Updated last year

Travel to New Zealand is allowed for upto three months without a visa for citizens of many countries. If you’d like to stay for a longer period of time, or your country does not have a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand, then you will need to apply for a visitor visa for New Zealand.

New Zealand has visa waiver agreements with 45 countries, meaning citizens of those countries can travel to New Zealand for up to three months without a visa so long as they have a passport that will still be valid at least three months after their intended departure date. You can see if your country is party to a waiver agreement on the on the New Zealand immigration website.

If you are from the United Kingdom, the visa waiver time limit is extended to six months and the same passport validity conditions apply. If you are from Australia, you can freely travel to New Zealand for an indefinite amount of time.

Entering the country on the visa waiver programme is contingent on you completing an arrival card and meeting character and health requirements, which will be determined by questions asked on the arrival card. You may also need to provide evidence of onward travel and show you have enough funds to support yourself for the duration of your stay - NZ$1,000 per month, or NZ$400 per month if you have already paid for your accommodation, shown using bank statements, pay slips, and/or receipts or proof of payment. If your country of onward travel requires a visa for you to enter, you may need to present this to border control. Additional questions may also be asked, and you must answer these honestly and truthfully. Depending on your type of passport, permission for entry may all be done very quickly and automatically using the electronic immigration SmartGates.

If your country is not on the visa waiver list, then you will need to apply for a visitor visa. Individuals can easily apply for this online at the New Zealand immigration website. Couples, families and groups should apply via a paper application. If granted, this visa will allow you up to a nine months stay in New Zealand. The valid visa must be in the passport you use to travel to New Zealand and you will still often need to meet the same character and health requirements and provide the same travel and financial evidence detailed above. In this case, character requirements may be proven with a police certificate and health requirements may be shown with a medical examination and/or chest x-ray.

If you have done your homework and have all travel documents in order, then it is very unlikely you would be refused entry to visit New Zealand. This would only happen if you refuse to comply with the entry requirements, i.e. decline to fill in an arrival card or provide biometric data, fail to submit necessary evidence or submit fraudulent evidence, falsely answer any questions, or possess controlled/illegal substances. Your character may also come into question if you have ever been deported from another country, have been convicted of an offence, or are perceived to be a security risk.

New Zealand is a very beautiful, friendly country and it is very welcoming to tourists. In most cases, the entry process is fairly painless and just a quick part of the process of going on a holiday you will never forget.

 Good to Know:

You cannot work on a visitor visa or the visa waiver programme, even in an unpaid internship capacity, and you can only study up to three months on the visitor visa.

  Useful link:

Immigration New Zealand – visa requirements

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