New Zealand border entry requirements

Entry to New Zealand from all countries remains strictly controlled to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

On this page:

Pre-departure COVID-19 test

Managed isolation and quarantine

Travel eligibility

Quarantine-free travel from the Cook Islands

Other travel must be for a critical purpose

Pre-departure COVID-19 test

Negative COVID-19 test result required for travellers coming from the United Kingdom or United States.

Pre-departure COVID-19 test requirements | COVID19.govt.nz

Managed isolation and quarantine

Travellers to New Zealand from all countries, except eligible travellers from the Cook Islands, must complete a 14-day stay in managed isolation or quarantine. 

You are legally required to obtain a Managed Isolation Allocation system voucher confirming your place in a managed isolation facility before boarding a flight. Travellers coming from the United Kingdom or United States must also have a negative COVID-19 test result.

Warning

Without a voucher confirming your allocation in a managed Isolation facility you will not be able to board your flight to New Zealand. 

A Managed Isolation Allocation system voucher is not a visa.

In Managed Isolation & Quarantine (MIQ) travellers from all countries are tested for COVID-19. 

Book your place | Managed Isolation and Quarantine

Travel eligibility 

Allowed to come here without first requesting to travel are:

  • New Zealand citizens and permanent resident visa holders
  • the partner or dependent child of a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, and your visa is based on this relationship
  • a diplomat who holds a post in New Zealand
  • Australian citizens or permanent residents ordinarily resident in New Zealand
  • Eligible travellers from the Cook Islands

Resident visa holders

Travel conditions of all other resident visas must be valid for the holder to enter New Zealand.

Your resident visa must have been granted:

  • when you were in New Zealand, or
  • when you were offshore but you have used it to travel to New Zealand previously, or
  • because you previously held a resident visa while in New Zealand.
Note

If you are a dependent child you must be younger than 20 if you have a temporary visa, or younger than 25 if you have a resident visa.

Australian citizens and permanent residents ordinarily resident in New Zealand

Australian citizens and permanent residents who ordinarily reside in New Zealand can travel to New Zealand.

Note

We recommend you check your eligibility before your intended departure by completing a 'request to travel'. There is no charge.

Request for travel to New Zealand

If you attempt to travel to New Zealand without prior approval you will need to provide acceptable evidence at the airport when you check in clearly showing that you are ordinarily resident in New Zealand.

Acceptable evidence at airport check-in required.

This may include but is not limited to:

  • Government-issued documentation — for example, New Zealand driver licence, or evidence of tax residency with Inland Revenue
  • documentation confirming current employment or approved study in New Zealand
  • documentation confirming you own or rent property in New Zealand — for example, utility bills, rates notices, lease agreement.

Your residency will be verified against your travel history before Immigration New Zealand makes a decision if you are allowed to board your flight.

Other Australians who are not ordinarily resident in New Zealand may still be able to come to New Zealand under another category.

List of critical purpose reasons to travel

Quarantine-free travel from the Cook Islands

From 21 January 2021 you can travel from the Cook Islands to New Zealand without having to go into a managed isolation facility on arrival. Quarantine-free travel is only available one way, from the Cook Islands to New Zealand.

The Cook Islands is a Safe Travel Zone.

Apply for a visa from the Cook Islands

If you are from the Cook Islands you can apply for any visa. You do not need to have a critical purpose or submit an expression of interest for a visa if you are in the Cook Islands.

You can only apply for a visa if you are physically present in the Cook Islands at the time you submit your visa application. Normal visa processing timeframes apply.

Note

After arriving from the Cook Islands, if you leave New Zealand to travel to another country, for example Fiji and the US, and want to return to New Zealand again you will need to have a critical purpose and submit an expression of interest

Visa-waiver travellers coming from the Cook Islands

If you are eligible to travel visa-waiver you must request an NZeTA prior to travelling.

If you already have an existing valid NZeTA you can use this.

Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents in the Cook Islands

Australian citizens can travel to New Zealand without applying for a visa or NZeTA prior to travelling.

Australian permanent residents will need to request an NZeTA before travelling.

Boarding the plane to travel to New Zealand

To travel to New Zealand from the Cook Islands you must:

  • Be flying from the Cook Islands to New Zealand directly on a commercial aircraft operated by Air New Zealand, and
  • Have been present in the Cook Islands for at least 14 days immediately before travelling to New Zealand.

If you do not meet these criteria you will be denied boarding or refused entry to New Zealand.

On arrival in New Zealand there are also some health criteria you must meet. This includes:

  • maintaining at least 2 meters physical distance from anyone in the arrival airport who did not arrive from the Cook Islands, and
  • wearing a face covering while in the arrival airport, and
  • not have had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days
  • not have any COVID-19 symptoms, and
  • not be waiting for a COVID-19 test result.

You may have your temperature checked or be need to undergo a medical assessment on arrival.

Quarantine-free travel from the Cook Islands to New Zealand | Covid-19

Transiting New Zealand to Australia from the Cook Islands

There may be restrictions on transiting New Zealand to Australia. Check with your airline and the Australian Government for entry requirements.

Department of Home Affairs

Other travel must be for a critical purpose

Anyone else coming to New Zealand must be coming for a critical purpose and they must request approval from us first. Travel must be for a reason that we think is critical and is on our critical purpose list.

List of critical purpose reasons to travel

How to request to travel

If you think you meet our criteria to travel you must first submit an expression of interest using our online request form. If you are coming here as an 'other critical worker' then your employer must do this for you.

Request for travel to New Zealand

If we agree you have a critical purpose, we will invite you to apply for either:

  • a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa — if you do not already have a visa — or
  • a variation of your visa conditions if you already have a work or student visa.

Provide in your request:

  • as much information as possible about the reason you want to travel to New Zealand
  • the full details of any people in New Zealand you are related to
  • the full details your partner or children if they are included in your request to travel.
Note

Before submitting a request, consider the availability of flights to New Zealand and travel restrictions for any country you may need to transit on the way.

Once you submit your request

We aim to respond to requests within 2 working days. However, it may take longer depending on the volume and complexity of requests. Requests from employers and agents for approval in principle to bring other critical workers generally take 2 weeks.

If we agree you have a critical purpose to travel, we will send you a link to the form you need to use to apply for a visa or variation of conditions.

You may need to pay a fee

From 10 August 2020, most applicants are charged a fee to apply for a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa or Critical Purpose Variation of Conditions. The fee you have to pay may change depending on your country of citizenship and where you are now.

Fees, decision times and where to apply

The fee for a Critical Purpose Variation of Conditions is NZD $190.

Managed Isolation charges

New charges for critical workers will come into effect on 1 January 2021. They will apply to all people entering New Zealand on a critical worker visa from 1 January 2021, regardless of when the visa was approved.

Charges for critical workers in managed isolation | MIQ