New Zealand Adding ETA Requirements for International Visitors

Mar 24, 2019

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The New Zealand government has confirmed that beginning October 1, all travelers from a list of 60 visa waiver countries will need to hold an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) prior to entering the country. While not explicitly labeled as such, New Zealand’s ETA is similar to an eVisa. In addition to implementing ETA requirements for all travelers arriving from visa waiver countries, New Zealand will also implement a new tax on foreign visitors. Here’s what travelers can expect beginning on October 1.

New Zealand’s Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)

Unlike visas, New Zealand’s ETA doesn’t come with a waiting period or super high fees. Beginning in October, travelers from countries that were previously included in New Zealand’s visa waiver program must have an ETA prior to entering the country. Here are the exact details of the new ETA requirements:

  • Travelers will be required to hold an Electronic Travel Authority effective October 1, 2019
  • This includes travelers who are transiting through New Zealand, meaning even if New Zealand is not a traveler’s final destination, they must still hold an ETA prior to entering the country
  • Travelers can apply for the ETA via the official mobile app or via a browser. The cost of an ETA obtained via the app is $9 NZD (~$6.19 USD) while obtaining an ETA via a standard web browser costs $12 NZD (~$8.25 USD)
  • All international airline crew will be required to obtain an ETA at a set price of $9 NZD (~$6.19 USD)
  • The standard passenger ETA is valid for two years while a crew ETA is valid for 5 years
  • Travelers can begin applying for New Zealand’s ETA on July 1, 2019

There are some exemptions, including Australian citizens. However, Australian permanent residents will still need to obtain an ETA.

New Zealand’s official website claims that the new ETA will “enhance security and reduce immigration risks, address smuggling and biosecurity risks, improve the traveler experience, support New Zealand’s international relationships and agreements, [and] adapt to the changing needs and requirements of the government, stakeholders and travelers over time.”

New Zealand’s New International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy

New Zealand will also implement a new levy on visitors beginning October 1. The International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy will cost $35 NZD (~$24.07 USD). Travelers will be required to pay the new levy in conjunction with the new ETA requirement. The levy will be valid for the duration of the traveler’s ETA.

Both the ETA and conservation and tourism levy will also be required for those arriving in New Zealand by way of cruise ship. More information and details about the ETA will become available closer to July 1, when the application is made available to travelers.

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