NZ Tourist Visa: Do You Need a Visa to Visit New Zealand?

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A Guide to the Tourist Visa (Visitor Visa) and the NZeTA for New Zealand

It’s no secret that the New Zealand borders are pretty strict. Nevertheless, the vast majority of visitors to New Zealand. i.e. people visiting to travel and explore, do not need to apply for a Visitor Visa (Tourist Visa) before arriving in the country. They do, however, need to pay for the NZeTA. Alternatively, there are certain nationalities that will need to apply for a Visitor Visa before arrival. Sounds complicated? We aim to break it down and make the visa process easier to understand in this guide to visas for visiting New Zealand.

What is a Visitor Visa For and How Long Can You Stay in New Zealand on a Tourist Visa?

“Visiting” New Zealand refers to someone temporarily staying in New Zealand without working in the country. The maximum time you can stay in New Zealand as a visitor depends on what country you are from. Read our quick guide below to find out what you need to visit New Zealand.

You Do Not Need to Get a Tourist Visa if…

If any of the following circumstances apply to you, you do not need to apply for a visitor visa (tourist visa) to New Zealand. Some of them are pretty darn obvious, but we will list them to cover all the bases.

  • You are a New Zealand or Australian citizen
  • You have a New Zealand resident visa
  • You have a New Zealand permanent resident visa
  • You have an Australian permanent residence visa
  • You have an Australian resident return visa (excludes Australian temporary or provisional residence visa)
  • You are from a visa-waiver country (see below).

There are also exceptions for people, for example, who are air flight crew, military, cruise ship passengers, etc. You can find more information about that on the Immigration New Zealand website.

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Visa-Waiver Countries: Which Countries Do Not Need a Visa for New Zealand?

Some countries have an agreement with New Zealand and their citizens are allowed to come to New Zealand for three months to travel without having to go through the process of getting a visa. As you can see, there are heaps of countries on the visa-waiver list. We have listed them by continent to make finding your country easier.


Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom (6 months allowance), Vatican City

North America

Canada, United States of America

South America

Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Uruguay

Middle East

Bahrain, Israel, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates


Brunei, Korea (South), Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan


South Africa, Seychelles, Mauritius

List date: 2023. For the full list please refer to the official visa waiver countries page.

Visitor Visa: Do You Need a Visa to Visit New Zealand?©

New Zealand Visitor Visa Requirements: Conditions for People from a Visa-Waiver Country

From a visa-waiver country? That’s great! This means you don’t have to apply for a visa before you come to New Zealand. However, there are a few things you should be aware of before arriving in the country.

You must make sure you:

  • have paid the NZeTA and IVL (see section below)
  • complete the “Traveller Declaration” during the flight to New Zealand or online 24 hours before travel
  • have a passport that is valid three months beyond the date you intend to leave New Zealand
  • have evidence for sufficient funds and onward travel (see the section below)
  • stay in New Zealand for nine months or less in an 18-month period
  • have no intention of studying or working in New Zealand (for that, you would need a working holiday visa or student visa, for example).

Please note that, as a citizen of a visa-waiver country, your visitor visa will be granted at the airport on arrival in New Zealand. It will usually be electronic, meaning that you may not get a visa stamp or label on your passport.

Visitor Visa: Do You Need a Visa to Visit New Zealand?©

The NZeTA and IVL

Travellers from visa-waiver countries might not have to physically apply for a visitor visa for New Zealand but they do have to request and pay the NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) and IVL (International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy) before arrival.

How Long Does it Take to Get an NZeTA?

It is best to request them as soon as possible, as it can take up to 72 hours for an NZeTA approval.

How to Get an NZeTA

There are two ways of paying for the NZeTA and IVL:

How Long is the NZeTA Valid?

The NZeTA and IVL are valid for multiple visits and transits to New Zealand for up to two years.

For more information on the NZeTA and IVL, take a look at the What You Need to Know About the New Zealand ETA & Visitor Levy and the 10 Things You Need to Know About the NZETA.

NZ Tourist Visa: Do You Need a Visa to Visit New Zealand?©

Evidence of Sufficient Funds and Onward Travel for Visitors and Tourists

Whether you have a New Zealand tourist visa (visitor visa) or an NZeTA, you will need to prepare some documents to present to the immigration officer on arrival in New Zealand. It’s true that these documents are not always asked for, but the time you risk it will no doubt be the time that you need the documents. You will need evidence of onward travel and evidence of sufficient maintenance funds while you are in the country.

What Type of Onward Travel Evidence is Accepted?

  • Travel tickets (can be confirmed or open-dated) out of New Zealand.
  • Written confirmation from an airline or travel agency that onward travel is booked and paid.
  • Anything that demonstrates a confirmed departure from New Zealand, like a yacht or private aircraft departure.

How Much Funds Do You Need to Visit New Zealand?

In other words, how much money do you need in your bank account to go to New Zealand? You need to provide evidence to show you have either NZ$1,000 per month that you intend to stay in New Zealand or NZ$400 per month with evidence that you have paid for accommodation. (Learn more about the New Zealand currency here).

What Types of Fund Evidence are Accepted?

  • Bank drafts
  • Bank statements in your name
  • Letters of credit
  • Photocopies of travellers’ cheques.
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Not from a Visa-Waiver Country?

… Then You Will Need to Apply for a New Zealand Tourist Visa (Visitor Visa) Before Arrival

Sure, it’s a bit more hassle, but nothing that a bit of forward planning can’t handle.

How to Get a New Zealand Tourist Visa (Visitor Visa)

Those from countries not listed on the visa-waiver list must print and fill out the Visitor Visa Application (INZ 1017) form and send the paper application to your nearest Immigration New Zealand office. You can find the address on the Office and Fee Finder. Your visitor visa must be accepted before you enter New Zealand.

In order to complete the visitor visa application form, you need the following:

  • The appropriate fee (see the Office and Fee Finder)
  • Two passport-sized coloured photos
  • Your passport or travel document
  • If required, a medical and x-ray certificate (in most cases it is not required)
  • Evidence of sufficient funds to support your stay (see the section above)
  • Evidence of onward travel (see the section above).

Note that those who have to apply and pay for a visitor visa are not required to pay the NZeTA and IVL.

How Long Does it Take to Get an NZ Visitor Visa?

Processing times for visas fluctuate but Immigration New Zealand is known for processing 90% of Visitor Visa applications within 37 weekdays. See the latest processing time on this page of the Immigration New Zealand website.

More About the Visa to Visit New Zealand

That’s it for our complete guide to the New Zealand tourist visa and NZeTA. For more advice on visiting formalities, check out the following guides:

Finally, find more essential travel advice in the 31 Tips for Travelling in New Zealand and The Best Travel Guide to New Zealand.


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Robin C.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Robin, who is the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. With more than 15 years of experience in the New Zealand tourism industry, Robin has co-founded three influential tourism businesses and five additional travel guides for South Pacific nations. He is an expert in New Zealand travel and has tested over 600 activities and 300+ accommodations across the country.

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