What is the eTA New Zealand?
The eTA for New Zealand (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) is an electronic travel authorisation for citizens of visa waiver countries.
The NZeTA launched in August 2019 and although it is not a visa, it has been a mandatory entry document since October 2019.
Eligible travellers can easily obtain their NZeTA to visit the country for tourism, business purposes, or transit to another country.
The NEW ZEALAND VISA ONLINE waiver is obligatory for the following passengers entering New Zealand:
- Citizens of all 60 visa waiver countries
- Cruise travellers of all nationalities
- Transit travellers to another country (necessary for 191 countries)
Citizens from eTA New Zealand eligible countries and eligible transit passengers can easily obtain an eTA for New Zealand by completing a simple online application form.
The Transit NZeTA is mandatory for transit passengers making a stopover in NZ, who do not hold a New Zealand visa.
There is no need to visit an embassy or consulate and the eTA New Zealand online application form only takes a matter of minutes to complete.
This means that all eligible travellers who wish to visit New Zealand for tourism or business purposes for short-term stays, or transit through Auckland International Airport, will need to apply for an eTA visa waiver to New Zealand before departure.
Most applications are processed in 1 to 2 business days. Once approved, the eTA New Zealand (NZeTA) is sent to the petitioner electronically to the email address the user provides in their application form.
The New Zealand eTA is valid for 2 years from the moment it is granted, and can be used for multiple visits.
To obtain the NZeTA visa waiver, applicants are required to pay a small processing fee and a tourist tax known as the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL).
The IVL has been introduced as a way for travellers to contribute directly to the tourism infrastructure and help protect the natural environment they enjoy during their stay in New Zealand.
Who needs an eTA for New Zealand?
From the 1st of October 2019 onwards, passport holders from all 60 visa waiver countries (can travel to New Zealand without a visa for up to 90 days) are required to apply for an NZeTA for tourism before departing towards the country.
Nationals from the UK can enter for up to 6 months and Australians hold residency status on arrival.
Even travellers just transiting through New Zealand on the way to a third-country destination have to obtain an NZeTA for transit.
The eTA New Zealand —for transit or tourism— is valid for a total of 2 years from the date it is issued.
Passport holders from the 60 visa-waiver countries listed below need an NEW ZEALAND VISA APPLICATION. The requirement also applies to children travelling to New Zealand.
Travellers who do not need an eTA for New Zealand
Everyone needs an NZeTA to travel to New Zealand without a visa unless they are a:
- New Zealand citizen with a New Zealand passport or foreign passport with an NZ endorsement
- New Zealand visa holder
- Citizen of Australia entering New Zealand with an Australian passport
Australian permanent residents of third-country nationalities —regardless of whether they carry a passport from an eligible nation or not— need to apply for an eTA but are not charged the associated tourist levy.
Passenger airline and cruise ship crew need a Crew eTA for New Zealand. The Crew eTA is different from the NZeTA and is requested by the employer.
Other exemptions from the New Zealand eTA visa waiver include:
- Crew and passengers of a non-cruise vessel
- Crew members on a foreign ship carrying cargo
- Guests of the New Zealand Government
- Foreign citizens under The Antarctic Treaty
- Members of a visiting force and associated crew members
All airline crew and cruise line crew, no matter their nationality, need to ensure their employer has secured a Crew NZeTA on their behalf before departure to New Zealand. Once approved, the Crew NZeTA is valid for up to 5 years.
How does the NZeTA work?
The NZeTA system automatically pre-screens visa-exempt foreign visitors. It checks that applicants meet the eTA NZ requirements and are eligible to travel without a visa.
The eTA facilitates border crossing, improves security and makes New Zealand even safer for residents and visitors.
Eligible passport holders can get an NZeTA online in 3 steps:
- Fill out the electronic application form
- Pay the processing fee and submit the request
- Receive the approved New Zealand electronic travel authority by email
NZeTA applicants do not need to visit an embassy or visa application centre. The process is 100% electronic.
Requesting an eTA to travel to New Zealand
NZeTA applicants need the following documents to get started:
- Valid passport from a visa waiver country
- Passport-style photograph
- Debit or credit card to pay the NZeTA fees
The eTA NZ application form for citizens of visa waiver countries requires visitors to answer a series of questions by entering personal information such as:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Passport details
- Travel plans
Applicants also need to answer a few simple questions related to health and security on the New Zealand eTA application form.
