An island nation surrounded by the southwest Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is home to untamed wilderness, majestic mountains, misty valleys, quaint villages, and bustling towns. The country is one of the most loved tourist destinations for travel aficionados from across the world. Foreign travelers from countries that are not entitled to the New Zealand ETA should get a New Zealand visitor visa to explore the nation. Here’s what foreign nationals planning to visit New Zealand need to know about the visitor visa.
The New Zealand visitor visa is a legal authorization issued by the government of that country to citizens of foreign nations that are not eligible for an NZeTA. The visitor visa for New Zealand lets foreigners visit the country as a tourist. International travelers can explore the country and take up short-time courses that last a maximum of three months in various universities and colleges. Foreigners coming on this visa can also attend job interviews in the country and meet their family members, relatives, and friends. It is to be noted that applicants can include their partners and children under 19 years in their application, and they are required to have enough money to support themselves during their stay.
Applicants should submit several identity and travel documents at the New Zealand missions during the application process for their New Zealand visitor visa. The following is the documentation needed for the visa:
The first step is to find out whether a foreigner needs a visa. Foreign travelers hailing from visa-waiver countries and Australian citizens do not need to apply for a visa. While Australian citizens do not need a visa, travelers from visa-waiver countries can apply for an NZ eTA. Foreigners from other countries who are planning a holiday in New Zealand can apply for a visitor visa both online and offline. If an applicant cannot apply online, he/she can download the Visitor Visa Application (NZ1017) form and fill out the details.
However, the government of New Zealand encourages applicants to go online as it is faster and easier. After completing the application, they can upload all the supporting documents and pay the fee online. Note that applications without required documents or incorrect documentation will not be processed by the authorities.
Before starting the application process, applicants should set up a New Zealand government RealMe account. This is an authentication and identity verification service. Applicants can log in to their RealMe accounts to access the official websites of the NZ government and public sector establishments.
Various factors affect the time taken to process a New Zealand visitor visa. It depends on the country and consulate in which the application is made and the volume of applications. To speed up the verification process, the applicants must follow the specific criteria for a particular visa type. Applying online, too, helps expedite the process.
It is to be noted that New Zealand missions across the world receive a high number of applications between November and March. The average processing time for a visitor visa for New Zealand is 20 days if the application is made online. It may take a few more days in the case of a paper application. However, due to the high volume of applications, the processing time may increase further. International travelers are advised not to book their flights or accommodation before getting their visas.
A genuine foreign traveler arriving on an NZ visitor visa can stay up to nine months in a validity period of 18 months. The validity period is calculated backward from the last day of the stay of a foreigner. If his/her last day in New Zealand is December 1, then the validity period starts on June 1 of the previous year.
Foreign citizens arriving in New Zealand on an NZ visitor visa cannot work in the country. To engage in paid employment in the country, foreigners must get an employment visa. However, those coming on this visa can take up short-term courses of three months in educational institutions in the country.
A visitor visa for New Zealand does not guarantee a foreigner’s entry to the country. They have to go through immigration and customs checks at the port of entry. If the officers find out that their circumstances have changed since the grant of the visa or if visitors are not able to submit proof of funds for an onward ticket or stay in New Zealand, they may be denied entry.
The officers may ask a few questions and scan visitors’ eyes and fingers. If they refuse to permit this, they may be denied entry. For more information about New Zealand visitor visas, international travelers can contact their nearest NZ embassy or consulate.