The New Zealand Government will implement an Electronic Travel Authority to be effective on 1st October 2019. Systems for pre-registration will be available from July 2019. The new Electronic Travel Authority will affect certain individuals and groups of travellers intending to visit New Zealand from those countries which enjoy the visa-waiver agreement.
The Electronic Travel Authority (eTA) explained
The Electronic Travel Authority is an electronic authorisation which is issued in PDF format and is not visibly attached to the related passport. This form of visa waiver will be generated online through the designated website and will be submitted to the applicant’s inbox via email.
By gathering and screening vital information on applicants before they leave their countries, which can be verified against security databases, this new facilitation measure aims to expand security and accelerate border clearance procedures.
Many countries around the world already have or are presently implementing comparable measures to strengthen their borders and simplify the visa application process. The United States requires travellers from many countries, including the UK, to apply for their Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA), which is also completed online and is valid for two years.
Australia’s Electronic Travel Authority grants affected travellers a stay of up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.
Europe’s ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) will roll out in 2021. Visitors travelling to the Schengen Area will need this travel authorisation prior to embarking on their trip. The EU Commission has confirmed that travellers who are United Kingdom citizens will need to complete the online ETIAS application form to visit Europe after Brexit.
The Electronic Travel Authority aims to:
- Detail the characteristics of international travellers intending to visit New Zealand;
- Screen travellers to ascertain the purpose of their proposed visit;
- Reduce risk of exposure to New Zealand’s security;
- Decrease immigration risks;
- Tackle biosecurity and smuggling risks;
- Limit the exposure to borders via the marine pathways posed by travellers arriving via these means and on cruise liners;
- Modernise New Zealand’s border controls according to top international practices;
- To promote a better experience through assisting to better control the expected increasing numbers of travellers to New Zealand;
- Stay on top of the ever-changing needs of travellers, government and stakeholders;
- Provide personalised services relating to expertise and digital interaction with authorities, according to the expectations of carriers and travellers;
- Provide a platform for collecting the IVL (International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy)
United Kingdom travellers to New Zealand on board air carriers or cruise liners presently need no more than a valid passport, and no further travel authorisation or visa. Current numbers suggest that approximately one-and-a-half-million of the approximately four million annual travellers to New Zealand from around the world will be impacted by the impending Electronic Travel Authorization.
How the Electronic Travel Authority will work
Anyone wanting to travel to New Zealand after 1 October 2019, who is required to hold the Electronic Travel Authority will not be permitted to board their flight or cruise without it. Once the Electronic authorisation is issued, it will apply for up to 2 years or as long as the passport is valid to which it is applied. The eTA will permit multiple entries for business and tourism purposes.
The application process should take no more than ten minutes, from completion to submission.
- Complete the application for the Electronic Travel Authority online
- Make the payment online using the systems provided
- Submit the application
- Successful application is verified via email
Applicants are required to provide the following information on application
- Contact details
- A passport photo
Applicants must make the following declarations to determine eligibility to travel to New Zealand
- Criminal conviction history
- Travel intention
The electronic authorisation system does away with the physical issuance of labels in the passport. Upon successful application, confirmation is sent to the applicant in the form of a verification email.
Applications should be made well in advance of the intended travel date since, although approval should be provided within minutes, it may take up to 72 hours. Applications may be made at the time of check-in which is however not recommended. Applications not processed in time or declined for any reason will result in travellers not being allowed to board for onward travel to New Zealand.
The Electronic Travel Authority is going to be received in PDF format at the email address, give during the application process. This will be scanned and may be checked by immigration officials upon entry into New Zealand.
Passport requirements for application for eTA by British Citizen passport holders
The United Kingdom is among the countries who have a Visa Waiver Agreement with New Zealand. British passport holders can enter New Zealand as a visitor for up to 6 months visa-free. New Zealand’s immigration rules are strict, notably with regarding employment. As such, UK visitors are not permitted to work in New Zealand. British passport holders must satisfy the Immigration Officer that they comply with the immigration rules and are required to have:
- a passport that is neither defaced nor damaged
- return air tickets or valid onwards ticket to a country with permission/right to enter
- a passport valid for a minimum period of one month from the date of exit from New Zealand
- proof of sufficient funds for the duration of the visit
- a wish to visit for the time granted on arrival
United Kingdom travellers requiring the Electronic Travel Authority
- When arriving on a cruise ship, regardless of nationality
- Cruise ship crew and Commercial Airline crew: eTA linked to employment will be valid for up to 5 years. Employers should request an eTA on behalf of all working crew and positioning crew travelling to New Zealand in the scope of their employment, using the bulk upload feature to handle mass applicants in a single transaction
- Australian permanent residents
- Travellers in transit through Auckland Airport whether New Zealand is their intended final destination or not
United Kingdom citizens do not require a visa to travel in New Zealand if:
- visiting for 6 months or less as a British citizen
- not travelling for medical consultation or treatment
Who requires the Electronic Travel Authority
- Australian permanent residents
- Any citizen of any visa waiver country, including UK
- Passport holder of a visa waiver country, including UK, travelling (in transit) through Auckland Airport whether or not New Zealand is their intended final destination
- Any passenger arriving on a cruise ship regardless of nationality
- Cruise ship crew and Commercial Airline crew: eTA linked to employment will be valid for up to 5 years. Employers should request an Electronic Travel Authority on behalf of all working crew and positioning crew travelling to New Zealand in the scope of their employment, using the bulk upload feature to handle many applicants in a single transaction.
Citizens of visa waiver countries, including British citizens, do not require a visa to travel in New Zealand if:
- visiting for 3 months or less
- they are British citizens, visiting for 6 months or less
- not visiting for the purpose of medical consultation or treatment
These are the visa waiver countries:
European Countries (incl. United Kingdom):
Citizens of the following countries do not have to apply for a visa before entering New Zealand through Auckland as transit passengers (transit time under 24 hours):
Travellers who do NOT require the eTA
- New Zealand citizens travelling on a New Zealand passport
- New Zealand citizens travelling with a foreign passport which recognises the passport holder as a New Zealand citizen
- Any citizen who must apply for a visa or already is in possession of a visa
- Australian citizens travelling on Australian passports
- Members of a visiting force and linked crew members Foreign citizens travelling under The Antarctic Treaty
- Crew and passengers of a non-cruise vessel
- Crew on any foreign cargo ship
- Guests of the New Zealand Government