Until now, the Citizens of about 60 visa waiver countries as mentioned in the official New Zealand eTA website could come to New Zealand just by booking their flight tickets and show up on the airport. Nationals of remaining countries require a conventional New Zealand Visa.
But this is now set to change, because New Zealand has introduced a New Zealand eTA visa (which is an Electronic Travel Authority as opposed to a Visa which requires physical presence/interview at a diplomatic mission).
US residents can check their eligibility for eTA New Zealand at this link. If the visitors forget to apply then they may risk turning around at the airport.
This new legislation impacts 1.5 million visitors to New Zealand who fly to the country by air or cruise ships. Passengers will be able to get an early indication of being rejected rather than arriving on New Zealand border and being turned away after having booked the flight.
This measure is also followed by the introduction of a Levy from International Visitors to contribute to tourist spots in the country.
New Zealand eTA should be applied 72 hours before arrival as per the announcement by Immigration New Zealand, Government Agency. New Zealand eTA does not apply to Australian Citizens and New Zealand Citizens but it does to all other nationalities. As per the past experience from other countries like Canada, as much as 15 percent of visitors are not prepared despite massive global PR campaign to apply for an eTA prior to their journey. They end up applying on the airport or scramble to apply last minute.
Passengers visiting New Zealand can apply online and the New Zealand eTA Visa website accepts payment in 130 currencies including Visa, Mastercard, Paypal.
The rules of applying are complex, all nationals can apply for a New Zealand eTA if they are transiting New Zealand or coming through the cruise ship, but only nationals of 60 Visa Waiver countries can come through the air route.
The New Zealand Visa or New Zealand eTA online form has been designed to be dynamic keeping these rules in mind. Application take 5 minutes to complete on the official New Zealand eTA website.
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