April Update 2019
I have been uplifted by the solidity displayed by, and for, the people of Christchurch during March 2019 and heartened at the recent increase of Expressions of Interest, New Zealand Immigration (INZ) have received, by those seeking to make New Zealand their home.
Electronic Travel Authorities (ETA)
Security is very much at the forefront of our minds, the way of the world, and for those who travel internationally the next development waive are Electronic Travel Authorities (ETA). Advancements in technology enables border authorities to instigate a pre-screening process, of visa waiver travellers, at the time traveller plans their travel rather when they board the craft or arrive in the country.
The ETA is not a visa although it is electronically linked to your passport. ETA’s work alongside visa waiver arrangements to provide better scrutiny, reducing time spent in Customs queues and providing a mechanism for a tourist levy. Visa waiver arrangements, usually negotiated between Governments, allows for an easier flow of visitors so necessary for tourism, connecting families and enhancing business opportunities. People who want to undertake full study, work and settle along with those who have health or character issues still need to apply for a visa in the usual manner prior to travel.
Visitors to Canada, Australia and Europe
The Canadians already operate an ETA to facilitate the entry for their visa waiver countries for stays of up to six months. Australia operates both an Tourist ETA and Business ETA and as the name suggests the former is those wanting to holiday and visit family and friends while the latter is for business discussions, conferences and negotiations.
In Europe the member states in the Schengen area which encompasses of 22 European Union states, 4 non-EU states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland along with the 3 micro states of Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City State have the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS). The two EU countries not part of this European ETA system being the United Kingdom and Ireland, and given the delicate negotiations on Brexit at time of writing, the future flow of people into and out of the UK is among the many mysteries yet to be revealed.
New Zealand Visitor changes
New Zealand, as of the 1st October 2019, is making a ETA mandatory for our all visa waiver arrivals. Applications are able to be made from the beginning of July 2019 via an official mobile application or via a browser. At the same time, an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy is being introduced at a cost of NZ$35 per visitor. The levy is being collected to invest in infrastructure and conservation projects within New Zealand due to New Zealand’s popularity. Higher numbers of tourists need more facilities and the environment needs protection. Exemptions for this levy include Australian citizens and for Pacific Island Forum countries due to our close relationships with these countries from the 1st October 2019 are as follows:
New Zealand visa waiver countries who must obtain an ETA for entry from the 1st October 2019 are as follows:
- Czech Republic
- Estonia (citizens only)
- Korea (South)
- Latvia (citizens only)
- Macau (Macau Special Administrative Region passports only)
- Portugal (with the right to live permanently in Portugal)
- Lithuania (Citizens only)
- Hong Kong (Residents with HKSAR or British National (Overseas) passports only)
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- Slovak Republic
- Taiwan (permanent residents only)
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom (must have the right to reside permanently in the United Kingdom)
- United States of America (includes USA nationals)
Actual travel maybe quicker these days however the formalities are getting more complex so if you need assistance for entry to New Zealand for yourself or employees remember we are here to help.
Disclaimer: Mary is Heartland Immigration Ltd Managing Director and her views, expressed in this article, are not intended to replace the professional service provided to individual migrants by a Licensed Immigration Adviser.