New Zealand’s New Visa System – What You Need to Know

Posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2019 in New Zealand Holiday Blog

beach blott

You may well have heard that New Zealand is changing its visa rules.  We’ve been keeping up to date will the announcements and have compiled this list of everything you need to know:


What are the changes?

There are two coming changes.  One is that if you’re arriving in New Zealand on or after the 1st October 2019 you will need to get a visa, or an ETA (Electronic Travelling Authority), before you travel.   Before now most of us could hop on the plane and do it on arrival.

The second is that you will also need to pay for an IVL or International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy.

You can apply for them both at the same time online or via an app from mid July.   We will update you with the details and links when we have them.

What is an IVL

The International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) is being introduced to fund conservation projects and to help make tourism sustainable in New Zealand.  There’s been a surge in visitor numbers to New Zealand in the last few years, which puts a pressure on resources.  According to documentation the money raised from the IVL will be spent on amenities like car parks and toilets as well as walking track maintenance.  In terms of conservation they are discussing spending it on native planting, breeding programmes and predator eradication.

What’s are the costs?

The ETA costs NZ$9 if you’re applying via the mobile app, or NZ$12 via the website form.  The IVL costs NZ$35.  Both are valid for multiple visits for up to two years.

When should I apply?

The ETA and IVL will take up to 72 hours to process.  If you’re landing on the 1st October you should apply before the 28th of September, to be on the safe side.  They should only take a few hours to process, but be aware that you won’t be able to board a plane without them.

What information is required?

We’ve been told the application form will be short and straightforward, and should only take a few minutes.  It will ask for personal details including your full name, address, date of birth, passport details, contact information and travel plans.  There will also be sections of the form related to health and security.

Why are the changes being made?

The government wants to strengthen border control and bring their visa system in line with other countries, like the US and Australia.


If you have booked your trip through us we will keep you up to date with updates when we have them.  If you have any questions, do just get in touch on +44 (0)1298 74040.