The government takes another step to improve border security, with the launch of the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority.
The NZeTA will allow the government to screen travellers for border and immigration risks offshore before they travel to New Zealand.
The NZeTA will be mandatory for visitors from visa waiver countries from October this year.
“The NZeTA request takes less than 10 minutes to complete and will bring New Zealand’s border control into line with international best practices, with the United States, Canada and Australia already having electronic travel authorities,” says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway.
The request can also be completed through a mobile app, for both Android and iOS devices.
Lees-Galloway notes that around 1.5 million people travel to New Zealand each year from 60 different visa waiver countries.
However, Immigration NZ does not currently have any information about these individuals until they are en route to or arrive in New Zealand.
“The NZeTA is a quick and easy way to ensure we know more about people travelling to New Zealand from visa waiver countries, says Lees-Galloway.
“It will strengthen border security and be quick and easy for travellers to request.”
New Zealand and Australian passport holders or visitors who already have a valid New Zealand visa, will not be required to have an NZeTA.
Visitors should allow up to 72 hours for their NZeTA request to be processed.
Visitors who don’t hold an NZeTA when they check in for their flight or cruise from 1 October will not be able to board. Visitors whose request for an NZeTA is refused will need to apply for a visitor visa.
Immigration NZ says the NZeTA will cost NZD$9 via the mobile app and NZD$12 through the website.
At the same time that a visitor requests their NZeTA, they will be charged the $35 International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL).
The new levy is expected to raise over $450 million over five years. It will fund projects that protect and enhance our natural environment and biodiversity, and safeguard Aotearoa’s taonga for future generations.
“Our international visitors will be contributing directly to the infrastructure they use and helping to protect the natural places they enjoy,” says Lees-Galloway.
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