Visa News
April 7, 2024

What’s happening at the border?

Airports are busy places and not everyone has the same experience as New Zealand passport holders.
What’s happening at the border?

Airports are busy places and many of us take for granted how easy it is to fly in and out of New Zealand. Not everyone has the same experience as New Zealand passport holders.

We are forecast to be on track to see around 6.9 million people arrive in the year ending 30 June 2024. That is around 95% of pre Covid levels. Approximately 76% of these arrivals land in Auckland, 12% in Christchurch and 6% into both Queenstown and Wellington. 51% of people arrived from Australia, 11% from China, 10% from USA, 6% from Singapore and 4% from Fiji (that’s around 83% of the ports of origin destined for NZ but not necessarily representative of the nationality of the person arriving).

In February 2024 311 people were refused entry offshore. This means they were not allowed to board the aircraft destined for New Zealand from the overseas airport. In the same month 35 people were refused entry at the New Zealand border. They were turned around and put on a flight out of the country. There are many and varied reasons why people are refused entry. This can include insufficient funds to support a visit, no knowledge of their planned visit, expired or about to expire travel documents, intention to work but not holding a work visa, a history of overstaying or character issues. Holding a temporary visa (work, student or visitor) or being from a visa free country with an approved NZeTA does not guarantee entry to NZ. An Immigration Officer must be satisfied a person has a genuine intention to be in NZ for a lawful purpose and that test is applied throughout the journey to NZ, from check in overseas through to a person leaving the controlled area of a NZ airport.

There are now 28 airlines flying into New Zealand. Pre Covid it was 29 airlines so capacity levels have quickly returned to “normal”.

Everyone (including kiwis) arriving in New Zealand must complete an arrival card. There is now an online (or app) traveller’s declaration that is much easier than trying to do this while on the plane. Read more about the traveller’s declaration here.

Don’t take for granted that arriving in New Zealand will be straight forward. If you need a visa to travel to New Zealand for a holiday, to work or study then talk now to a trusted licensed immigration adviser. The team at Malcolm Pacific Immigration have been helping people get the right immigration advice for almost 40 years. Contact us today.

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