What is eTA?

If you are planning to travel to New Zealand, then probably you should know about the new security facilitation, eTA started by the government. The government of New Zealand announced on 25th February 2019 that travellers would be required to request for eTA from July 2019. eTA or the Electronic Travel Authority for New Zealand is a new security implementation by the government to facilitate safe, easy and quick movement of people from Visa Waiver Nations along the borders of the country. It is an Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) that will become mandatory from the 1st of October, 2019. Not only will the eTA speed up things at the border but also bring in the sense of security to the citizens of the country.

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What is the Visa Waiver Program?

The Visa Waiver Program or VWP allows the citizens of certain nations to travel to New Zealand for a short trip up to 90 days for tourism without applying for a visa. However, British citizens can visit for 6 months or less. Also, if one is travelling for medical treatment or work, then a visa must be applied.
This program gives advantage to citizens of 60 countries which have signed an agreement with New Zealand. It allows the citizens of those 60 countries to travel to New Zealand without a visa.

The citizens of the visa waiver program need to have a valid passport and will also need to acquire eTA (with effect from the 1st of October, 2019). They will require this document even if transiting through the country.

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Which countries are part of the Visa Waiver Program?

The list of the countries which are a part of the Visa Waiver Program NZ are:

1. Austria
2. Cyprus
3. Finland
4. Hungary
5. Lithuania
6. Poland
7. Slovenia
8. Belgium
9. Czech Republic
10. France
11. Ireland
12. Luxembourg
13. Portugal
14. Spain
15. Bulgaria

16. Denmark
17. Germany
18. Italy
19. Malta
20. Romania
21. Sweden
22. Croatia
23. Estonia
24. Greece
25. Latvia
26. Netherlands
27. Slovakia
28. United Kingdom
29. Andorra
30. Brunei

31. Iceland
32. Liechtenstein
33. Mexico
34. Qatar
35. Singapore
36. United Arab Emirates
37. Argentina
38. Canada
39. Israel
40. Macau
41. Monaco
42. San Marino
43. Republic of South Korea
44. United States
45. Bahrain

46. Chile
47. Japan
48. Malaysia
49. Norway
50. Saudi Arabia
51. Switzerland
52. Uruguay
53. Brazil
54. Hong Kong
55. Kuwait
56. Mauritius
57. Oman
58. Seychelles
59. Taiwan
60. Vatican City

What is the application process for eTA New Zealand travel authorisation from Canada?

The process of eTA application will start on July 1st, 2019. The applicant visits the secure website to apply online for the eTA. The applicant would be required to fill a detailed online form wherein he/she would be required to provide his/her personal information apart from some other details. While filling the form, it is essential that he/she fills all details correctly. The applicant is required to use the same passport that was used while filling the form while applying for entering New Zealand.

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Is eTA or Visa an assurance of entry into New Zealand?

An eTA and a visa will allow you to board a plane easily, but there is no such guarantee that with these documents, you will be allowed to enter into the country. After arriving in New Zealand, you will have to go through the standard procedure of immigration and customs. Here, your documents and your case will be verified by an officer. After disembarking from a plane, you will need to go through a formal procedure of inspection by an officer who will decide your entry into the country. Thus, while an eTA and a visa are necessary documents to board a plane bound to the country, they do not guarantee your entry in NZ. There are chances that even if you have an eTA, your entry into the country can be denied. An eTA simply gives you permission to reach the port of the country; it does not give you access to enter the country. Your entry’s decision is taken by the immigration officer who is present at the port and responsible for further verification.

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What is the validity period of eTA?

The eTA for tourists from Visa Waiver countries is valid for a period of 2 years, and for the cabin crew and cruise members, this will be valid for 5 years. Make sure that you apply for eTA in advance because it may take around 72 hours for complete processing and approval of the same. Failure of having eTA after October 1st 2019 will affect your travelling as you would not be able to board the plane or ship.

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What was the need to implement eTA?

New Zealand is one of those countries that receive a large number of visitors, sometimes, as many as the number of people living in the country. New Zealand has seen a massive increase in the number of travellers over the past few years. The tourism industry has brought in a considerable increase in the national income of the country, but at the same time also causing harm to its natural resources at an increasing rate. The eTA is a kind of visa, i.e. a travel document, which the travellers belonging to NZ’s Visa Waiver Nations need to apply and attain before boarding a plane to New Zealand (July 2019 onwards). With the rising security concerns, this new travel requirement will further aid in the safety and security of the travellers and the people of New Zealand.

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Is eTA equivalent to a Visa?

