New Zealand is perhaps one of the most pristine countries in the world, boasting of abundant natural beauty. Combine this scenic beauty with a modern lifestyle and access to technology, and New Zealand becomes a truly unique destination in its own right. A testament to this fact is that close to 3 million people visit it every year. While it may be on your travel list, it is essential to have a tourist visa to truly enjoy what the country offers.
Popular Tourist Attractions in New Zealand
From whale watching to skydiving, sailing to diving, New Zealand is a country which offers a host of options to the traveller. Despite the small size of the country, it is touted as one of the top places in the world to try adventure sports. Listed below slare some of the most popular tourist attractions in New Zealand.
- Fiordland National Park – A world heritage site, it is ideal for someone looking to explore the untamed beauty of the country.
- Queenstown – This quaint town is known for its adventure activities, with thrill seekers from across the globe thronging to this place to get a rush of adrenaline.
- Rotorua – This is ideal for someone looking to get a taste of local Maori culture. Hot springs, geysers, and mud pools make sure that it is on everyone’s travel itinerary.
- Hawke’s Bay – An ideal destination if you are a wine connoisseur, this place is famous for wine tours.
- Rakiura - This is an island which is popular among birdwatchers, thanks to the national park which covers most of it.
In addition to the aforementioned places, the country is home to a number of popular tourist attractions, catering to different moods.
Fees for New Zealand Tourist Visa
The fees for a tourist visa to New Zealand depends on the country of origin of a traveller. New Zealand has a system wherein tourists are divided into three bands, depending on their nationality. Band A is for individuals who are in New Zealand and wish to apply for a tourist visa, Band B is for individuals belonging to Pacific nations and Band C is for individuals from other nations.
The different fees for a tourist visa to New Zealand are highlighted in the table below.
|Tourist Visa Type||Fees for applicants from Band A (NZ$)||Fees for applicants from Band B (NZ$)||Fees for applicants from Band C (NZ$)||Immigration Charge (NZ$)|
|Temporary retirement visa (visitors)||3,340||3,340||3,340||14|
|Approved destination status group visa - China (offshore)||NA||NA||50 per person||10|
|Group visa (others)||85||85||85 per person||10|
The visa fee is waived for citizens from over 30 countries, on account of diplomatic relationship enjoyed between New Zealand and these nations. Visitors from India are not exempted from paying the visa fee, and will have to pay it as per the table.
New Zealand Tourist Visa Requirements
Individuals looking to visit New Zealand on a tourist visa need to ensure that they meet a few basic requirements, as listed below:
- They should have valid travel documents. The passport should not expire within 3 months of their visit.
- They should have sufficient funds to sponsor their trip to the country. This should include an amount to stay in addition to funds for general needs.
- They shouldn’t have any criminal case against them.
- They should show that they are a genuine tourist, with all plans to leave the country once their visa expires.
- They should have a return ticket or should show sufficient income to purchase a return ticket.
Uses of a New Zealand Tourist Visa
A New Zealand tourist visa can be used for the following purposes:
- To meet family or friends in the country
- To participate in adventure activities or amateur sports
- To explore the country as a traveller
- Study for a maximum period of 3 months
- Visit the country to get married
How To Apply For A New Zealand Visitor Visa
Individuals who are keen to visit the country on a tourist visa can apply for it either online or manually. The online application can be submitted. In case they wish to apply offline, they can do so by downloading Form INZ 1017 and filling it. This form can then be submitted to the nearest New Zealand Visa Application Centre.
They will have to ensure that they meet the eligibility criteria and provide documentary proof with the form. The documents needed are highlighted below:
- Duly filled and signed application form
- Fee payment receipt
- Latest passport size photographs (2)
- Original passport
- Medical certificate
- Proof of financial stability
- Proof of return – air tickets
Check New Zealand Visitor Visa Status
Individuals can check the status of their application through the official website of the immigration department. One needs to register in order to check the status. Registration can be done by clicking here and providing certain basic information. Once registered, they can use their login credentials to stay abreast as to their visa status.
How long can I stay in New Zealand on a tourist visa?
The duration of stay depends on the purpose of visit, with the maximum duration being 9 months.
Can I work in New Zealand on this visa?
No, you cannot work in New Zealand on this visa. The purpose of this visa is limited to visiting the country/exploring it as a tourist. A work visa would be required in order to work in the country.
I am a frequent visitor to the country. Should I apply for a new visa each time?
No, frequent visitors can apply for a multiple entry visa, which enables to visit the country multiple times in a given period.
I am travelling to New Zealand to participate in a sports tournament spread over 4 months. Can I travel on a tourist/visitor visa?
No, you can participate in a sports event on a tourist visa only for a maximum of 3 months. If the duration of participation exceeds 3 months you need to get a work visa.
I have a connecting flight from New Zealand. Should I have a tourist visa in order to catch it?
No, a tourist visa is not mandatory if you have a connecting flight from New Zealand, provided that you do not spend more than 24 hours in the country. Additionally, you cannot leave the airport during this period. A transit visa will be provided in such instances. If you wish to leave the transit area or spend more than 24 hours in the country then a tourist/visitor visa is required.
Tourist Visa For Other Countries