New Zealand Visa Application & NZeTA Registration: Important Things to Know
With spectacular places to visit and innumerable things to do, New Zealand is undeniably one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Whether you are looking for unfathomed family fun, outdoor adventure, relaxation and rejuvenation, cultural experiences, delightful food & wine, or a bit of everything – the country has something to suit every taste and interest.
However, you must obtain an NZeTA or a regular visa before you travel. You may not get entry to New Zealand if you do not hold a valid passport, a visa or an NZeTA. In this guide, we will discuss everything you should know about the NZeTA application before you could visit the country and indulge in its breathtaking experiences. Let’s get started.
What is an NZeTA?
NZeTA, or New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, is a travel authorisation document that allows travellers from some countries to visit New Zealand without a physical visa. It is a faster, simpler, and cheaper way to obtain a visa and seek entry into the country without having to visit the nearest NZ embassy or consulate. You can submit this New Zealand visa application online within 72 hours of your travel and visit the country for a short duration.
Using this visa, you can:
- Visit New Zealand without the need to have a visa, provided you are travelling with a valid passport from a visa-waiver country, via a cruise ship, or have permanent residency in Australia
- Visit the Auckland International Airport as a transit passenger, travelling towards another country – provided you belong to a transit visa waiver or visa waiver country
- Have someone endorse your NZeTA application. However, you must inform them if you have been convicted of criminal activities in the past or whether you are undergoing medical treatment in New Zealand
Who Can Apply for an NZeTA?
The following categories of travellers are eligible to submit an NZeTA application and visit New Zealand for a short duration:
- Tourists, including people visiting family & friends or holidaying
- Business travellers who intend to visit the country for trading purposes, training, conferences, or other business gatherings
- Visitors participating in amateur sports
- Travellers applying for short-term paid or unpaid jobs in the country
However, for a New Zealand visa application online or NZeTA, it is mandatory that you hold the nationality of a visa-waiver country. The New Zealand immigration authorities exempt passport holders of some countries and territories from applying for a regular visa before they can visit the country. Travellers from these visa-waiver countries do not require a visa but must obtain a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority.
Who Does Not Need an NZeTA?
If you meet the following criteria, you do not require filing an NZeTA application:
- A citizen of New Zealand holding a valid New Zealand passport or a foreign passport that is endorsed by a New Zealand citizen
- A valid New Zealand visa holder, including Permanent Resident Visa
- A citizen of Australia visiting New Zealand on an Australian passport
- A member of an expedition or scientific programme of the Contracting Party to the Antarctic Treaty
- A member of the visiting force visiting the country in the regular course of their duty or employment
If you are travelling from a country or territory that is not visa-exempted, you would need to apply for a regular visa at a New Zealand embassy or consulate.
Do I Need to Apply for a Visitor Visa or an NZeTA?
If you are visiting New Zealand on a holiday, you will either need a New Zealand visa application or hold an NZeTA.
But should you apply for a visitor visa or file an NZeTA application? Let’s understand here:
You need an NZeTA if you are travelling from a visa-waiver country. So, before you file a New Zealand visa application online, you should check whether you have a passport from a visa-waiver country or territory. However, it is still important that you meet some other conditions to visit New Zealand, which we will discuss in the later section of this page.
On the other hand, you will need to apply for a visitor visa if you:
- are NOT visiting New Zealand with a passport from a visa-waiver country or territory
- have been convicted of a crime
- want to stay in New Zealand for more than 3 months, or over 6 months if you are visiting from the UK
- have been detected by a health condition that can pose threat to public health
Knowing these differences will help you understand whether to apply for a regular visitor visa or file an NZeTA application.
What is the Validity of an NZeTA?
The New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority is valid for 2 years from the time it is issued by the New Zealand authorities. During this period, you may visit the country as many times as you want. However, each stay should not exceed 3 months. Additionally, you must not spend over 6 months in the country during a 12-month period.
Requirements to Apply for an NZeTA
Before you submit a visa application online, it is important to check whether you fulfil all eligibility requirements as mentioned herewith:
1. You must have a valid passport of a country or territory that falls under the purview of the New Zealand Visa Waiver Programme. All EU countries, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom are members of this programme. The passport should be valid for at least 3 months from the date when you intend to visit the country.
