New Zealand tightens border control: Country introduces new visa rules for tourists

Emiratis and travellers from other visa-waiver countries now need electronic authorisation to visit the Land of the Long White Cloud

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New Zealand has launched new immigration rules that are set to tighten the country's border control policy.

From Tuesday, October 1, travellers from 60 nations, including the UAE, need to apply for electronic authorisation before visiting the South Pacific country.

All tourists affected by the new rules must apply for the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) before travelling.

The move is set to impact visitors from several nations including the UAE, UK, the United States, Canada and most European countries.

The NZeTA costs from Dh20 and is required for all passport holders from countries listed on the visa-waiver programme, including those transiting to another destination.

Travellers must apply for the NZeTA at least 72 hours before flying to ensure they are admitted entry to the country. Once travellers have an NZeTA, it is valid for up to two years and can be used for multiple visits.

The process costs NZ$9 (Dh20) if applied for on Android or iOS app, and NZ$12 if applying online. Applicants also need to pay a NZ$35 International Conservation and Tourism levy.

The new rules do not apply to citizens from New Zealand or Australia or to anyone who already has a valid visa.

Approvals will be issued by Immigration New Zealand. The authority has already received more than 200,000 electronic visa applications after announcing the immigration shake-up earlier this year.

The electronic pre-authorisation procedure is expected to facilitate the border arrival process in New Zealand.

The Embassy of New Zealand in the UAE clarified that Emirati travellers transiting through Auckland International Airport on their way to another destination will also have to apply for a transit NZeTA, according to WAM.

Travellers can apply online or download the New Zealand immigration app.