At the moment, Americans going on a visit to New Zealand need only to show up with their passports to be allowed into the country. But the situation will be changing soon. From October 1, 2019, and US citizens will no longer enjoy the ease of visiting the island nation as before.
It is true that the US is on New Zealand's list of visa fee countries, but by October 1, its citizens, as well as nationals of other countries on the list, will need to first obtain the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) before they could get into the country. The new travel document — known for short as NZeTA — will be required of foreigners visiting the country by air or cruise ships and who intend to stay in the country for up to three months. Visitors coming on transit will also be required to present an NZeTA.
Come July, the form will be available on the official website and app of Immigration New Zealand. Those applying via the app will pay $6 for the document while those applying via the website will pay $8. These visitors will also pay $23 for both the country's Tourism Levy and the International Visitor Conservation.
According to the embassy of New Zealand in Washington, the application would take about 5 minutes to fill as it will be demanding for only basic data such as name, date of birth, address, etc. There will also be questions about applicants' travel plans and health info. Applicants will get their responses via electronic means within 48 — 72 hours. According to the embassy, having a clean criminal record will give an applicant a higher chance of getting the green light. Anyone whose application is denied will have to apply for a visitor visa.
Having the NZeTA, a traveler may not need to see an immigration official, but will certainly meet a Customs officer to declare prohibited items in their possession such as honey, butterfly knife, etc.
This move is somewhat reciprocated as New Zealand citizens require the US Electronic System for Travel Authorization to get into the US.
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