Remember, the validity of your NZeTA depends on the validity of your passport. If your passport expires, your New Zealand eTA will expire at the same time. So, you must apply for a new NZeTA when you apply for a new passport.
2. You should provide a valid email address where all communication regarding your NZeTA application will be made
3. A credit card or debit card to pay the fee for obtaining an NZeTA
4. A clear photo of your face that meets the NZeTA requirements
5. You must provide proof that you have sufficient funds to finance your visit to New Zealand
6. You must submit a return or transit ticket, or details of your hotel accommodation
Your visa application online may get rejected if you are suspected of a crime, criminally convicted, or have been sentenced to imprisonment. It is also important that you do not have any serious communicable disease that can pose threat to the public or which can become a major burden to the country’s health service.
At any point during your visit to New Zealand, if the authorities suspect that you intend to seek employment with an NZ-based organisation, then your application can get rejected.
How to Apply For an NZeTA?
If you are applying for an NZeTA to visit New Zealand for a holiday or business trip, then the entire process can be completed online in a quick and hassle-free manner. You no longer have to visit a New Zealand embassy or consulate and wait in long queues to apply for an NZeTA. Here is a step-by-step guide to how to apply:
1. Fill up the New Zealand visa application
Visit https://www.newzealand-visa.org/ and fill up the New Zealand eTA application form correctly and truthfully on our website. We are authorised by the New Zealand Immigration Authority to provide New Zealand visa applications online. Regardless of whether you are travelling via plane or cruise, it is mandatory to complete the process of NZeTA application online. Remember, the entire process needs to be completed electronically and there is no paper-based equivalent form available.
- Passport details: It is an important piece of information and must be duly filled up with all correct information. The passport details include the passport issuing country or territory, date of issue, passport number and expiry date. If you hold passports from more than one country, it is important that you mention accurate details of the passport that you intend to carry during your visit.
- Personal details: Once you provide all passport details correctly, enter your personal information such as your full name, gender, valid email address, etc. Your name or other details must accurately match the information provided on the passport that you intend to carry on your visit to New Zealand.
- Upload a photo: Next, you need to upload a photo that is not less than 6 months old. The photo should be clear and identify you properly. It must also meet other requirements as specified by New Zealand Immigration Authority.
- Review & confirm details: Once you fill up all the details correctly, review the information and confirm before submission.
- Declaration: In the next step, you need to confirm that all details provided in the NZeTA application are correct, complete and truthful. You also need to consent that you are not suspected of a crime, criminally convicted, or have been sentenced to imprisonment.
Also, make a declaration that you do not have any serious communicable disease that can pose threat to the public or which can become a major burden to the country’s health service.
- Make payment: You need to make a payment before you can submit your New Zealand visa application online. This requires you to have a credit card, debit card, Discover, China Union Pay or PayPal account to make the payment online. The cost of a New Zealand eTA application is $23. Additionally, you may need to pay the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) while paying the fee for NZeTA. This may cost around $35.
- Submit your application: Once you make the payment online, submit the application and it will be sent to New Zealand Immigration Authority for further processing.
It takes just a few minutes to complete the application online. Expect to receive your NZeTA approval within 72 hours. The final decision regarding the approval/rejection of your application lies with the New Zealand Immigration Authority. Once you submit the application and request a New Zealand eTA, you can check the status online on our website.
If you do not meet any of the above requirements, have been criminally convicted, planning to seek employment in New Zealand, or have a serious health hazard that can compromise public safety, then the immigration authority holds the right to reject your NZeTA application.
If you require any support filling up the application or making payment, please contact us.
Can You Get an NZeTA Upon Your Arrival in New Zealand?
Often, travellers plan to get an NZeTA once they arrive in New Zealand. However, this is not allowed. You must apply for a visa at least 72 hours before your arrival and get approved. Regardless of whether you are travelling via flight or cruise, you will need to provide the visa or NZeTA when checking in as well as at New Zealand’s entry point. Therefore, it is important that you apply before you arrive in the country.
