How To Apply for New Zealand ETA
All foreign nationals, including US citizens wishing to travel to New Zealand, must have a valid visa endorsed on their passports or have the New Zealand ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) if eligible under the visa waiver program. Only Australian citizens with no criminal or deportation records from any country can enter New Zealand for tourism, study, and work without a visa. Australian permanent residents require to obtain New Zealand ETA before travelling.
More About New Zealand ETA
The New Zealand Tourist ETA also known as New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA), is an electronic New Zealand visa waiver that gives US passengers the permit to enter New Zealand multiple times without a New Zealand visa USA.
Travellers can apply for the ETA online or through authorised agents without visiting the New Zealand Embassy. Unlike a visa, making an appointment or presenting the original documents at the Embassy or any New Zealand electronic travel authority is unnecessary. However, this privilege does not apply to all nationalities. There are about 60 countries that are eligible to enter New Zealand with the ETA approval, including US citizens.
This rule is in effect from 1st October 2019 for travellers to apply in advance and get approval through ETA or a regular visa to visit the country. NZeTA aims to screen travellers before they arrive for border and immigration risks and enable smooth border crossing. The rules are almost similar to the ESTA though the eligible countries differ.
Continue reading to learn more about New Zealand visas for US citizens.
The ETA is valid for two years, and the travellers can enter the country multiple times. However, they can stay for a maximum of ninety days per visit. If a passenger wants to stay for more than ninety days, they must either leave the country and return or obtain a regular New Zealand visa from United States.
Various Types of Visas
There is a different category of New Zealand visa for US citizens that they must apply for if they have to stay in that country for more than 90 days.
US students who intend to study in New Zealand must apply for a student New Zealand visa from the United States. They must have the required documents, like a valid offer of admission letter from a college/ university and proof of funds.
US citizens travelling to New Zealand for Employment should apply for a work visa. They must have their employment offer letter and other documents.
c] New Zealand visa USA for green card holders is the same. They can travel on ETA for tourism or holiday, provided they return within 90 days.
Rules for children and minors
Yes, minors and children must have individual passports regardless of age. Before travelling, they must also apply for EST or a valid New Zealand visa. New Zealand visa USA for minors and children will be necessary if they accompany their guardians or parents and plan to stay for more than 90 days.
Is ETA Necessary If Passengers Are Transiting Through New Zealand International Airports?
Passengers changing airports or flights at any international airport must have a valid ETA or a transit New Zealand visa from the United States endorsed on their passports. It is mandatory regardless your stay is for a day or a few hours. The same rules apply to passengers travelling on ships/ cruises.
Valid New Zealand visa USA holders need not apply for an NZeTA when travelling for a short period.
How to Apply for an NZeTA?
Visit the NZeTA website or use the NZeTA mobile app if you use your smartphone. Ensure to fill the form correctly without errors. If submitted with mistakes, applicants must wait to correct them and resubmit the application. It can cause unnecessary delays, and the authorities may reject the application. However, applicants can still apply for a New Zealand visa for US citizens.
US citizens applying for the visa waiver should ensure they hold a passport valid for at least three months from their arrival date in New Zealand. The passport must have at least one or two blank pages for the immigration authorities to stamp the arrival and departure dates. Authorities recommend renewing the passport and then applying for the travel document, or they will get the authorisation only for that period till the passport validity.
Give valid departure and arrival dates.
Applicants must give a valid email address for the authorities to communicate and send a confirmation with a reference number of receipt of their application. They will send the New Zealand visa waiver to the applicant's email when approved within 72 hours.
Although the chances of NZeTA refusal are meagre, travellers should apply for it a little in advance. If there is an error in the application form or the authorities ask for additional information, there can be a delay and upset the travel plans.
Travellers may have to show the New Zealand visa for US citizens alternative travel documents at the port of entry immigration officers. They can download the documents and display or print a hard copy.
Who is not eligible for NZeTA and must obtain a New Zealand visa from United States?
1. As mentioned, if the passengers intend to study, work, or do business, they may have to stay for more than 90 days.
2. Those having a criminal history and served a term in prison
3. Those who previously have deportation records from another country
4. Suspects of criminal or terrorist links
5. Have serious health ailments. They require approval from a panel doctor.
The visa fees are non-refundable even if applicants cancel their trip. The payment must be through the applicant's debit or credit card. Please browse the site to confirm what other modes of payment they accept. Most nationalities also must pay the IVL fee (International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy of NZD$ 35. his fee is applicable even for New Zealand visa USA passengers, whether applying for business or pleasure.
Ensure that you have checked the eligibility for your New Zealand eTA. If you are from a Visa Waiver country then you can apply for an eTA regardless of the mode of travel (Air / Cruise). United States citizens, Canadian citizens, German citizens, and United Kingdom citizens can apply online for New Zealand eTA. United Kingdom residents can stay on New Zealand eTA for 6 months while others for 90 days.
Please apply for a New Zealand eTA 72 hours in advance of your flight.