Applicants pay the New Zealand electronic travel authority fees and IVL using a debit or credit card to finalise the request. Through the IVL, visitors contribute directly to the tourism infrastructure and help protect the natural environment they enjoy during their stay.
How soon before travelling to New Zealand should I apply for a visa waiver?
NZeTA applications are processed quickly. Most applicants receive the approved visa waiver in 1 to 2 working days.
Nevertheless, visitors should apply as soon as they know their travel plans. The eTA is valid for 2 years or until the passport expires so it can be obtained well in advance.
The eTA is a multiple-entry permit. Tourists don’t need to reapply before each trip to New Zealand.
Tourism, business, and transit with an NZeTA
The New Zealand Travel Authority is for tourism, business, and transit. The maximum length of stay with the eTA is 3 months (6 months for UK citizens).
NZeTA for passengers transiting through Auckland Airport
Airline passengers with a layover in New Zealand can apply for an NZeTA for transit if they are:
- A passport holder from a transit visa waiver or visa waiver country
- An Australian permanent residence visa holder
- Travelling directly from New Zealand to Australia, any nationality (current Australian visa required)
- Travelling from Australia even if the journey started outside, any nationality
If none of the above applies, a transit visa for New Zealand is required.
Transit passengers must remain on the plane they arrived on or in the international transit area at Auckland International Airport (AKL) for no more than 24 hours.
New Zealand eTA for cruise ship passengers
Tourists of all nationalities can go to New Zealand on a cruise ship with an NZeTA.
Even passport holders who are not from visa-waiver nations can arrive in New Zealand visa-free provided they hold an eTA.
Cruise passengers from visa waiver countries need to apply for an eTANZ for the trip.
Foreigners flying into New Zealand to join a cruise ship need a visa if they do not hold a passport from a visa waiver country.
New Zealand entry restrictions for international tourists
Foreigners must meet all New Zealand entry requirements to be granted access. On arrival in New Zealand, visitors need to present the following to immigration officials:
- Passport valid for at least 3 months beyond the intended date of departure
- NZeTA or visitor visa
- Evidence of onward travel
Visitors must also meet New Zealand health and character standards and have sufficient funds for their stay.
Foreigners also need to pass customs and immigration checks. Passengers should consult the list of items to declare when travelling to New Zealand when preparing their luggage.
New Zealand travel bans and extra requirements during COVID-19
Fully vaccinated travellers with a valid NZeTA or visitor visa can now visit New Zealand. Foreigners must meet all the latest COVID-19 entry requirements.
In addition to an Electronic Travel Authority or visa, passengers need:
- COVID-19 vaccination certificate
- NZ Health Declaration
New Zealand completed its 5-step reopening plan on July 31, 2022. New Zealand’s international border is now fully open to travellers that meet the entry requirements.
Benefits of the New Zealand visa waiver eTA
Most visitors are arriving well-prepared, having applied in advance for their New Zealand eTA visa waiver rather than leaving their authorisation to the last minute.
This proves the tourism industry’s initial worry regarding the potential for chaos (large numbers of travellers arriving at check-in without an eTA) unnecessary.
Here are some of the main benefits the eTA for New Zealand has to offer:
- The New Zealand eTA grants holders multiple visits
- The New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority is valid for up to 2 years
- The electronic authorisation facilitates the border arrival process
- The application for the NZeTA visa waiver takes around 5 minutes to complete
- More than 99% of eTA requests are processed automatically
- Increased security within the island for both residents and visitors alike
- The eTA allows NZ immigration authorities to pre-screen visa-exempt nationals in order to detect and prevent people who may pose a risk on New Zealand’s security from entering
- The entire application process can be completed online, eliminating the need to visit a New Zealand embassy or consulate
- Immigration New Zealand has stationed staff around the globe to manage any glitches with the eTA
Travelling with a New Zealand eTA for visa waiver citizens
Visiting New Zealand is an extraordinary experience and its popularity as a tourist destination continues to grow.
Organising a holiday with a New Zealand eTA for citizens of visa waiver countries is simple. The process saves visitors the hassle of going to an embassy or consulate to obtain a visa.
All applicants need to meet the basic NZeTA requirements and complete the online application prior to their departure.
Visitors to New Zealand are required to present a copy of their eTA NZ to the border authorities upon arrival.
The eTA NZ visa waiver (also known as New Zealand eVisa) is designed to improve border security as visitors will be screened before they depart towards New Zealand and anyone who poses a security risk will be identified.
This makes New Zealand safer for locals and visitors alike. Moreover, the eTA NZ makes border crossing quicker and more efficient for international travellers.