No. eTA is meant for citizens from Visa Waivered Nations. eTA allows you to travel to New Zealand without the need for a VISA. Visa waivered nations are those who are exempted from visa when they travel to New Zealand for tourism. If they travel for work, medical treatment or any other reason, they would need a visa.

In other words, if you need to stay up to 90 days for tourism and belong to the New Zealand Visa Waiver nation, then you do not need to apply for a visa. Rather, the eTA is sufficient to ensure you have a safe and hassle-free trip in NZ. This also includes passengers and crew members of cruise ships, commercial airline crew and even for passengers who are just transiting through New Zealand.

Australian citizens are exempted from the ETA requirement as they obtain citizen status upon arrival, but the same is not applicable for Australian permanent residents. If you plan to migrate to New Zealand or plan to visit there on matters pertaining to business, then you need to apply for a visa. Even children who are travelling with their parents are required to have an eTA. For citizens who do not belong to the list of countries included in the visa waiver program, they need to apply for a visa and obtain one before they travel to New Zealand.

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Who is required to complete the eTA application form?

Tourists belonging to all the 60 visa waiver nations of NZ are required to apply for an eTA to stay up to 90 days or three months but only for tourism purpose. Only citizens of Australia are not required to obtain an eTA while visiting the country.

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Do Canadian citizens need a visa for travelling to New Zealand?

No, currently Canadian citizens can travel to New Zealand for tourism without a visa. They can stay in New Zealand for up to 90 days with their eTA. Under the new rule of eTA, the Canadian citizens would be required to attain eTA before they travel to New Zealand. This new provision will begin from July 1st, 2019 and will apply to citizens of all the 60 visas exempted nations.

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Can I travel to New Zealand without a visa?

You can travel to New Zealand without a visa only if your country is a part of Visa Waiver Program which enables the member countries to travel from one country to another with a set of benefits including no requirement for a visa. These countries comply by a set of predetermined standards and are allowed to travel to New Zealand without a visa.

The set of 60 countries which are a part of this program can obtain eTA through an online request and avail the eTA without applying for a visa. An Australian candidate can obtain eTA and travel to the country for residential purpose too.

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Which information or documents do I need to apply for eTA?

Have the following information or documents in hand, such as:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Passport details
  • Contact information
  • Declarations around the intention of travel and criminal history
  • Optional biometric information (passport photo)

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How to apply for an eTA for travel to New Zealand?

The entire process of application is quite user-friendly and can be accessed even by a person who is not well versed with online application procedures.

Here are certain points that you need to consider before filling the form:

  1. The form is in English, so make sure that you know basic English before filling the form. Make sure all the information is authentic and correct, lest the form will be rejected.
  2. There is a save later option which gives the applicant an advantage to come back later and complete the form in case he/she is not sure of certain details. This becomes a useful step when the travelling dates are tentative. You need not complete the entire form in one go. You can come back whenever you are free, or you have the required information and then complete the procedure.
  3. After you fill in the necessary information which is available in the first two pages, you can fill the other required information as and when you want. There is no fixed pattern of procedure which needs to be followed. Thus, the first 2 pages are compulsory for everyone and need to follow a fixed procedure, but after that, any information can be filled in first.
  4. The online websites are meant to protect your information from an external party. Thus, if they find your server inactive for more than 30 minutes, they simply log you out of the server. You can log in again and access your data after that. The data will be lost forever if your information entered is not saved. Thus, make sure that you save your information frequently, else you will need to start the entire process from scratch.
  5. A proper picture should be uploaded where you are looking towards the camera with neutral expressions. There should not be any unusual expressions which will result in unsuccessful recognition of your face later. The size of the photograph is also mentioned in the page of your applications, and it should be submitted in the specified format.

An immigration levy and application charges are levied on you which should be paid online while submitting the form. The cards accepted are Visa™, MasterCard™ and American Express™.

A lot of countries are required to pay an additional amount for passport processing. The payment gateway is secured and is compliant to the PCI. Global standard security measures are used to keep your information safe and secure. After confirming the details which appear on your screen you click on submit which allows you submit the application form. After submitting, you cannot change the information, and it is regarded as final.

The eTA should be valid when you visit the country. Thus, please ensure that your eTA and passport both have valid timelines and their expiry is not overlapping with the other.

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What if my travel dates are not certain, can I still apply for eTA?

