A land of snow-capped mountains, mirror lakes and lush forest, New Zealand comes up on many travelers’ bucket lists. Before you book your flights, however, it’s important to make sure you have all your paperwork in order. Here’s all you need to know about whether you need a visa or vaccination certificates to travel to New Zealand this year.
What you need to know about visas in New Zealand
Residents of Australia and the United Kingdom do not need visas to travel to New Zealand and can easily visit the country. Australian residents can stay in New Zealand for as long as they like, while visitors from the United Kingdom can stay for up to six months.
In addition, over 60 countries have visa waiver agreements with New Zealand, including the USA and most European countries. This means that residents from these countries do not need visas to visit New Zealand for up to 90 days.
To enter the country, residents of visa waiver countries (including the UK) need to fill out an Electronic Travel Authority (NZETA) before arriving in the country. These can take up to 72 hours to process, so visitors need to fill out the form online before they leave for New Zealand.
Residents of other countries will need to apply for a visitor’s visa, which allows tourists to spend up to nine months in the country. The easiest way to do this is online. Visas can take a little while to process, so be sure to apply in advance.
What are the Covid-19 requirements for New Zealand?
As well as holding a visa or an NZETA, travelers also need to meet specific health requirements, including proof of vaccinations and negative Covid-19 tests, for many but not all arrivals. For the latest government information go to the New Zealand government's Covid-19 website.
Can I work in New Zealand?
For those wanting to stay a little longer, working holiday visas are available to young people from many different countries. Working holiday visas are usually open to people aged 18-30 (or 18-35 for some nationalities) who want to travel and work in New Zealand. These visas are usually valid for up to 12 months or 23 months for travelers from the UK and Canada.
All visitors to New Zealand need to hold passports that are valid for at least three months after their planned departure dates. They should also have return tickets or enough money to buy return tickets.
What you can bring into New Zealand
As an island country, New Zealand has many rare plants and trees, and a strong commitment to biosecurity. To protect its unique environment, there are strict rules about what is and is not allowed in the country.
Any items which could present a biosecurity risk need to be declared when entering the country, including food, plants, animal products and outdoor equipment (like sports or walking shoes). Travelers should check the guidelines before traveling and ask border staff if they have any doubts about the items they are carrying.