NZ Tourist Visa Requirements and Application Process

New Zealand offers a wide range of tourist visas for people visiting the country for a short period.

Travellers should consider all the options available to them depending on their:

  • Reason for visiting New Zealand
  • Length of stay
  • Nationality

Read on to find out more about the different types of NEW ZEALAND VISA FOR VISITORS, eligibility criteria, and documents required to apply.

Do I need a tourist visa for New Zealand?

Travellers need a visitor visa for New Zealand unless they are:

  • A citizen or permanent resident of Australia
  • A citizen of one of the 60 visitor visa waiver countries and territories
  • A holder of the United Nations laissez-passer
  • Eligible for visa-free travel under other specific provisions

Tourism in New Zealand with an NZeTA

Citizens of several countries can travel to New Zealand without applying for a visitor visa.

Tourists from more than 60 countries including the United States, all European Union member states, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and Japan can go to New Zealand with an eTA and stay for up to 3 months.

Citizens from the United Kingdom can enter for periods of up to 6 months with the NZ eTA.

Cruise ship passengers of all nationalities can travel to New Zealand with an eTA instead of a visa.

Eligible foreign citizens must complete the NZeTA online application before departure.

How to get a tourist visa waiver for New Zealand

It takes just a few minutes to apply for the NEW ZEALAND ENTRY VISA. Basic personal information, passport data, and travel details are required.

The application is 100% online with no need to visit an embassy or visa application centre.

Most NZeTA requests are approved in 1 to 3 business days. The applicant receives the permit by email.

Tourist NZeTA key facts

  • Travel purposes: Tourism, business, or transit
  • Length of stay: Up to 3 months (6 months for UK citizens)
  • NZeTA validity: 2 years or until the passport expires
  • Number of entries: multiple entries

Visitor visa types for New Zealand

New Zealand Visitor Visas are for citizens of non-visa-exempt countries.

A visa is also required by travellers from visa waiver countries who do not meet all the NZeTA requirements, or who wish to stay for longer than 3 months.

New Zealand Tourist Visa

The general New Zealand Visitor Visa is for the following activities:

  • Leisure and tourism
  • Adventure activities
  • Amateur sports events
  • Studying (for up to 3 months)

Partners and dependent children (aged 19 and under) can be included on the visa application.

Duration of stay

Foreigners can stay in New Zealand for up to 9 months in an 18-month period with a tourist visa.

It is possible to apply for a 3-month extension from New Zealand and stay for 12 months in a 24-month period.

Tourist visa holders can study in New Zealand for up to 3 months per year.

New Zealand Group Visitor Visas

Travellers organising a trip to New Zealand with other people may be able to apply for the Group Visitor Visa. The length of stay granted is usually 1 month.

To be eligible, each member of the group must enter and leave New Zealand together and be visiting for the same purpose.

The group leader is responsible for making the group visa application. Each member also needs to complete a Visitor Visa application.

New Zealand Working Holiday Visas

New Zealand offers Working Holiday Visas to young people (normally between 18 and 30, though sometimes up to 35 years old) from several countries.

The main purpose of the trip should be a holiday, with some work activity permitted.

For some countries, a limited number of working holiday visas are issued by the New Zealand government each year.

Travellers on a Working Holiday Visa cannot accept a permanent job in New Zealand.

Duration of stay

Working Holiday Visas for New Zealand are normally valid for up to 12 months (up to 23 months for citizens of the UK or Canada).

Up to 6 months of the stay may be spent studying or training.

Visitors must enter New Zealand within 1 year of receiving the visa, they may then enter and leave as required until it expires.

New Zealand Parent and Grandparent Visitor Visa

Parents and grandparents of New Zealand citizens or residents can apply for this special type of tourist visa.

Visa holders can stay for up to 6 months at a time. The Parent and Grandparent Visitor Visa can be used for multiple trips to New Zealand, the total stay must not exceed 18 months in 3 years.

Partner of a New Zealander Visitor Visa

With the Partner of a New Zealander Visitor Visa, foreigners can:

  • Join their partner who is a New Zealand citizen or resident
  • Visit the country as a tourist
  • Study for a maximum of 3 months

This visa is valid for up to 24 months. It may be possible to apply for New Zealand residence based on partnership before the visa expires.

New Zealand Business Visitor Visa

Travellers who are not eligible for a New Zealand business visa waiver must get a business visa before departure.

