Immigration and Visa Information

If you want to immigrate to New Zealand, or visit us, then you should read through the following information about what you need, what you can bring into the country, and additional costs.


All visitors to New Zealand must carry a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date you intend to leave the country.

Visa Exemptions

You do not need a visa or permit to visit New Zealand if you are:

  • A New Zealand citizen
  • A New Zealand Resident Permit holder
  • An Australian citizen travelling on an Australian passport
  • An Australian resident with a current Australian resident return visa
  • A citizen of a country which has a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand

Visa Waivers

Kiwi Bird, New Zealand

Currently travellers from more than 50 countries do not require a Visitor's Visa for stays less than three months. You do require:

  • A passport that is valid for at least three months after your planned departure from New Zealand
  • An onward or return ticket to a country that you have permission to enter
  • Sufficient money to support yourself during your stay - approximately NZ$1000 per month per person

To find out if your country qualifies for a visa waiver, check out the Visiting New Zealand section of the New Zealand Immigration Service Web site, where you'll find a list of all eligible countries and other useful visa information.

Your travel agent, airline or nearest New Zealand Embassy will also be able to advise you if you require a visa.

British citizens and other British passport holders who have evidence of the right to live permanently in the United Kingdom may be allowed to stay in New Zealand for up to six months.

Visitor's Visa Applications

If your country is not on the visa waiver list, or you wish to stay longer than three months, you will need to apply for a Visitor's Visa. You can download application forms from the New Zealand Immigration Service Web site, or contact your nearest New Zealand Embassy.

Study and Work Visas

The New Zealand Immigration Service also has information on work, business or student visas. If you are interested in studying in New Zealand, check out the Web sites in the Language Schools and Student Study section of this Web site.


If you're thinking about living permanently in New Zealand, read the Migration section of the New Zealand Immigration Service Web site. It contains a brief summary of immigration requirements and information on obtaining a residence application pack.

Also check out the companies who specialise in immigration and visas.

International Gateways

New Zealand's international airports are at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Some flights from Australia also land at Hamilton, Palmerston North, Queenstown and Dunedin.Bush Walk, South Island, New Zealand

Arrival Cards

Every person arriving in New Zealand must complete the arrival card handed out on the aircraft.


Comprehensive advice for travellers is available on the New Zealand Customs Service Web site.

Agricultural Restrictions and Quarantine

New Zealand's agricultural industries are free of many insect pests, and plant and animal diseases common elsewhere in the world. We put a lot of effort into minimising the risk of these being introduced at ports and airports.

Heavy fines may be imposed on people caught carrying prohibited materials. On arrival visitors should place any questionable items, particularly fruit, in the bins provided.

You will find details of restricted items on the Ministry for Primary Industries Web site.

Domestic pets such as cats and dogs also pose disease and pest risks, and entry requirements are strictly enforced. Import requirements for live animals differ according to the country of origin, so please check with your nearest Embassy before attempting to bring your pet to New Zealand.

Other Prohibited Items

You should not bring the following items into New Zealand:

  • Firearms and weapons, unless a permit is obtained from New Zealand Police on arrival at the airport, this includes sporting firearms (The New Zealand Police Web site has more information on importing firearms)
  • Class A drugs
  • Certain drugs (e.g. diuretics, depressants, stimulants, heart drugs, tranquillisers, sleeping pills), unless in their original bottle with a doctor's prescription
  • Ivory in any form
  • Tortoise or turtle shell jewellery and ornaments
  • Medicines using musk
  • Rhinoceros or tiger derivatives
  • Carvings or anything made from whalebone or bone from any other marine animals
  • Cat skins or coats

Duty Free Goods

Visitors to New Zealand may purchase duty-free goods, which are not subject to local taxes, from airport duty free shops on arrival and departure. Duty-free stores in downtown Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch will deliver purchases to aircraft departure lounges.

Apart from your own personal effects and as long as you are over 17 years of age, you are allowed the following duty-free concessions:

  • 200 cigarettes, or 250 grams of tobacco, or 50 cigars, or a mixture of all three weighing no more than 250 grams
  • 4.5 litres of wine or beer (six 750 milliletres bottles) and one 1125 milliletres bottle of spirits, liqueur or other beverages
  • Goods up to a total of NZ$700 are free of duty and tax, but goods in excess of this may attract both duty and tax

Check out the full duty free goods allowances before you arrive in the country.

Departure Tax

Since July 2010 New Zealand departure tax has been included in the airline ticket price for those leaving New Zealand.

View more key facts and information about New Zealand.


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