Yes, you can. When you fill the eTA application, you need to provide your personal details and details of your travel plans. However, if you are not sure of your travel dates, then you can enter tentative dates and edit later. These details should be entered carefully as any false or incorrect information can lead to rejection of your eTA. Make sure you choose the edit later option.
So, if you are not sure with your travel dates, then while filling the form, you need to choose to save and edit later option which gives you the liberty of adding your travel dates later. You need to fill in your rough itinerary when you are filling your eTA application form. The application of eTA is quite simple as the authorities know the different kinds of problems the tourists might face, and thus, they allow the tourists to make necessary changes even after a certain point of time. But after it is approved, you can request an update only by visiting the New Zealand embassy in your country.

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Do I need an eTA or New Zealand Visa?

Whether you need to apply for NZ eTA or visa depends on many factors as listed below:

Length of Stay – If you are a citizen of a Visa Waiver Country and need to spend more than 3 months in New Zealand, you need to apply for a visitor visa which allows you to stay in the country for nine months. You can apply for the visitor visa online and proceed according to the requirements of the Immigration Office.

Purpose of Visit – Your purpose of travelling to New Zealand determines whether you need an eTA or visa.


If you are travelling to New Zealand for a holiday, then your passport should be valid for a period of at least 3 months from the date of your arrival. Tourists are required to produce necessary documents to prove that they are capable of sustaining in that country and prove their validity at the ports, sea or air. You need to apply for a visa if your country is not a part of the visa waiver program. If you are from an NZ visa waiver country, you also need to apply for eTA irrespective of the country you are from.

Working Holidays:

You will need to apply for a working holiday visa if you are coming to the country for both travel and work. A lot of times, people come to the country to explore it and at the same time work there for a short time. The work of the person is an objective which is accomplished through travelling. The work purpose can be a short internship in a country or a job which requires you to come to the country, but at the same time, you intend to enjoy the scenic beauty of the country. Your primary goal should be travelling purposes, and the secondary goal should be work. With this visa, you can stay in the country for a period of 12 months. However, if you are a citizen of the United Kingdom, you can stay for 23 months. The requirement of applying for this visa is that you should have enough money to pay for a return ticket.

Working Purpose and Staying Permanently:

Staying in the country to become a permanent resident of New Zealand or solely for work means you need to apply for a visa which meets your purpose.  If you are planning to come to the country for work, you will need a work visa, and to become a permanent resident of the country, you will need a resident visa. For both permits, you initially require a job as a security measure. When applying for a visa, you would be asked to present the offer letter of the company along with valid documents supporting the information that you have provided in the application form. The offer letter of the company becomes a valid document stating the fact that you are here for a genuine reason. It also helps in proving the fact that you will have enough means to look after yourself.

Transiting through the Country:

Even if your final destination is some other country and you need to stop at New Zealand because of a connecting flight, you will require an ETA, which can be applied online. Transiting through a country is a common affair, and most of the countries require the travellers to produce a transit visa which validates their entry into the country.

For Education:

Often students come to New Zealand for education purposes. The education period might depend upon the kind of educational course you are undertaking. The course can be as short as three months or much longer, for example, 3 years. If you are visiting New Zealand for a short course, i.e., for a period of three months or similar, you do not need a student visa. Applying for your ETA online would be sufficient. But if you are coming to the country for a long-term course that requires you to stay for more than 3 months, you will need a student visa. For that, you will need an offer letter from your educational institute, which proves that you have a living space and enough funds to support yourself.

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What are the requirements of a Visa Waiver Program?

Here are the requirements of a Visa Waiver Program:

  • Your purpose of travel should only be leisure, i.e. tourism and not work, business or medical treatment.
  • The duration of your stay should not exceed 90 days. It should be either less than that or just 90 days.
  • Your passport should not be expired and should be machine-readable.
  • You should be a law-abiding citizen of your country and must not be found violating any law that stops you from obtaining a visa for New Zealand.
  • The members of the Visa Waiver Program should prove to the authorities that they are capable of sustaining in New Zealand for the period they intend to stay. In other words, they should have enough funds for their duration of stay.
  • The tourists should not have any previous criminal record. The security of any country is of prime importance, and NZ authorities will never compromise with their security requirements. Thus, it might become difficult for a person to enter the country if they have a record of crimes in their portfolio.

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What if I get a new passport, will I need a new eTA?

eTA is linked to your passport. So, if in case you want to travel on another passport or have a new passport, then you must apply for new eTA.

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Do I need eTA for transit travel?

As per the new norms, the passengers from a visa waiver nation who are travelling to some other country via New Zealand also need to have eTA even though their final destination is not New Zealand. This will become mandatory from October 1st, 2019. In other words, even if New Zealand is not your destination, and you have a connecting flight through New Zealand, you need to have an eTA. You can apply for an eTA from 1st of July, 2019.