How Long Before Your Departure Can You Apply for an NZeTA?
Typically, an NZeTA visa application online is approved within an hour in most cases. However, the New Zealand Immigration Authority does not provide any guarantee regarding the approval time. It may also take 72 hours to 5 days for the application to get approved. While you can apply for an NZeTA at least 72 hours before your arrival, you should have enough time in hand in case it takes longer to get approved.
In rare cases, your application may also get denied. In such cases, you may need to apply for a regular visa which can take several weeks. Therefore, the New Zealand Immigration Authority requires you to file your New Zealand visa application at the earliest. You do not require booking your flight or accommodation to apply for a New Zealand eTA. When filling up the application, you only require giving your consent that you are visiting New Zealand for tourism, transit or commercial purposes.
How Long Will it Take to Receive Your NZeTA?
An NZeTA application gets usually approved within 72 hours or five working days. If you meet all eligibility requirements and the application does not require further verification, it can get approved within one day. You can also file an urgent application that will get your NZeTA approved within 12 hours.
Remember, the average approval times will begin only when your application, your photograph and the payment are received and confirmed via your registered email address. However, the approval times are not guaranteed; they are only averages of the time it could take to get your NZeTA approval.
You may choose the visa processing time at the time of submitting your application. Standard NZeTA approvals will take somewhat between 24 hours and 72 hours, while urgent applications can be processed within 1 – 24 hours. However, faster processing times may require an additional fee. www.newzealand-visa.org does not hold responsibility for the approval times. It is solely the discretion of the New Zealand Immigration Authority.
But applications typically get processed faster when you choose express deliveries, provided there are no discrepancies in them and you meet all obligations.
Do I Need to Book a Trip Before Applying for New Zealand Visa Application Online?
No. To apply for an NZeTA visa, you do not have to book flight tickets or make hotel bookings. You will only require to provide a declaration that you intend to visit the country only for tourism, business or transit purposes. You may also be asked to provide estimated arrival date in the application form.
However, this may vary from the actual date of travel. This may not be a problem, provided your entire stay in the country is within the validity of the visa. Your New Zealand eTA remains valid up to 2 years from the date you mentioned in the application as your arrival date. But make sure you obtain your return flight ticket or transit ticket before you arrive in the country. This is because it may be checked at the point of entry along with your NZeTA.
How Will I Receive My NZeTA?
The entire process of New Zealand visa application is handled electronically. Once the application gets approved, you will receive an email and a text message notifying the same. The email may also contain a link where you can check the status of your application. You can also download and print a PDF version of the visa through this page. The soft copy of your NZeTA is officially authorised for travel and contains all information necessary for immigration.
Considering the importance of this document, it is important that you thoroughly check all the details before applying. In most cases, NZeTA applications are rejected due to erroneous entries and mistakes. Once the application has been submitted, you cannot make changes to it. While it is not compulsory to take a printout of the visa, it is advisable to carry a hard copy of the travel document.
NZeTA Application Guide – Frequently Asked Questions
Q. My name is incorrectly listed on my online visa. What to do now?
If the spelling error is due to an accent, then it will be automatically corrected by the system and displayed differently on your NZeTA. If there are special characters in your name, it is not accepted by the system and will be displayed in machine-readable form. However, these errors will not affect your entry to New Zealand.
However, if the spelling error is due to incorrectly entering your name in the application, then your NZeTA stands invalid. Similarly, if the name is incomplete, even then the visa stands invalid. In all such cases, you will need to apply for a new NZeTA. Therefore, you should thoroughly review your application before submitting it and making payment.
Q. Can I extend my NZeTA?
No, you cannot extend your eTA beyond its validity of 2 years. If you plan to stay in New Zealand for more than 3 months, you will require applying for a different type of visa.
Q. Does an NZeTA guarantee my entry to New Zealand?
No. Even if you hold a valid NZeTA, you are subject to random checks and questions after your arrival. If the immigration officers find any discrepancy, they have the right to deport you immediately.
Apply for an NZeTA online at www.newzealand-visa.org.