More details have been announced regarding New Zealand's introduction of an Electronic Travel Authority (eTA) and International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL). Both were announced by the New Zealand Government in late 2018, and officially unveiled on the 25th February 2019.
New Zealand joins the growing list of countries where visitors will need to apply online electronically for clearance before they travel. An eTA will be required for all travel from the 1st October 2019.
New Zealand is also introducing a NZ$35 tourism levy which will also be charged to all tourists entering New Zealand from the 1st October 2019. This levy being charged at the same time as the eTA application.
An eTA will cost NZ$9 when submitted via the eTA app, and NZ$12 when submitted via the eTA website. Travellers will need to submit the following data as part of an eTA application -
• Travel document details (passport)
• Biographic details (photo)
• Contact details (email)
• Information that enables Immigration NZ to determine the traveller’s eligibility to travel to New Zealand without a visa (such as a declaration about their criminal conviction history)
• Information about the purpose of the traveller’s trip (such as whether they are travelling to seek medical treatment).
The changes will affect around 1.5 million tourists who visit New Zealand each year by plane or by sea, including those transiting through New Zealand on flights (such as those flying from Australia to the United States or vice versa via Auckland). Australian passport holders entering or transiting New Zealand are exempt from the eTA and IVL.
Travellers who are required to hold an eTA before they travel to New Zealand include:
• Travellers from visa waiver countries.
• Australian permanent residents (Australian passport holders are exempt)
• All cruise ship passengers, regardless of nationality.
• Air and cruise crew (working and positioning).
Passengers from a visa waiver country or a transit visa waiver country who are transiting through New Zealand are also required to hold an eTA from 1 October 2019, even if New Zealand is not their final destination.
The eTA and IVL will be valid for 2 years for most applicants. It will be valid for 5 years for air and cruise crew. Air and cruise crew will not need to pay the $35 IVL.
eTA applications can be submitted from the 1st July 2019 and must be completed by all visitors who will enter New Zealand after the 1st October 2019.
A factsheet is also available for the tourism industry covering details of the changes.