New Zealand... Visas and Immigration - Tuatara Tours

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New Zealand… Visas and Immigration

26 June 2019

Having a valid passport and the right visa is key to a trouble-free entry into New Zealand. Read more about our immigration requirements.

We enjoy welcoming visitors to New Zealand. To ensure you have an experience to remember, make sure you’ve done your homework and have everything sorted before you leave.

When you arrive, your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your intended departure date, and if required, have a valid New Zealand visa.


Holidaying in New Zealand

You do not need a visa to visit New Zealand if you are:

          • A New Zealand or Australian citizen or resident
          • A UK citizen and/or passport holder (you can stay up to six months)
          • A citizen of a country which has a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand (you can stay up to three months).

If you don’t meet the above, then you’ll need a visitor visa, which allows you to holiday in New Zealand for up to nine months. The fastest and easiest way to apply for a visitor visa is online.

From 1 October 2019, visitors from visa-waiver countries must request an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) prior to coming to New Zealand. You may also have to pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL). For more information on the ETA and IVL, visit Immigration New Zealand.

The following countries are visa waiver countries:

          • Andorra
          • Argentina
          • Austria
          • Bahrain
          • Belgium
          • Brazil
          • Brunei
          • Bulgaria
          • Canada
          • Chile
          • Croatia
          • Cyprus
          • Czech Republic
          • Denmark
          • Estonia (citizens only)
          • Finland
          • France
          • Germany
          • Greece
          • Hong Kong (residents with HKSAR or British National (Overseas) passports only)
          • Hungary
          • Iceland
          • Ireland
          • Israel
          • Italy
          • Japan
          • Korea (South)
          • Kuwait
          • Latvia (citizens only)
          • Liechtenstein
          • Lithuania (citizens only)
          • Luxembourg
          • Macau (Macau Special Administrative Region passports only)
          • Malaysia
          • Malta
          • Mauritius
          • Mexico
          • Monaco
          • Netherlands
          • Norway
          • Oman
          • Poland
          • Portugal (with the right to live permanently in Portugal)
          • Qatar
          • Romania
          • San Marino
          • Saudi Arabia
          • Seychelles
          • Singapore
          • Slovak Republic
          • Slovenia
          • Spain
          • Sweden
          • Switzerland
          • Taiwan (permanent residents only)
          • United Arab Emirates
          • United Kingdom (must have the right to reside permanently in the United Kingdom)
          • United States of America (includes USA nationals)
          • Uruguay
          • Vatican City

Before travelling to New Zealand, you need to make sure your passport is valid for at least three months longer than your expected departure date. If you come from a country that needs a New Zealand visa to enter, please be sure to apply in advance.

If you have a biometric ordinary passport (or electronic passport) and are over 12 years old, you may be able to use New Zealand Customs eGate service. This allows you to complete your Customs and Immigration checks faster so you can get on with enjoying your visit to New Zealand.    


Working holidays

Working holiday visas are available to young people, usually aged 18-30 (but 18-35 for a select few nationalities). They let you travel and work in New Zealand for up to 12 months, or 23 months if you’re from the UK. To apply you’ll need to meet the visa requirements, and have:

          • A return ticket, or enough money to pay for one; and
          • Be coming mainly to holiday, with work being a secondary intention.


Work visas and staying permanently

If you’re thinking of coming to New Zealand to work for a few years, or maybe even to settle, you’ll need a work or resident visa. To get that – you’re likely to need a job.


Transiting through New Zealand or Australia

If you are travelling to New Zealand via an Australian airport, you may also need an Australian visa – consult your travel agent or airline if you are unsure. Transit visas will also be needed for all people travelling via New Zealand, unless they are specifically exempted by immigration policy.


On arrival

You will need to complete a Passenger Arrival Card before passing through Customs Passport Control. A passenger arrival card will be given to you during your flight. If not, cards are available in the arrival area.


What you can bring into New Zealand

After you’ve cleared passport control, you should collect your baggage and proceed through customs and biosecurity checks. In order to protect New Zealand and its environment, certain items are not allowed to be brought into the country, have restrictions for entry or must be declared if they are deemed to present a biosecurity risk. These include food, plants, animal products and outdoor recreational equipment.

Your baggage may be sniffed by a detector dog and/or x-rayed, and it may be searched to identify any risk goods you might be carrying.

To avoid penalties it is best to familiarise yourself with these guidelines prior to travel. For a detailed list of prohibited, restricted or declarable items, please visit Ministry for Primary Industries (biosecurity agency).


Allowances and duty free concessions

As a visitor to New Zealand you may be entitled to various concessions and duty free entries on some of your goods. If you are 17 years or older, you are entitled to allowances for alcohol, cigarettes and tobacco. For detailed information on allowances and duty free concessions, please visit New Zealand Customs.

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