin planning your vacation to New Zealand.

We can’t wait to welcome you to Aotearoa!

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