By Caitlin Hornik
New Zealand’s electronic visa waiver launched in August 2019 as a way to make travel to the country easier. As of October 2019, visitors to New Zealand from 60 countries are now required to obtain a NZeTA, which stands for New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority. Read on to learn more about why the visa is necessary and what it means for your next New Zealand trip!
What is an eVisa?
An eVisa is a visa that is issued electronically. This means there is no physical sticker or label placed in your passport. Instead, your visa information is stored in New Zealand’s electronic system. In doing so, those who apply for the visa can be properly screened before they arrive into the country. This helps to reduce possible security threats, making the country safer for all!
Though you do not receive a physical visa in your passport, it is important to print a copy of your completed NZeTA to bring with you to New Zealand. You will need the physical paper to gain entry into the country.
Why do I need one?
Many countries require non-citizens to receive visas for entry, even just for vacation purposes. New Zealand is no exception. You will not be allowed into the country without one, and that could surely dampen the big trip you’ve been planning! This is also true if you have a layover that stops in New Zealand, even if you’re not staying overnight.
For reference, anyone traveling to New Zealand from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the European Union will need a NZeTA. Be sure to do your research to determine if your home country is on the list of places that require a NZeTA!
Citizens from Australia do not need to apply for an eVisa, nor do citizens from the UK if entering New Zealand for less than six months.
How do I apply?
Applying for your NZeTA is super simple! With the electronic system, there is no need to visit an embassy or consulate. Instead, you can click here to fill out the application! You’ll need your passport and credit card information handy to complete the process.
In most cases, the NZeTA only takes 24-72 hours to process. Once your eVisa has been approved, it will be sent to you directly. You may wish to print it and pack it as soon as you receive it so that you don’t forget it!
The payment for the visa is known as an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy, or IVL. This is essentially a tourism fee that goes towards the preservation of the natural beauty of New Zealand!
For how long is it valid?
The New Zealand eTA is valid for two years. It can be used for multiple trips within this time frame! So if you visit New Zealand and fall head over heels for the stunning scenery and incredible culture, you can easily plan a return trip within the two year time period without having to apply for a new NZeTA.