Soon, foreigners visiting New Zealand will be required to present their Electronic Travel Authority — ETA for short. This document will be mandatory, and although it isn’t a visa, it will have similar functions as the visa waiver document, ESTA, used in the US.
New Zealand will make it compulsory for all entering the country on a free visa basis to have the document starting from October 1 this year. Interested persons can, however, be able to apply for the document as from July 1, 2019.
Visitors of Australian citizenry coming to New Zealand will however not be required to have the ETA due to the strong bilateral relationship between the two countries.
Note also, that citizens of other countries who are only permanent residents in Australia will be required to have the ETA. This also applies to visitors from countries like the US, the UK, and Canada which are on New Zealand’s visa waiver list.
Applicants for the ETA will also pay the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy which was newly introduced by the government. This levy, however, does not apply to permanent residents from Australia.
The ETA will cost NZ$9 for those who would apply via a mobile app that will be launched soon and NZ$12 when done online.
The ETA, when obtained, will be valid for two years, but if the applicant’s passport happens to expire before the 2-year period, then the ETA will lose its validity.
With a single ETA, a visitor is allowed to enter New Zealand for as many times as they wish for business or tourism. There will be no need to make fresh applications on each travel or separate applications for business or holiday trips. Passengers who are on an international transit will be required to have the ETA, even if they don’t step their foot on New Zealand soil.
Why the ETA?
The government of New Zealand is introducing the ETA to check travelers and screen visitors who are coming into the country on a visa waiver basis.
According to Immigration New Zealand, the free visa program does not give room for the government to know the identity of travelers coming into the country until they are already en route New Zealand.
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