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New Zealand Visa Policy

For anyone making the long journey to New Zealand, it's crucial you apply for the required documentation before your trip. For any non-New Zealand citizens who are wishing to enter the country, you will need to apply for a visa unless you are from certain countries that are eligible for the visa waiver program. Keep reading to learn about who needs a visa for New Zealand and how you can get started with your application for your trip.

Who Needs a Visa for New Zealand?

There are quite a few visitors to New Zealand who won't need a visa to enter the country. If you are a permanent resident of Australia or you are a citizen of one of the 60 countries who is eligible for the visa waiver program, a visa won't be necessary for your trip.

On top of that, if you are a holder of the United Nations laissez-passer or are a cruise ship passenger, aircraft crew, or traveling for another similar reason, you are unlikely to need a visa. For anyone else, you will need to apply for a visa to visit New Zealand in advance of your trip.

On top of that, for anyone from the 60 visa waiver program countries looking to study, work, or stay in the country for an extended period of time, you'll also need a visa.

What are the Most Popular Types of Visas for New Zealand?

For visitors who are looking to vacation in New Zealand, the standard visitor visa is the most common option. This visa allows you to stay in the country for up to nine months at a time and can be applied for online.

This visa allows you to visit family, explore the country, or enjoy playing amateur sports. On top of that, you could also study for up to three months in the country on this visa. You will complete an application for yourself, to which you can then add your partner and children under 19.

New Zealand also has visa options for individuals looking to stay in the country to study. The visa you require will be dependent on where you are from, your age, and how many months you plan to stay there for your studies.

The country also offers a wide range of visa options for anyone looking to work in the country. All of these visas have different criteria in order for you to apply, which you'll need to research thoroughly to ensure you are eligible.

The working holiday visa program is incredibly popular with youngsters around the world and offers them a chance to explore the country for a year while working to fund their travels. Finally, there are also visas available for anyone looking to set up a business in the country or invest in New Zealand.

How Can You Apply For a Visa For New Zealand?

The great news about the New Zealand visa application process is that it's primarily completed online today. This makes applying for your visa much simpler than ever before.

On the official website, you'll find the criteria for each visa, so you can ensure you are applying for the correct one for your stay. Something that's very important to note with the New Zealand visa is that it only permits you to travel to the country.

Your official visa will be granted upon speaking to the immigration officer at the border. While it's unlikely you will be rejected if your application was approved, it's important to ensure you have all of your paperwork ready to show again at this point.

The online application form will require you to complete your personal details, which may vary depending on the type of visa you are applying for. You'll need to have your passport to hand for the application, as well as a digital photo.

If you do decide to apply at your local embassy instead, you'll need physical copies of your photo. Most visitors today will find that applying online is much easier, but in some cases, you may be required to book an appointment to visit the embassy. Expect to also need to show paperwork proving employment or acceptance to an educational institute for these types of visas.

The History of the New Zealand Visa

During the 1960s, only Australians had unrestricted access to New Zealand, thanks to their long-term agreement dating back to 1840. Visa-free agreements ended between the 1940s and 1970s with various countries in Europe, and this also continued with other countries such as Fiji, Thailand, Samoa, and Tonga due to issues with illegal immigrants. However, in 2017, the country once again updated its policy based on the Immigration Act 2009 and now allows sixty countries to travel visa-free into New Zealand for a stay of up to 90 days.

New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority

Apart from individuals who are traveling from Australia, since 2019, New Zealand has required anyone on the visa waiver program to apply for the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) before their trip.

This can be applied for online or via their app and costs either NZD 9 or 12 depending on which application process you use. It's required for anyone arriving by air or sea, including those transiting through the country.

After your application, it will be valid for up to two years for whenever you are ready to travel to New Zealand. You'll need to ensure you have proof of the application ready to show upon entry to the country. At this current time, also ensure you are checking any health regulations and travel restrictions that may be in place when planning a trip.

By following the advice listed above, you can ensure you are set up properly for your trip to New Zealand this year. Unless you are part of the visa waiver program, make sure you apply for your visa well in advance of your trip online. With so many different visa options available, make sure you find the correct one for the purpose of your trip and for the length of time you plan to spend in this beautiful country.

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