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Is eTA mandatory for all tourists?

eTA is mandatory for all tourists belonging to Visa Waivered Nations. Only one country, i.e. Australia, is excluded, and it is not compulsory for the people of Australia to obtain an eTA. Australian Permanent Residents need to obtain an eTA to enter the country and stay but are not required to pay tourist levy.

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Apart from Australian citizens who all are exempted from New Zealand eTA?

Other people who are exempted from the New Zealand eTA Visa Waiver are:

  1. Crew and people of non-cruise line
  2. Crew on a ship carrying cargo
  3. People invited by the New Zealand government
  4. Tourists travelling under the Antarctic Treaty
  5. Travellers who are related to the visiting force and their related crew members

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What are the things that the Immigration authorities consider when approving eTA or visa?

Here are a few things that the immigration authorities need to ensure apart from verifying eTA data to allow entry to New Zealand.

  1. Make sure that you carry a copy of passport, eTA and other documents while travelling to New Zealand. You might be required to produce some of the supporting documents while entering New Zealand.
  2. You need to prove that you can afford to stay in the country and purchase your tickets for the flight back home. So for that, you might need to show your return ticket at the immigration office or your bank statements which prove that you can live a comfortable life there.
  3. Before you board a flight, you should know that the authorities of New Zealand go through your records to verify all your information. You can be denied entry into the country if they find anything against you or something which you have hidden from them.  So, better keep your documents handy.
  4. Your character and health are equally important factors to gain entry into the country. Your health conditions should be perfect, or you should be granted a health waiver while entering the country. While filling the eTA form, you are required to answer the health queries.
  5. Your character determines who you are and what your history is. If you have been deported from a country or blacklisted from any other, your entry into New Zealand will become very difficult.
  6. Your entry is also determined by customs and biosecurity. Certain agencies of the government like New Zealand Customs Services or the Ministry of Primary Industries determine your entry requirements. If there is anything in the pre-determined list of conditions which you do not fulfil, you might be prohibited from entering the country.
  7. You are given an arrival card while you are on the plane. Once you enter the country, you need to submit a completed arrival card, which will eventually grant you access to enter the country. Your arrival card is vital in the entire process of entering the country. Thus, in case you do not complete it, you are deemed to be someone who will not follow the rules and regulations of the country.
  8. You can be denied to enter the country if you have forged or faltered any documents and the authorities find out about it or even not provided them with correct information which makes it an offence and thus you do not get to enter the country.
  9. The immigration rules have become more stringent after the recent attacks in New Zealand. In any circumstances, if the authorities find that you are associated with any criminal gang or terrorist group, your entry into the country can be denied easily.
  10. You should not possess any kind of controlled or prohibited substances/items that are regarded as unlawful in the country. Possessing any illegal item or materials makes you a threat to the country and its citizens.
  11. You should cooperate with the officials and allow them to take your pictures, scan your iris and even manage your fingerprints. Any action which stops them from following their procedure will simply result in revoking your entry in New Zealand.

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What data do I need to give while filling the eTA form?

eTA makes it mandatory for the tourists to provide basic information such as

  • Name
  • Birthdate
  • Passport details
  • Contact details
  • Criminal convictions, if any
  • Biometric information

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In order to submit my NZ eTA application online, does my computer need to have any specific configuration?

Most of the computers today are equipped with basic features that enable convenient submission of an eTA application. Majority of them are friendly to the entire process of application submission. The old computers may need to be upgraded or adapted to the new operating systems, which are available today. Thus, other than the basic pointers which are described below, there is no such extra requirement of the computer that enables you to submit your application.

All the major browsers like Google and Firefox, support the application process. Just make sure that these browsers are up to date. Cookies and JavaScript should be enabled. These are the problems the older computers face. They aren’t cookies, and JavaScript enabled, which hinder the process of application.

However, your computer should be adequately equipped to handle browsing. If the computer does not have adequate RAM, it is possible that the online application form does not get uploaded correctly. While preparing to apply for eTA online, it is important for all the documents to be placed in the right folder.

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What is the procedure for application for eTA New Zealand from Canada?

The eTA application process will start on July 1st, 2019. One can easily apply online for the same through our website. The applicant would be required to enter the personal details and other information. Make sure that you enter every data correctly so that there are no discrepancies later. Also, the information that once fed will be sealed, and you would not be able to change it. You must know that health-related questions, as well as your travel itinerary-related details, will also be asked in the questionnaire.

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When should I apply for eTA?

