The government has announced its decision to introduce a visitor levy and an electronic travel authority (ETA).
The visitor levy will be paid by all visitors to New Zealand (except for citizens of New Zealand, Australia and most Pacific Island countries) and will be used to fund tourist and conservation infrastructure investments.
The ETA will need to be applied for by all visitors to New Zealand, except Australian citizens, who do not need a visa (i.e. all non-Australians who currently visit on a visa-waiver). The aim of the ETA is to give immigration officials more advance notice of visitors to New Zealand who do not apply for a full visa.
BARNZ and other airline voices have secured some good improvements in the decision relative to what the government originally wanted to do (i.e. the visitor levy is not being collected through the airline ticket and will not apply to air crew). The government is keen to work with airlines on the implementation of the ETA, including how it will apply to crew. BARNZ is already in discussions with the government to make sure implementation is as smooth as possible.
Key facts are:
- The ETA will need to be applied for prior to travel – it will be able to be applied for online.
- The visitor levy will be added to the cost of the ETA or a visa application (depending on the traveller)
- The visitor levy will cost $35 per person and will not apply to crew
- The ETA will cost $9-$12.50 per person and will apply to crew; but the crew ETA will last 5 years rather than the 2-year ETA for passengers
- The levy and ETA are expected to start on 1 July 2019.
More details can be found here: https://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/border-changes/changes-at-the-border.pdf