Visas, Customs & Biosecurity

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Queen Mary II Bay of Islands

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Having the appropriate passport and visa before leaving home is the key to a trouble free entry into New Zealand.

Passport and visa

Many people will qualify for visa-free entry, but some will need to apply for a visa before they come to New Zealand. Younger visitors might want to consider applying for a working holiday visa. If you are travelling to New Zealand via an Australian airport, you may also need an Australian visa – consult your travel agent or airline if you are unsure. For everything you need to know about entering New Zealand, please visit Immigration New Zealand.

When you arrive in New Zealand, you’ll need to be carrying a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond your intended departure date. A visa may also be required, depending on your country of origin.

Do you need a visa or permit?

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

If you come from Visa-waiver countries, you don't need a visa to enter New Zealand, but still required to provide:

Passengers transitting in New Zealand

Transit visas will be needed for all people travelling via New Zealand, unless they are specifically exempted by immigration policy.

How do you apply for a New Zealand Visa?

If your country is not on the visa waiver list, or you wish to stay longer than three months (or six months if you’re British), you will need to apply for a Visitor's Visa. You can download application forms from the Immigration New Zealand website, or contact your nearest New Zealand Embassy.

What if you’re coming to study or work?

The New Zealand Immigration website also has information on work, business, and student visas. If you want to study in New Zealand, check out the websites of English New Zealand and Education New Zealand Trust.

If you are travelling with a group of visitors and acting as a tour guide or a tour leader in a co-ordination role, you require a work visa. All Tour Guides must obtain work visas, prior to their arrival in New Zealand.

On Arrival (by air)

You will need to complete a Passenger Arrival Card before passing through Customs Passport Control. A passenger arrival card will be given to you during your flight; if not, cards are available in the arrival area.

After you’ve cleared passport control, you should collect your baggage and proceed through customs and biosecurity checks. Your baggage may be sniffed by a detector dog and/or X-rayed, and it may be searched to identify any risk goods you might be carrying.

Customs declarations/allowances

If you are 17 years or older, your duty free allowance is:

Customs prohibited and restricted goods

You should not bring the following items into New Zealand:

Biosecurity risk goods

New Zealand is free of many insect pests, plant diseases and animal infections that are common elsewhere in the world. We put a lot of effort into minimising the risk of these being introduced.

When you fly to New Zealand from overseas, it is important to follow New Zealand law. That means you must declare or dispose of risk goods at our international borders.

You might have goods with you that could be carrying pests and diseases. These pests and diseases could cause millions of dollars in damage to New Zealand’s environment and economy. Substantial fines may be incurred if you do not declare correctly.

Biosecurity risk goods that must be declared include:

Learn more about New Zealand's biosecurity policies restricted goods on the Biosecurity website.


Live animals may not enter New Zealand without meeting specific conditions, which are designed to prevent the introdution of insect pests and diseases. See the Biosecurity website for more details.

Departure fee

A departure fee of NZ$25 is collected from all adult international passengers upon departure from Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown airports. This can be paid by cash or credit card. There is no longer a departure fee charge from Auckland as of 1 July 2008. Some regional airports also have a small fee payable on domestic flights.

Source: Tourism New Zealand

On Arrival (by sea)

All seagoing craft arriving in New Zealand must arrive at or depart from a Customs place (Customs port).

Northland has two ports; The first point of entry is Opua, Bay of Islands and the other is Whangarei. Visit NZ Customs Service for more information.

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