New Zealand is a popular travel destination and it really shouldn’t surprise you as to why. It offers gorgeous scenery and activities that appeal to just about every type of traveler there is. But come October, travelers in New Zealand will be in for a surprise. The country is instituting a new tourist tax that all travelers will have to pay before being allowed to enter the country. The effort is being made to heighten the level of border security in the country, as well as to fund conservation projects throughout New Zealand.
The good news is that the tax isn’t an outrageous amount, but there are a few hoops to jump through. Travelers will have to fill out an Electronic Travel Authority form before entering the country. The form will need to be filled out online and it takes around 72 hours to get approved. There are a couple of ways to do it. First, visitors can download the ETA on a mobile app and fill out the form. This route will cost $9 (NZD), about $6 USD. The second option is to fill out the form directly on the Immigration NZ website. Filling the form out on the website bumps the price up to $12 (NZD), around $8 USD. It’s a pretty reasonable price to pay considering the ETA will be valid for two years’ worth of travel in New Zealand.
Anyone who has a valid New Zealand or Australian passport, or a valid New Zealand Visa, doesn’t have to worry about filling out the ETA. However, many other visitors to the country will need to fill out the form, including:
- Visitors from any visa-waiver country, such as the UK, Canada, or the United States
- Permanent residents (non-citizens) of Australia
- Any passenger coming into the country aboard a cruise ship
- Any crew member coming into the country on a cruise ship or airline
Anyone who falls into one of the above categories and is traveling to New Zealand after October 1st can begin filling out the ETA starting in July of this year.