Starting from 1 October 2019, most visitors to New Zealand will now need to request a NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) to gain access to the country. The ESTA-style visa waiver has been introduced to screen travellers in advance of their arrival for border and immigration risks and forms part of a wider government effort to make border crossing as seamless as possible.
The new ETA system will apply to all air and cruise travellers from 60 visa waiver countries, who will need to obtain the ETA up to 72 hours before travelling to New Zealand.
However, owing to the strong bilateral deal between Australia and New Zealand, Australian citizens travelling to New Zealand on an Australian passport will be exempt from the ETA requirement.
Permanent residents of Australia who are not Australian citizens and are travelling on another country’s passport will need to obtain an ETA, as well as visitors from other visa-waiver countries including the United States, Canada and the UK.
A single ETA will cover multiple trips into New Zealand, whether business or leisure, and passengers in international transit will still require an ETA, even if they don’t cross the border into New Zealand.
Requests for a NZeTA can be made from 1 July 2019 and will become mandatory for travel from 1 October 2019.
For more information, and a full list of the 60 visa-waiver countries, visit the New Zealand Immigration website at https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas