Travelling to and arriving in New Zealand

You are screened when you check in and when you arrive in NZ. If you do not have valid documents and a genuine reason for coming here we can refuse to let you travel.

Before you travel

Your passport

Check that your passport:

  • will not expire until:
    • 3 months after you have left New Zealand, or
    • 1 month after you have left, but only if your passport was issued by a country that has a New Zealand embassy or consulate that issues passports
  • is valid — for example, that it has not been reported as lost or stolen, or been invalidated by the government that issued it
  • matches the details on your eVisa or your passport has the right visa for New Zealand.

Contact us immediately if there is an error in the details listed in your eVisa.

If you travel on a different passport

If you are not using the same passport that is noted on your eVisa, you must apply to transfer your visa to the new passport before you travel. You may be delayed if you travel on a different passport as your visa details are linked to the passport you used to apply.

Transferring my visa to a new passport

Your visa

Check your visa to find out what the conditions are. You may not be allowed to enter New Zealand if you cannot provide evidence that you meet the conditions of your visa. For example, how much money you need to live on while you are in New Zealand can vary depending on the visa you have.

Check your visa conditions

Gather the documents you need. Bring with you:

  • a copy of your eVisa letter, and
  • evidence that you can meet the conditions of your visa — for example you can use:
    • your travel ticket to show that you are planning to leave New Zealand, and
    • bank statements to show that you have enough money to live on while you are here.

Do not buy your ticket before we grant you a visa or your application is approved in principle. If there is a delay in processing your application or we do not grant you a visa, you may lose the cost of your ticket or have to rearrange your travel.

Contact us before you travel if:

  • your circumstances have changed since we granted your visa, or
  • you are not sure that we will give you permission to enter New Zealand.

Contact us

If you do not need a visa before you travel

Some travellers can apply for a visa and entry permission when they arrive in New Zealand. They include:

  • visitors from visa waiver countries
  • transit passengers from visa waiver countries.

Visa waiver visitor visa

Transit visa

Other travellers who do not need to apply include:

  • New Zealand citizens and resident visa holders
  • Australian citizens and permanent resident visa holders.

Australian resident visa

We can still ask you to provide evidence to support your application to enter New Zealand.

Checking in for your trip

When you check in for your travel and when you arrive in New Zealand you must show that you have:

  • a valid passport or travel document, and
  • a visa to travel to or transit through New Zealand.

Information about you

Before you board your flight or ship to New Zealand, we check our records to make sure you are allowed to travel here.

If you are refused entry to New Zealand

The airlines also provide us with information — known as Passenger Name Record (PNR) data — which we use to further screen travellers.

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

We may need to ask you some questions before you board or when you arrive. This applies to everyone including people who already hold a visa and travellers in transit.

What we check

As well as checking your passport and visa, we check that you have a genuine reason for coming to New Zealand. You must answer our questions truthfully or you may not be allowed to come here.

Bona fide — genuine intent

Onward travel

We may want to see your ticket showing when you will leave New Zealand. We may ask to see other travel tickets or visas if you leave to go to a country that you:

  • need to have a visa or onward travel ticket for
  • are not a citizen of — you need to show that you have the right to enter that country.

We do not need to see this if your visa label or letter says:

  • return/onward travel not required, or
  • the holder of this visa is sponsored.

Supporting yourself in New Zealand

We may also want to see evidence of how you will support yourself financially while you are in New Zealand.

Your character

We may also want to check that you are of good character and will comply with the conditions of your visa. This could include questions about any convictions you have or whether you have been deported from another country.

Good character for temporary visas

Good character for residence visas

Your health

We may also ask for evidence about your health. Before you can enter New Zealand you must be in good health or be granted a medical waiver.

Evidence you are in good health — medical certificates

Arriving in New Zealand

When you arrive in New Zealand, you apply for entry permission. This process is usually quick, but immigration officers may ask you some extra questions before granting you entry permission. You must answer these questions truthfully.

How you apply for entry permission

There are 2 ways to apply:

  • by presenting your documents to an immigration officer,
  • by using a Smartgate or eGate — not all passport holders can use this option.

eGate | New Zealand Customs

To apply for entry permission, you need to have your:

  • completed arrival card — this will be given to you on the plane or ship before you arrive
  • passport or travel document
  • visa — if you had to apply for one
  • travel ticket out of New Zealand to a country you have the right to enter.

Customs and biosecurity

Other border agencies such as the New Zealand Customs Service and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) check that you meet their entry requirements. You could be refused entry if you do not.

Travel to and from New Zealand | New Zealand Customs Service

Arriving in New Zealand | Biosecurity New Zealand (MPI)