New Zealand Visa Requirements for U.S. Citizens

New Zealand Visa Requirements

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If you are planning a trip to New Zealand, you will need a visitor visa to enter the country. New Zealand has recently introduced an Electronic Travel Authority (eTA), which applies for United States passport holders and nationals of 59 other countries.

Americans may visit for up to 90 days without having to apply for a traditional visa, however, must get a relevant NZeTA to enter the country.

The New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) is valid for two years and you can apply online.

The requirements for a New Zealand visitor visa are:

  • A current US passport that is valid for at least six months from your planned visit.
  • At least one empty page on your passport for the stamp.
  • A valid credit or debit card or a PayPal account to pay for the eTA for New Zealand.
  • A current email address to receive the visa via email once it is approved.
  • Personal and passport details for the application, such as your full name, date of birth, and passport initial and expiry dates.
  • Your planned dates for visiting New Zealand.

Do You Need a Visa to Travel to New Zealand?

No. United States passport holders do not need a traditional visa to enter New Zealand and can stay for up to 90 days. However, visitors do require an Electronic Travel Authority (eTA) to enter New Zealand and it is a mandatory requirement for all Americans planning on visiting for short stays.

The eTA may be used for up to two years for multiple entries and exits into New Zealand and you can apply online.

New Zealand Visa Types

New Zealand has several visa types that can be applied for different purposes, ranging from basic holiday visas to working holiday visas, skilled migrant visas, and business and investment visas.

Applying for the correct visa will depend on several factors determined by the New Zealand government such as how long you want to stay; when you intend on traveling to New Zealand; whether you have a job offer in New Zealand; whether the visa allows you to bring your family; or whether you need additional time to gather the required documentation for a visa application.

The various types of New Zealand visa include:

  • A Working Holiday Visa – a work visa that allows people from other nations to work in New Zealand for up to a year. 
  • An Essential Skills Visa – a work visa that allows people to move to New Zealand temporarily to work for New Zealand employers.
  • A Work Visa that leads to permanent residence after 24 months.
  • A Skilled Migrant Category Visa – allows visa holders to apply for immigration to New Zealand.
  • Partner and Children Visa.
  • Investment Visa.
  • Student Visa.
  • Business Visa.

Documents Required to Travel to New Zealand

In addition to the Electronic Travel Authority (eTA), there are several other documents that are required when entering New Zealand. These include:

  • A current passport with at least three months beyond the planned date of departure from New Zealand and a blank page for the stamp.
  • The Electronic Travel Authority (eTA).
  • A Border Cash Report – If you bring New Zealand Dollars (NZD) $10,000 or more in cash or foreign equivalent, you will be required to complete a Border Cash Report.
  • If you have traveled to any country that is prone to yellow fever or other infectious diseases in the three months before visiting New Zealand, it’s a good idea to carry a medical certificate showing good health in case you are asked.
  • Travelers to New Zealand are required to go into a 14-day managed quarantine and a voucher confirming your place in a managed isolation facility needs to be arranged before boarding a flight.

How to Apply for a New Zealand Visa

There are eight different visas for New Zealand, each of which requires certain documents for the visa to be granted. Whether you are applying for a visitor’s visa or a Skilled Migrant Category visa, the process of application is the same.

The first step is to determine the type of visa you will need. If you are planning on visiting New Zealand on a holiday you will need to apply for a visitor’s visa, however, if you are planning on working or immigrating to the country, you will need to apply for the associated visa. Visit the New Zealand Immigration website for more information on the different types of visas and what they require.

Once you have decided on the type of visa you require, you need to then decide on how you would like to apply. You can apply directly to the New Zealand embassy that is closest to you, send your application via the post, apply online, or use an electronic visa service like Byevisa

Every visa application will require certain information about your identity, family, travel details, work, and financial capability. Business, work, investment, and other visas will require further information regarding aspects of the type of visa you are applying for.

The basic requirements you will need to submit with any visa include:

  • Passport-size ID photo.
  • A passport that is valid six months before intended travel dates and two blank pages for stamps.
  • Scanned biodata page.
  • Scanned copy of all previous stamps and visas.
  • Financial documents eg. bank certificate, traveler’s cheques, bank statements from the past six months, or payslips from the past three months.
  • Provide a letter from your sponsor and proof of relationship (if you are being sponsored).
  • Sponsor’s financial documents.
  • Confirmed flight ticket reservations.
  • Certificate of employment.
  • Hotel reservations.
  • Visa application form.

The final step is to submit all the necessary documentation along with the visa application form and pay for your visa Then you simply wait until you get a call from the New Zealand Embassy notifying you that your documents and passport are ready for pick up.

Jeremy Scott Foster
Jeremy Scott Foster
Jeremy Scott Foster is an adventure-junkie, gear expert and travel photographer based in Southern California. Previously nomadic, he’s been to ~50 countries and loves spending time outdoors. You can usually find him on the trail, on the road, jumping from bridges or hustling on his laptop working to produce the best travel and outdoors content today.

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