New levies to affect overseas visitors

Overseas friends and family visiting New Zealand will have a new entry hurdle to jump from October 1 this year.

Currently 60 countries are on a list that means their citizens can come to New Zealand visa free for certain periods. But New Zealand is introducing an Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) from 1st October to help strengthen border security and make arrivals processing quicker.

Warning: No NZeTA means not getting on the flight or cruise to NZ.

First, those from the visa waiver countries and Australian permanent residents will be able to apply for an NZeTA from 1st July this year, to make sure they are ready if arriving from 1 October onwards (the date the NZeTA becomes mandatory). Australian citizens are exempt.

They can get the NZeTA through a mobile app at NZ$9 per person or $12 online. People can register now for NZeTA updates here.

The NZeTA is not a visa and doesn’t guarantee entry to New Zealand. Travellers must still meet all existing entry requirements, such as holding an onward travel ticket, proof of funds, being a bona fide visitor and being in good health.

Anyone who currently must get a visa to enter New Zealand will not need an NZeTA and will be processed by border control as usual.

The NZeTA platform will also be used as a collection tool for a second new charge – called an International Visitor Levy (IVL).

The IVL costs NZ$35 per person. This new tourism tax will be split between conservation and tourism.

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