New Zealand authorities will start their application procedure for eTA from 1st July 2019. It will become compulsory for all to obtain an eTA to travel to NZ for tourism from 1st October 2019. Thus, you can start applying for eTA from July 2019.

Other than these dates, you can apply for eTA whenever your travel dates are fixed as the validity of eTA is 2 years. Normally, an eTA takes 72 hours for approval, so you need to apply for it accordingly. Applying for an eTA at least a week prior to the travelling date is a safe bet as certain government procedures can take longer time.
Hence, you can apply for an eTA if you plan to visit New Zealand in the next two years. The validity allows you to make plans in advance and get all necessary documents for travelling hassle-free.

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What fee do I need to pay for NZ eTA?

There is a certain fee that you need to pay while applying for the eTA. These charges are used in developing the country and act as a support for the country’s resources while travelling to the country.
You need to apply for an eTA through a secure website and pay IVL and service fees.
In addition to regular travellers, airline crew and cruise would also need to have Crew ETA before travelling to New Zealand, and this would be valid for a period of 5 years.

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How can one pay the application fees?

While filling the form, you will be asked to fill the form and pay the application fees. The fees are payable via online mode of payment using a debit or credit card. All the update regarding application form will be sent to the email id that you had mentioned in the form.

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Which cards work for eTA Application Process for travelling to New Zealand?

There are only 3 cards which are accepted by New Zealand authorities for making necessary payments, they are:

  • Visa™
  • Mater Card™
  • American Express™

These three are valid and accepted by the government of New Zealand. So make sure you have either of these before travelling to New Zealand. Most of the international countries accept these 3 cards so acquiring such a card will be helpful to you in case you travel to any other foreign country.

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What are the prerequisites that are required while applying for eTA New Zealand?

The process is online, and one needs to fill a form having complete personal details and health information. While filling the form, make sure that you keep the following prerequisites handy with you:

  • Passport – One needs to have a valid passport. In case the visa waiver requirements are not met, you may be asked for another set of documents.
  • Valid email id – All the information regarding your form’s status will be shared on it.
  • Debit and credit card – You would need this to make payment while submitting the eTA form.

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What are my passport requirements when applying for an NZ eTA?

The passport requirements differ from one country to another. While travelling to New Zealand, the residents of Australia have an immense advantage. They can stay for as long as they wish and do not even require an eTA. However, a valid passport is required, which should not be expired on the day you wish to enter and leave the country. Other than that all the other processes are quite easy for the citizens of Australia.
For the non-residents of New Zealand and Australia, i.e., the citizens of the other countries, their passport should be valid for at least three months after they plan to leave for New Zealand. The passport should be in perfectly good condition and not damaged.

The passports of citizens of Visa Waiver Countries should be valid for a period of six months. The passports should consist of a zone which is machine-readable so that the eTA can be verified and the travellers face no difficulty in verifying the validity of the documents.

Participants of the visa waiver program can show their machine-readable passports after landing in New Zealand and obtain necessary permissions to enter the country of New Zealand.

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What is meant by MRTD Passport?

A machine-readable travel document or the MRTD is a special type of passport which is technologically friendly. The data is printed in an Optical Character Recognition Format, which is acceptable by the machines. The usage of the Machine-Readable Passport started in the late 1980s. A special machine-readable zone is printed on the passport, which is what the machine accepts and reads for verifying the validity of the traveller. Usually, the lines which have encrypted data is in a particular type of format. The characters of the sentences range anywhere from 33 to 44 words depending on the type of passport being issued.

Suitable software can directly read the information and scan the picture published on the passport for quick and easy identification. The machine-readable passports are smart and make the entire process of identification and verification easier.

Your entry into the country depends upon the kind of passport you have and its approval by the authorities of the New Zealand Government. Do make sure that you know the kind of passport you hold.

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Is the eTA registration process secure?

Yes, the entire process of eTA registration and traveller’s personal information is completely confidential. The data is encrypted and is not shared with the third party unless the traveller grants permission for the same.

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What are the possible responses to an eTA application?

After submitting your eTA application form, there are possibly three responses which determine the status of your eTA. It can be either in waiting or approved or rejected. These 3 responses to your request determine your travel plans to New Zealand. The status of the same would be intimated via email.

