The country’s government has announced a new tourism entry approval process that involves an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) form as well as a new tax named the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL).
According to the New Zealand Immigration website, the purpose of the ETA is to “improve the way travelers are assessed before they arrive in New Zealand.” The ETA is also aimed at reducing the time needed for border clearance and strengthening border security.
The IVL meanwhile, is described as “a way for travelers to contribute directly to the tourism infrastructure they use and to help protect and enhance the natural environment they will enjoy during their stay in New Zealand,” states the website. The following types of visitors must now request an ETA before traveling to New Zealand:
— Those visiting or in transit from a visa waiver country — that is, a country whose passport holders do not need to get a visa before they arrive in New Zealand
— If you’re traveling on a passport from a visa waiver country or a transit visa waiver country and you will be in transit through Auckland International Airport
— Cruise ship passengers, regardless of your nationality
— Permanent residents of Australia
There are, however, dozens of countries whose citizens do not have to apply for a visa before visiting for three months or less, a full list of which is provided here.
In addition, the new regulations outline a variety of travelers who will not need the ETA. These include:
— Travelers who already hold a valid New Zealand visa
— Those who are New Zealand citizens traveling on a New Zealand passport, or a foreign passport with an endorsement — for example, to say you are a permanent resident or citizen of New Zealand
— Australian citizens traveling on an Australian passport.
The new requirements take effect on October 1. The government recommends requesting an ETA well in advance of a trip to New Zealand, as it can take up to 72 hours to approve applications.