Foreigners on a business visa cannot work in New Zealand and may only carry out the business activities stated when applying.

The Business Visitor Visa for New Zealand is issued for up to 3 months.

New Zealand Medical Treatment Visitor Visa

Patients who have been accepted for medical treatment or consultation in New Zealand should apply for the Medical Treatment Visitor Visa.

Applicants must be able to pay for the treatment. Accompanying family members or medical professions need to apply for their own visitor visas.

The visa is granted for up to 6 months however a further visa may be issued if the traveller requires further treatment or becomes ill.

New Zealand Private Yacht or Plane Visitor Visa

Tourists heading to New Zealand aboard a private yacht or aircraft need this visa.

Private Yacht or Plane Visitor Visa holders can enter and leave New Zealand multiple times for 3 months.

Travellers who will depart New Zealand on a commercial flight or ship must have an onward ticket or enough funds to purchase one.

New Zealand Sports Event Visitor Visa

Sports people may enter New Zealand for a sports event or tour with this visa. It is also for support staff, officials, or people working in the media.

The Sports Event Visitor Visa can be used only for the event specified on the application and for up to 3 months. A work visa is to stay for longer.

New Zealand tourist visa requirements and application

The basic requirements and application process is the same for all the different types of New Zealand tourist visas.

  • Step 1: Select the correct type of New Zealand visitor visa

Travellers must first check whether they are eligible for an NZeTA.

If not they should decide on the correct type of visitor visa depending on their specific circumstances.

  • Step 2: Arrange identity documents for the visa application

A colour photograph and passport valid for 3 months beyond the end of the visit are required to prove the visa applicant’s identity.

  • Step 3: Arrange documents required for the New Zealand tourist visa

All New Zealand visa applicants need documents to support their request.

Evidence of the following must be provided:

  • Onwards travel: either a transport ticket or enough money to buy one
  • Sufficient funds: tourists need enough money for the trip or a sponsor
  • Good health and character

Further documents may be required depending on the purpose of the trip.

  • Step 4: Apply for the New Zealand visa

Once all the relevant documents have been arranged, travellers can apply for the visa.

The visa application form can either be filled out online or on paper and submitted at a visa application centre. Applicants may be asked to attend an interview.NZeTA Application

How long does it take to get a New Zealand tourist visa?

How long it takes to process a visa application depends on several factors:

  • The type of visa applied for
  • The country applied from
  • When the application was made (there is high demand from November to March)

On average, 90% of Visitor Visa applications are completed within 5 months. It is important to begin the application process well ahead of the intended date of departure.

The approved visa is in the form of a letter or passport label.

Good health and character requirements for New Zealand temporary visas

Visitors to New Zealand need to prove they meet the good character requirements.

Visa applicants with a criminal record must inform the authorities of offences they have been charged with, convicted of, or spent time in prison for.

Individuals with serious character issues will not be granted a visa for New Zealand.

New Zealand Immigration officials may consider waiving the good character requirement if a full explanation and supporting evidence is provided with the visa application.

Health requirements

chest x-ray or medical examination may be required. This applies to visitor visas valid to stay in New Zealand for 6 months or more.

Applying for a New Zealand tourist visa during COVID-19

Access to New Zealand remains limited due to the coronavirus pandemic. Foreign nationals who believe they may be exempt from COVID-19 travel bans must apply for a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa.

Successful applicants also need additional documents to be granted entry:

  • PCR medical test certificate
  • Managed Isolation Allocation voucher

Entry requirements and restrictions are subject to change at short notice. The latest information must be consulted before making any arrangements.

Documents required for the eTA New Zealand tourist visa waiver

Travellers taking a cruise to New Zealand (regardless of their nationality), and passport holders from one of the 60 New Zealand eTA eligible countries can apply for the New Zealand eTA tourist visa waiver.

The above applicants must have a valid passport that remains current for at least 3 months beyond the intended exit date from NZ.

Travellers must be in good health to travel to New Zealand. When requesting the NZ eTA all applicants are asked if they are travelling to the country for treatment or medical consultation.

When eligible travellers require the tourist eTA visa waiver for New Zealand, they will be required to answer some questions about their character.

Good character requirements mean that the applicant must answer questions about their criminal history and history of deportation.

An eTA will not be granted to people who:

  • Have a criminal conviction
  • Have been deported, removed or excluded from another country

If the New Zealand authorities have a reason to believe the applicant may be a risk to the country’s security, public order or public interest, the eTA will not be approved.