  1. Approval- In case the eTA application is approved, you can travel to the country through the sea or air. The details of the same will be sent on your email id. After that, your entry into the country will be determined by the immigration officers who will verify the genuineness of the purpose of your visit and other such requirements. Thus, the entry is not warranted by eTA acquisition.
  2. Under Process- In case, the eTA application is still in process, you will be required to wait until the final decision regarding the eTA is announced. It usually takes 72 hours to review an eTA and further approval or denial. Thus, do not panic if your application status is pending as the final decision has not been taken, and it might be approved later.
  3. Denial- In case your NZ eTA application status is denied, then you will not be allowed to board any means of transport to New Zealand. The mail which you will receive will contain the grounds of rejection which you need to fix. They will also suggest ways to get eTA approved, but you might need to renew the entire process. Another way of further remedial action is by visiting the New Zealand Embassy in your country where you can discuss your case, and you can meet an officer there who will help you in obtaining a valid eTA through rectification of the errors you must have made.

It is important to note that while you can obtain an eTA and enter the country, your entry is determined by the Immigration Officials who are present at the ports and the airports. They are the final decision makers, and thus you need to clear all possible rounds of verification.

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What if my eTA application is denied?

Usually, eTAs are rarely denied as the process is quite simple, and the tourists simply need to fill in basic information regarding the travel plans and his/ her personal information. But in case the eTA is denied, you will receive a mail stating the grounds on which you were denied the eTA. One of the reasons for rejection could be typos, error while filling the application form, mismatch of information, etc. whatever be the reason for the rejection; the grounds are mentioned which allow you to review your application form. It is requested that if your eTA has been denied, you should not book your flight tickets to New Zealand. However, you can still apply for a regular visa.

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If a traveller was denied approval and needs to travel immediately, is it possible to get an emergency visa appointment at New Zealand to review the case?

Once the visa is denied, every individual has the right to apply for reconsideration. You can apply for reconsideration by paying a fee, the passport, and an overall written request in English. Once this is done, an immigration officer will be assigned to the request. The immigration officer may or may not ask for more clarification. The decision made by the immigration officer is considered final.

During the reconsideration process, the individual will not be able to stay in New Zealand unless he/she has a valid visa. If the visa is rejected after the reconsideration process, then the individual may not be allowed to apply for the visa again. Usually, New Zealand does not allow applying for visa from offshore. However, if there is compelling information, an exception can be made.

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Does a Hong Kong citizen need a visa for travelling to New Zealand?

If you are travelling as a tourist to New Zealand, the citizens of Hong Kong would be required to fill eTA and present it when they board a flight. The process of application will start on 1st July 2019. (Before this, no eTA or visa was required.) The eTA would be valid for 2 years, and one can stay up to 90 days on eTA but only as a tourist. In case someone wishes to stay for longer duration like work or study, then they need to visit the embassy or consulate of New Zealand to apply for the necessary visa.

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What can be the possible reasons for a visa denial?

In addition to the subjective reasons that the immigration officer must look at, there are other reasons established by the New Zealand law that will result in your visa being denied. In accordance with the law, one has to satisfy the law under sections 15 and 26 of the Immigration Act 2009. Some of the other reasons why visa is denied are:

  • The applicant should not have been sentenced and convicted to prison for 5 years or any of the offences that have been removed from the record
  • The applicant has been sentenced and convicted to prison for 12 months or more in the last 10 years.
  • The subject should not be prohibited to enter New Zealand based on section 179 and 180 of the immigration laws.
  • Should not have been deported from any country including New Zealand.
  • It is removed from the enactment of New Zealand.
  • If the applicant is a member of a terrorist entity or the ministry is led to believe that:
    • The applicant is most likely to commit an offence while staying in New Zealand and can result in a punishable offence.
    • Most likely to pose a threat or be a security risk
    • Likely to negatively influence public order
    • Likely to negatively influence public interest
  • If one believes that he/she does not belong to the list of people listed above, there are other reasons why the application might be declined like:
    • The information is incomplete.
    • During the time of application, the applicant is not present lawfully in New Zealand.
    • The standards of good character and good health are not met.
    • The immigration officer has a doubt that the information provided by the applicant is not genuine.
    • If the immigration officer is led to believe that the purpose of visit to New Zealand is not genuine.

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What should I do if my New Zealand visa is not approved?

If you do not belong to a visa waiver country, it becomes more challenging to prove that you are a visitor who is bona fide. If you have applied for a temporary visa (visitor, student, etc.) and it was declined, then it means that you are not bona fide according to the Immigration trust. In such cases, it is best to consult the Immigration trust. 

Note: An important point to note while you are coming to New Zealand is that you must be bona fide. It means that you are a genuine person with no malicious intentions. Here are a few things you must be aware of.

  1. You must ensure that your travel to New Zealand will be restricted to a defined period.
  2. Your stay must be legally permitted.
  3. Your stay must not be a risk or threat to the nation.
  4. You must not break the visa guidelines.
  5. You must adhere to the rules of the nations during your stay in New Zealand.

