Passport holders from several countries, including the United States, are able to enter New Zealand as tourists without a visa if staying only up to 3 months. Other criteria for using the visa waiver program are holding a departure air ticket, having a passport that is valid at least 3 months beyond the date they leave New Zealand, having evidence of sufficient funds for the trip, and planning to only visit for the time granted when arriving.
Those not requiring a visa may travel to New Zealand without a visa but they must get a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority. This is a new requirement beginning October 1, 2019.
Obtaining the NZeTA allows you to enter New Zealand without first applying for a visa — but only if you are from a visa waiver country such as the United States, if you are a cruise ship passenger or if you are a permanent resident of Australia.
If you happen to just be passing through to Australia the NZeTA allows you to go through Auckland International Airport as a transit passenger. When submitting your NZeTA application you also pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL).
Do US citizens need a VISA for New Zealand?
Those planning to stay more than 3 months or traveling to New Zealand for other purposes may explore some of the other visa categories such as a Business Visitor Visa, a USA Working Holiday Visa, an Academic Visitor Visa for example.
Those who hold a valid visa or are in the process of securing a visa to New Zealand do not need to secure an Electronic Travel Authority.
New Zealand VISA Requirements for US Citizens
Those US Citizens who do require a visa to enter New Zealand must follow the steps as listed:
- Identify the correct visa needed. There are various types depending on the purpose of your stay and duration of visit
- Verify that criteria is met. Supporting documents may be needed.
- Create an Account with New Zealand Immigration to apply and include supporting documentation.
For example, those applying for the USA Working Holiday Visa must ensure this is the proper visa category for them because they are spending time in New Zealand for the main purpose of holidays but also want to be able to work or study on their trip. Once the main category type has been identified they need to show evidence that they fulfill the requirements. For the USA Working Holiday Visa, applicants must also show funds in the amount of NZ $4,200 to support themselves during their visit and to provide a means to travel home at the end of the stay. Applicants for this visa category must also demonstrate that they have full medical coverage for the duration of the visit in New Zealand. Visitors who receive this type of visa must also conform to the rules of the visa, such as only studying up to 6 months total, or only working up to 12 months. Dependents are not permitted under this particular visa category. Once the criteria and rules have been met the applicant can move on to submitting the online application.
Another common visa category that US Citizens may need to apply for is the Partner of a New Zealander Visitor Visa. This category is for those wanting to visit their New Zealand partners. The criteria for this visa is that the relationship be genuine and stable and that your partner support you in your visa application. There is an added requirement that the two of you must plan to be in New Zealand for the same amount of time. This category also allows visa holders to study up to 3 months and spend time exploring the country as a visitor. The total validity of the visa may be up to 24 months. Once this visa ends, the holder may then apply for a Partnership Resident Visa if they meet the requirements.
Those two examples give an idea of some of the limits and supporting documents that all visa applicants must consider and provide when choosing the visa that most applies to them and the purpose of their stay in New Zealand.
Once you have a valid visa to travel with, you would not need an NZeTA.
New Zealand VISA Application form for USA
US Citizens traveling under the visa waiver program and needing to apply for the NZeTA can submit their application here. Make sure to plan enough time in advance when submitting your application as authorization can take up to 72 hours. Moreover, if you do not have this authorization at check-in for your flight or cruise, you will be denied entry to your flight or ship.
The application is brief and can be completed and submitted in minutes.