What is the change? New Zealand will introduce an Electronic Travel Authority system this fall.

What does the change mean? Beginning Oct. 1, nationals of 60 visa-waived countries will need to obtain an ETA before traveling to New Zealand. The ETA system is designed to provide security benefits and streamline the prescreening process. 

  • Implementation time frame: Oct. 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Electronic Travel Authority.
  • Who is affected: The change will affect nationals of 60 visa-waived countries. Australian citizens will be exempt, but Australian permanent residents will be required to obtain electronic travel authorization. The change will not affect travel procedures for nationals of visa-required countries.
  • Impact on processing times: Authorities have not yet released information on how long it will take to process applications.
  • Business impact: Businesses may wish to notify employees and business visitors of the new requirement.

Additional information: Those who will require an ETA will need to complete a short online form and pay a small processing fee. The form will request basic information, such as:

  • Birth date.
  • Passport details.
  • Contact information.
  • Declarations around intention of travel and criminal history.
  • Optional biometric information (passport photo).

ETAs will be valid for two years and will cost 9 New Zealand dollars (about US$5.90). The requirement will apply to visa-waived nationals even if they are transiting and New Zealand is not their final destination.

Analysis & Comments: Travelers from visa-waived countries should take note of the pending change, especially if they are planning travel to New Zealand on or after Oct. 1. The change will not affect travel procedures for New Zealand citizens, Australian citizens or holders of valid New Zealand visas.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.