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What are the other benefits of eTA apart from security?

There are several other benefits as listed below:

  1. Increases security and reduces the risks of immigration
  2. Reduces the risk of biosecurity and smuggling
  3. Secures the interests of the travellers
  4. Offers a better traveller experience
  5. The international relationships and agreements of the country are protected
  6. Addresses the ever-growing demands and needs of the government, stakeholders and the visitors.

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What is the privacy policy of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment regarding personal details obtained through the online application of eTA?

The collection of the data by the Immigration Office for NZ eTA is legal as per the Immigration Act of 2009. The information should be filled in the application accurately, and in case you fail to supply complete information, your visa or the eTA might be rejected.

The Immigration Authorities of New Zealand provide excellent safety measures and maintains full protection of your data which you need to fill to obtain necessary immigration documents. The website of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has stringent measures that eliminate any loss or misuse of your information under their guidance. The systems continuously go through the analysis and monitoring to prevent misuse of data by external sources. The cybersecurity measures of the site are one of the most secure ways of protecting the data.

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How can my eTA data be used?

The Privacy Act of 1993 gives power to the Immigration Office to reject access to data if they have a valid reason to do so. To check your personal information, you can also visit the Privacy policy on your local Visa Application Centre.
INZ will not share your information with any third party in a way where your identification will be revealed. The information will be shared only where you have agreed and in situations where information is required or permitted by the Privacy Act 1993 or as per law. It is important to be aware that INZ has the legal authority to share your information with other government agencies.
INZ can also use your data to verify if you are entitled to board a flight to New Zealand. However, your personal information will not be passed on to airline check-in agents. During flight check-in, the check-in agent can see a boarding instruction as per the info you have given in the application you have submitted.

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Is my personal data secured with the Immigration Office of New Zealand, and can it be shared with some other agencies under any circumstances?

The Immigration office maintains complete confidentiality of your data. It does not reveal your personal data to any external source that might expose you and breach your security. They pass on your personal information only when you have allowed the Immigration Office of New Zealand to pass on your information or when the Privacy Act of 1993 allows the immigration authorities to share your data.

However, you need to know that the Immigration Office of New Zealand is fully entitled to share your information with any governmental agency. All the regulatory agencies protect your data and do not breach your security issues. All the agencies of the government have a clear and transparent way of functioning, which enables them to share data from one wing to another without any requirement of permissions.

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How to avoid problems at the port of entry?

Travellers have to be very careful at the port of entry. The passport has to be valid for a minimum of 3 months from the date of departure. Right now, the requirement is 1 month. This rule applies to travellers from 60 countries that come under visa waiver nations even if one is in transit, i.e. has a connecting flight from NZ.

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How do I apply for entry permission at the border entry point?

You can do so by:

  1. You need to present your documents that verify your identity and purpose of visit
  2. You can also use Smartgate or eGate (not all passport holders can use this option)

For eGate you need:

  1. Completed arrival card (You will get this while you board the plane or ship)
  2. Passport
  3. Travel document
  4. Visa

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What do customs and biosecurity do?

In addition, New Zealand Customs Service and Ministry for Primary Industries or MPI will check if you meet the nation’s entry parameters. In case of any doubt or discrepancy, the authorities have the right to deny your entry in the country.

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Which articles are prohibited when entering New Zealand?

Before entering New Zealand, one has to be aware of the number of articles that are allowed and not allowed to enter the shores of New Zealand either through the air or through cruise ships.

Types of risk goods

The New Zealand passenger arrival card provides a list of items that one should not carry while travelling to New Zealand. The different kinds of items include:

  • Any kind of food – uncooked, cooked, fresh, packaged, preserved, or dried
  • Animals or animal-related products – including dairy products, meat, fish, bee products, honey, eggs, shells, feathers, skins, raw wool, bones or insects.
  • Plants or plant-related products – fruit, seeds, flowers, wood, bulbs, leaves, bark, vegetables, nuts, plant parts, cane, fungi, bamboo, or straw, which includes for medicinal use or religious offerings.
  • Items that risk biosecurity – including herbal medicines, animal medicines, organisms, biological cultures, soil, or water.
  • Animals, water, or plants-based equipment – including for beekeeping, gardening, water sport, fishing, or diving activities.
  • Farming-based items– including any tents, footwear, hunting, camping, golf, hiking, or sports equipment.

