Crew of planes and cruise ships

Crew of passenger airlines and cruise ships must have a Crew ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) before they leave for New Zealand.

Who needs a Crew ETA

All working and positioning crew members, regardless of nationality, need a Crew ETA unless they:

  • are Australian or New Zealand citizens, or
  • already hold a visa for New Zealand that allows them to work as crew.

Positioning crew can use their Crew ETA to fly to New Zealand to meet a plane or ship.

How we define crew

Your staff need a Crew ETA if they are employed by:

  • a passenger airline
  • a cruise operator
  • a manning agent — that is, a company that recruits crew for cruise ships or other vessels
  • a concessionaire that employs or engages staff on behalf of a cruise operator to provide services — for example, a musician who provides entertainment for passengers.

Crew of other vessels or private craft

Different rules apply to the crews of:

  • cargo ships
  • fishing vessels
  • private yachts and planes
  • commercial flights that are not a scheduled service.

Crew of cargo ships, fishing vessels, private yachts and planes

How long crew can stay in NZ if they have a Crew ETA

From the date they arrive:

  • airline crew who hold a Crew ETA are deemed to hold a visa for 7 days
  • cruise ship crew who travel by sea and hold a Crew ETA are deemed to hold a visa for up to 28 days.

Cruise ship crew who travel by air to join their ship at its berth in New Zealand apply for a visa and entry permission when they arrive in New Zealand. The visa we issue to them is valid for 35 days from the date they arrive.

A Crew ETA is different from an NZeTA

A Crew ETA is linked to the airline or cruise employer. It is valid for up to 5 years and costs NZD $9 which is paid by the employer. It is no longer valid if a crew member's employment ends before 5 years are up.

Visiting New Zealand as a tourist or for other reasons

Your crew cannot use their Crew ETA to come to New Zealand for a holiday. They will need an NZeTA or a visa, depending on what country they are from.

Information about NZeTA

Explore visa options for visiting

How to request a Crew ETA

A crew member's employer or the employer’s nominated representative requests Crew ETAs using our Batch ETA system.

We accept requests to use the Batch ETA system from:

  • cruise companies
  • airlines
  • manning agents, and
  • concessionaires.
Note

If you are a crew member and need to get a Crew ETA, ask your employer or their representative to request one for you.

The registration process

Before you can request Crew ETAs for crew, your organisation must register to use our online Batch ETA system.

Follow these steps.

  1. Request access for your organisation by emailing us.
    Email: BatchETA@mbie.govt.nz
  2. When we receive your request, we send you an information pack that includes:
    • forms to complete, including user-request forms so that you can identify your organisations’ users of the Batch ETA system
    • the terms of use — completing your registration shows you agree with these.
  3. Complete and return the forms to us by email.
    Email: BatchETA@mbie.govt.nz
  4. When we have processed your registration, we contact your nominated users to:
    • set up their access to the online system
    • provide information and support about how to use the system to request Crew ETAs.

Getting help with your registration

Our Batch ETA system administrators can help you with your organisation’s needs when you register.

Email: BatchETA@mbie.govt.nz