Information for carriers

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) works in partnership with trusted carriers across the world to protect the security of our borders. This page contains two sections: one for the airline industry, and the other for the maritime (shipping) industry.

Information for the airline industry

Information for the maritime industry

Information for the airline industry

We want to have effective working relationships with airlines. The value that we bring to these relationships includes helping to educate airline staff on:

  • the carrier obligations under the Immigration Act 2009 and associated regulations
  • the documents people need to enter New Zealand
  • types of fraud
  • examining documents
  • the use of the Advance Passenger Processing (APP) system.

Airlines have responsibilities under New Zealand regulations, they must:

  • provide to Immigration New Zealand (INZ) the APP information required by the Act and regulations, for anyone who intends to board an aircraft to New Zealand
  • comply with INZ directives about allowing certain persons to board an aircraft or not
  • provide Passenger Name Record (PNR) information to INZ
  • make sure INZ has access to the Passenger Name Record (PNR) information
  • make sure that anyone boarding an aircraft to travel to New Zealand holds the correct documentation, including a valid passport or identity certificate and a valid visa if required
  • prevent anyone from leaving an aircraft other than at an Immigration Control Area (ICA)
  • provide information to an immigration officer about anyone on an aircraft, if required.

Immigration New Zealand Guide for Airlines (INZ 8166) PDF 6MB

Carrier Infringement Regime

Commercial airlines operating flights to New Zealand may be liable for infringement fees if they breach their immigration-related obligations.

A new Guide for Airlines (INZ 8166) will be available soon for airline managers and frontline staff. It explains the border control system, why it is important to comply with immigration law, how to comply with immigration law and what happens when carriers do not meet their legal obligations.

Private aircraft operators

Private aircraft operators should be aware that while many aspects of the carrier infringement regime do not apply to them, they must still comply with all their obligations under the Immigration Act 2009. In particular, private aircraft operators must make sure that all people travelling to New Zealand hold the correct travel documentation. Failure to do so may lead to either an infringement notice or prosecution.

Advance Passenger Screening

New Zealand’s border systems provide advance passenger screening to enhance the security of New Zealand's borders and minimise disruption for genuine travellers. 

When you check in for your flight to New Zealand, an airline will conduct an Advance Passenger Processing (APP) check with INZ. INZ will generally give the airline clearance to bring you to New Zealand. However, you may be refused permission to board your flight to come, or return, to New Zealand if:

  • you do not have an appropriate visa to enter New Zealand, or
  • your visa has expired, or
  • you are attempting to travel using a stolen or lost travel document, or
  • your visa has not been transferred to your current/new passport or the passport being used to enter New Zealand.

How we collect and use information about people flying in and out of NZ

In addition, the TIETAC (New Zealand) system allows airlines to ask us about your New Zealand visa status at any time during your journey to New Zealand. TIETAC is a secure network that uses information like your travel document number, nationality and name to confirm your visa status and provide messages to carriers about whether you can travel to or transit New Zealand. TIETAC was introduced to minimise travel delays for people who have been granted eVisas.

It’s a good idea to make you sure your travel documents are up-to-date and you have an appropriate and current visa before you travel. If you have any questions, contact us.

Contact us

Immigration Control Areas

There are seven Immigration Control Areas where we carry out immigration checks on people arriving in or leaving New Zealand by air.

Immigration Control Areas at New Zealand airports

Information for the maritime industry

Immigration New Zealand is creating a guide for international carriers who cross New Zealand’s borders. This guide is for passengers and crew of cruise ships and other maritime vessels. It will cover:

  • why carriers need to comply with immigration law and how Immigration New Zealand (INZ) works with carriers
  • the rules and processes for checking passenger and crew documentation and identity.