New Zealand

Do I Need a Visitor Visa to Vacation in New Zealand?

February 19, 2022

Use the following guide to check 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) you’ll be turned away at the border – and that’s no way to start a vacation.

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

Related: If you need a supervised RAT test to check for COVID before entering NZ, book this approved (and discounted) one from the comfort of your own home.

Photo credit: Daimon Eklund.

Your Guide to New Zealand Visitor Visas

Regardless of the passport you’re travelling on, it is important to ensure that you’ve got more than 3 months validity from the date of your intended departure from New Zealand.  To be safe, we’d recommend even more time on your passport validity (6 months+) incase 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 meeting 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.
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).

visa waiver countries New Zealand

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 NZD12 if completed online and only NZD9 if you use the free app.  Apply for your NZeTA here.
  • 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.
  • You will likely also need to pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) when your NZeTA is processed. This costs an additional NZD35 (more on this shortly).
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!

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.

Zip lining in New Zealand
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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