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Explaining the NzeTA Visa for Tourism | New Zealand

Tranquility, adventure and good food, New Zealand has got everything that a traveler can hope for and more. 

International travelers planning to holiday in this picture-perfect destination need proper travel authorization. All travelers except the citizens of Australia need either an electronic travel authorization or a visa to enter New Zealand. 

The New Zealand eTA is a visa waiver granted to citizens of a few eligible foreign nations for short stays and transiting through the country.

This visa waiver has simplified the application process for travelers from the entitled nations. The process is straightforward, easy and online. 

Here is what foreign nationals need to know about the NZeTA.        

New Zealand eTA for Tourist Visits

The NZeTA is a legal permission granted to travelers from eligible countries and permanent resident card holders of Australia to enter and transit through New Zealand without a visa. 

Foreign travelers need to get a NZeTA before their journey.

As per the New Zealand immigration, it takes up to 72 hours to process this visa waiver. 

They can apply online or use the mobile application launched by the New Zealand government recently. They can also check the eTA status online or in the app. 

Foreign nationals traveling on a NZeTA should carry their passports along with them as proof of identity. They can arrive in New Zealand by air or by a cruise ship. 

Travelers holding a New Zealand eTa and who are planning to transit through the country have to use the Auckland International Airport. The visa waiver may not be accepted in other international airports inside the country. 

The cost of a NZeTA is 17 NZD for those applying through the free mobile application and 23 NZD for travelers applying for the document online.

Apart from this, they must also pay the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism levy which is around 35 NSD. This payment must be made at the time of the visa waiver application. 

Activities Permitted  

A New Zealand eTA for tourism is granted to genuine foreign visitors who wish to explore the island nation and its wonders. Foreign visitors can also bring their family provided they meet all the criteria for the visa waiver. 

Foreign travelers in possession of a NZeTA can use it for holidaying, sightseeing and meeting family members and friends who are already living in New Zealand. 

They can also take up short-term courses in educational institutions in the country. Note that these courses should not exceed the three months. 

Who is Eligible for the NZeTA

Passport holders of foreign countries and territories that are eligible for a visa waiver in New Zealand can apply for a NZeTA. The permanent residents of Australia are also entitled for this visa waiver. 

Note that citizens of Australia do not require a NZeTA to travel to New Zealand as they are allowed visa-free entry and stay in the country. 

A NZeTA is typically granted for short-term stays that do not exceed three months. The eligible countries include Argentina, Brazil, Denmark, France, Finland, Mexico, Monaco, USA, Canada, UK and UAE. 

Foreign travelers arriving on a NZeTA cannot undergo medical treatments in New Zealand.

Citizens of NZeTA-eligible countries too should apply for a medical treatment visitor visa to visit the country for medical treatment and consultation.

If they need an emergency treatment, they can directly contact the New Zealand immigration authorities. After proper verification of the request, the authorities will be able to make special arrangements. Such patients can be escorted by their family members if their condition demands it. 

Note that foreign patients have to bear the complete cost of their medical consultation and treatment in New Zealand.

The medical treatment visitor visa for New Zealand is valid for six months and in special cases, till the patient is safe to travel. 

Who Does Not Need An eTa for New Zealand 

Citizens of New Zealand traveling on a NZ passport, foreign passport holders with a New Zealand permanent resident visa, Australian citizens and members of scientific programs conducted under Antarctic Treaty do not need an eTA or visa to travel to the country.

Passengers who travel on a foreign passport with a New Zealand citizen endorsement too do not need a visa or a NZeTA.

This endorsement can be a label or an electronic record in their foreign passports. To get this endorsement, the applicant should be a New Zealand citizen. In most cases, he/she will have dual citizenship.

Who Must Get a Visa Instead

Passport holders of foreign nations that are not eligible for a NZeTA need to get a New Zealand visa. Based on the purpose of the visit, they can apply for a visitor visa, study visa or work visa.

Validity of the eTA for New Zealand 

The validity of a New Zealand eTA is up to two years with multiple entry permission.

International travelers arriving with a NZeTA can stay up to three months per visit whereas UK visitors can stay in New Zealand for up to six months. 

Foreigners need to get their NZeTA before landing in New Zealand. After reaching the country they should apply for an entry permission even if they have a NZeTA.

The immigration officers will ask a few questions before giving the entry permission and travelers are required to provide true information.

They may ask them to submit return tickets and evidence to prove their nationality. There may also be questions about biosecurity and customs. 

Travelers can also use an eGate or Smartgate. However, not all passport holders can use this facility. Travelers opting for the Smartgate have to complete an arrival card which will have a few questions. This will be provided by staff on the flight before their landing. 

How is the Document Delivered

The fastest way to get an eTA for New Zealand is to download the mobile application. Applicants can instantly scan their passport and credit/debit cards and upload photographs and other details.

They can also check the status of their NZeTA using a reference number provided during the application. 

If they opt for the online application, they will have to fill out an online application form and upload copies of their legally valid passport, photos of themselves in the required format and credit/debit card details.

They have to also provide an electronic mail address. 

Once approved, the eTA for New Zealand will be delivered to this email address. They can take a printout of the document though it is not an official requirement. This may come in handy during immigration and customs checks. 

A NZeTA does not guarantee a foreigner's entry to the country. He/she will have to go through further checks at the immigration counters and will be allowed in only after verification by officers at these counters. 


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