Beginning October 1, 2019, air travelers from 60 visa waiver countries, including the United States, as well as all travelers visiting New Zealand via a cruise itinerary, will need to hold an NZeTA, in addition to their passport. The new rule applies even if New Zealand is not your final destination.

The NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) is aimed at improving the way travelers are assessed before they reach New Zealand in an effort to reduce border clearance times and strengthen border security. The NZeTA can be purchased one of two ways, beginning July 1: travelers can download the NZ Immigration app and purchase the NZeTA directly from their smartphone at a cost of NZD $9, or travelers can visit New Zealand’s Immigration website and pay a slightly higher fee of NZD $12.

In addition to the NZeTA and in the same purchase, travelers will also be charged an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy or IVL. This levy will cost NZD $35 no matter how the travelers chooses to purchase (smartphone app or website). This additional tax will allow travelers to directly contribute to the tourism infrastructure of New Zealand and aid in the protection of the country’s beautiful natural environment.

The NZeTA can take up to 72 hours to be approved, so be sure to apply well in advance of departing for New Zealand. If you attempt to board a flight or cruise ship bound for New Zealand without one, you will be turned away!

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