As a result of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) consultation with stakeholders in 2018,  the government recently confirmed final details of the new ETA measure for visitors to New Zealand, commencing on 01 October 2019.

Whilst Australia has implemented a similar system for visitors for more than two decades now, this move will align New Zealand’s facilitation measures for visitors with Australia’s. According to government sources, the ETA is: “a new security and facilitation measure that will help to speed things up at the border.”

From 1 October 2019 onwards, it will be mandatory for air travellors from 60 visa waiver countries and all cruise travellers to hold an ETA prior to travelling to New Zealand.

An ETA lasts up to 2 years (as opposed to 1 year for Australia’s ETA) and costs NZ$9.00 for mobile application requests and NZ$12.00 for web browser requests (as opposed to Australia’s ETA at AU$20.00)

Similarly, airline crew and cruise line crew must hold a Crew ETA before travelling to New Zealand. Crew ETAs lasts up to 5 years and will only cost NZ$9.00.

Exemptions for ETA

  • New Zealand citizens (provided they travel on their New Zealand passports)
  • Holders of valid New Zealand visas (resident visas and temporary visas)
  • Australian citizens
  • Crew and passengers on a non-cruise vessel
  • Crew on a foreign ship carrying cargo
  • Guests of the government
  • People travelling under The Antarctic Treaty
  • Members of a visiting force and associated crew members.

Passengers from a visa waiver country or a transit visa waiver country, who are transiting through New Zealand, are also required to hold an ETA from 1 October 2019, even if New Zealand is not their final destination.

For Australian permanent residents, they will also need to hold an ETA, but are exempt from the need to pay for an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL).

International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL)

Along with the ETA, the IVL will also be introduced by New Zealand. It will cost NZ$ $35.00 and will be valid in line with the ETA.

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