Important Note:

When a traveller reaches New Zealand, his/her bags may be checked, x-rayed, or checked with the help of sniffer dogs. The officer might ask for detailed information about the requirements for bringing goods into New Zealand, which is called the import health standards.

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What happens when the traveller declares risk items?

Some of the listed risk items may be allowed into the borders of New Zealand. The exemptions are:

  • If the quarantine officer in the border is completely satisfied, the foreign items do not pose any kind of risk.
  • If the risk items are appropriately treated.

In spite of this, some of the items might not be allowed into the country. They can be either confiscated or destroyed.

Some of the risky items are sent to treatment and storage companies. Then, the items can be collected during a later stage.

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Which are the items that I must declare?

Here is a list of items that you must declare or avoid carrying.


All kinds of food that are brought into the shores of New Zealand, even the items that are required for cooking, should be declared. Some of these food items are:

  • meat
  • fresh fruit and vegetables
  • seafood
  • eggs
  • dairy products
  • honey and honey products
  • dried mushrooms and fungi
  • seeds that are for human consumption and that can be processed into food
  • cooked, dried, or preserved vegetables and fruits
  • spices, nuts, herbs, and un-popped popcorn
  • pulses and grains
  • pickles (including pickled fish and meat).

Animal Products

These include:

Asian or Chinese medicine

  • feathers
  • meat
  • eggs
  • honey and honey-related products, including health supplements, cosmetics, and medicines
  • clams and shells
  • turtle shell items
  • ivory
  • coral
  • products that are made with the help of snakeskin or whalebone.

Items that are considered to be novelty items, ornaments, and souvenirs should be rightly declared if they are made using:

  • animal feathers or fibres
  • animals skins and hides.

Plants and plant products

The plant products that should be declared are

  • dried and fresh flowers
  • plant cuttings
  • seeds
  • bamboo, cane, rattan, coconut, or straw items
  • wood-based items, like, carvings, masks, drums, weapons, or tools
  • plant-based souvenirs – for example, straw and corn, which includes items that are stuffed with straw and seeds,
  • health supplements, herbal medicines, and homoeopathic remedies
  • plant-made cosmetics
  • pine cones
  • religious offerings

If the visitor brings products made out of wood, vegetables, fruits, other types of plant products, microorganisms, or different laboratory specimens, you should comply the rules and requirements related to importing these items.

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Which used equipment should I declare and why?

This kind of equipment can move plant and soil material from other places in New Zealand. Also, this equipment may carry seeds, diseases, and pests that can pose a valid threat to wildlife and the environment. Few contaminants like viruses, fungi and bacteria may not be visible and can be present on equipment that is used, and that appears to the naked eye.

This equipment must be inspected once they arrive. This is important because it can be easily reached in the luggage. If you are not sure if the equipment needs to be inspected, it is best to declare it.

Used equipment includes all sporting and hiking wear for the foot. This includes tramping gaiters or the kind of footwear for urban areas that should be thoroughly cleaned before arrival, and it should be free from seeds and soil.

  • camping and tent equipment
  • different type of camping foods
  • hunting gear, which includes backpacks and clothing
  • equipment used for animals like:
  • vet supplies
  • farm footwear
  • animal shearing equipment, which includes clothing for shearing animals
  • horse riding equipment, saddles, and bridle gear
  • All equipment – like footwear, clothing, and tools – that is used for used in industries like horticulture, apiculture (beekeeping), viticulture (wine production), aquaculture (fish farming), and forestry.
  • gardening equipment
  • fishing and water activity equipment including but not limited to:
  • waders, fishing rods, lines, hooks, flies.
  • diving equipment and wetsuits

MPI recommends you leave behind felt-soled waders at your house. The requirements for entry are strict for this kind of footwear. In addition to this, MPI does not allow the use of felt-soled waders while engaging in freshwater fishing (this is a prohibition by the Fish and Game Council). Felt-soled waders will be confiscated at the border and moved away for destruction, reshipment, or treatment.

Files for fishing are permitted inside New Zealand shore, but all material that is non-artificial must meet the conditions specified by the Import Health Standard for fibres.

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Can I bring and use fishing equipment in New Zealand?

If you are bringing freshwater fishing equipment that is used in New Zealand, it must be dry and clean and must meet NZ health standards for fibres, etc.

If MPI officers detect that your equipment isn’t completely dry (even if it was cleaned before coming), you’ll have to do one of the following ways:

  • Wait at the landing airport till the equipment is appropriately treated in your expense (this usually takes several hours).
  • Collect the equipment from the treatment facility at your own cost and expense.
  • Ship the equipment back at your expense.
  • Authorize MPI for equipment destruction.

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