UK citizens do not need a visa for New Zealand and can obtain the quick and easy NZ eTA online to enter the country.
The common language and easy-to-meet entry requirements make life easier for the nearly 250 thousand Brits who visit New Zealand each year. These travellers come to the island country mostly for tourism and visiting friends and family and usually stay for as long as 25 days.
So if you’re one of them, what do you need to travel to New Zealand?
In this article, we’ll discuss normal NZ entry requirements for British nationals as well as special anti-COVID measures that may affect your trip. Keep reading.
What documents do I need to enter New Zealand?
As explained above, UK tourists do not need a visa, which is great news because you won’t need to make an appointment with a New Zealand embassy.
UK passport holders can stay in New Zealand visa-free for up to 6 months.
However, if you intend to relocate, work, or study in New Zealand and, in general, to stay for longer than 6 months, you will probably need a relevant visa. Consult the government website or get in touch with your nearest embassy or consulate to find out what visa suits you best.
Remember: you do need an eTA (electronic travel authority) if you want to cross the border and enter the country. You can obtain one online in a few minutes, you will only need your passport and credit card information.
Speaking of passports, you must carry yours with you as you travel. The passport must be valid, issued by the UK, and the same document you used to apply for the NZ eTA online. Should the eTA and passport details not match, you may be turned away at the Kiwi border. A biometric passport will open you the doors of smart gates (known as eGates in New Zealand).
If you are entering New Zealand with a long-term visa, you may be required to bring additional documents such as health insurance, proof of employment, etc.
If you stop in Australia on your way to New Zealand, you must double-check the Australian entry requirements before departure. The same goes for any other country you may transit through or visit before you arrive in New Zealand.
What you can carry through the border in New Zealand
At the border, you will need to go through customs and biosecurity checks before you’re cleared for entry.
Items that may be restricted or prohibited include:
- Animal products
- Outdoor recreational equipment
- Firearms and blades
- Drugs and regulated substances
- Alcohol and tobacco products
- Cash and money products over a certain amount
The above isn’t an exhaustive list. It’s strongly advisable that you familiarise yourself with the relevant regulations before you pack your bags.
Your bags and luggage may be searched, put in an x-ray machine, and/or sniffed by trained detector dogs.
Anti-COVID entry regulations for New Zealand
The COVID-19 pandemic has made things harder for travellers around the world, and New Zealand is no exception. In an effort to reduce the risk of infection and keep the country safe for locals and visitors, special entry requirements are in place.
Leisure travel is strongly discouraged at the moment: it is unlikely that tourists will be let in.
All foreign nationals must obtain permission to travel from the New Zealand government before entering and very few exceptions apply, such as diplomats and Australian citizens or permanent residents ordinarily resident in New Zealand.
To request permission, visitors can fill an online application form and must prove that they are travelling for essential reasons. Those who need to reach New Zealand as ‘other critical workers’ must have their employer submit a request for them.
Moreover, UK nationals who do get permission to enter must provide negative coronavirus test results and quarantine upon arrival. The self-isolation must last 14 days and travellers are required by law to secure a Managed Isolation Allocation system voucher before leaving, a document that confirms a place in a managed isolation facility.