New Zealand visas are not difficult to access for tourists. The internet connectivity has made the entire process shorter. The bank balance requisite and documentation proof of profession and residence is no different from the requirements for the visas to other countries. Getting a visiting or tourist visa for New Zealand is a process you can kick start also from the comfort of your living room – online. The online forms and all the necessary details on the required documentation is available online (http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/general/formsandfees/formsandguides/) and all you have to do is adhere to the rules and regulations and meet all the specified requirements. Today, the tourism boom and the open sky policy has made New Zealand a haven for compulsive and indulgent vacationers.
New Zealand is amongst the most lenient when it comes to regulation related to visa and immigration. There are a huge number of countries that don’t need a visa to visit, provided they fit into certain criteria.
Now what does the term visa free mean and whom does it apply to. The New Zealanders are totally exempt, they don’t need a visa when they re-enter the country after a visit, they do have to show the passport if needed.
It also applies to a no of countries that New Zealand has good ties, particularly England and Australia. Like if you hold a permanent resident visa issued by the Australian government, then you don’t have to obtain a temporary visa on your visit to New Zealand. This also applies to those of you with an Australian current resident return visa. People from fifty five other nationalities, who are permanent residents of their respected countries and whose limit of stay is into 3 months are also exempted from having a visa. The British have it even better and their visa exemption lasts for the duration of up to six months.
Then there are the special cases, if you are just transiting without any intention of leaving the plane or will be within the confines of the airport or in custody of the authorities on your stay in New Zealand then you are exempt from holding a temporary permit Visa.
The diplomatic cadre have the immunity from jurisdiction under the Diplomatic Privileges and Immunity Act, thus they don’t have to have a Temporary permit visa.
The members and crew connected to the armed forces of any other nation are also exempt from holding a visa, provided they have the necessary clearance from the New Zealand authorities prior to their arrival.
For those visiting for three months or less from the following countries, you will not need a visa.
United Arab Emirates
Vatican City Argentina
United States of America####
# Visa waiver is not applicable for people travelling on alien’s (non-citizen’s) passports issued by these countries.
## Applicable for Hong Kong residents travelling on Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or British National (Overseas) passports.
### Portuguese passport holders should be living in Portugal permanently.
#### All nationals of the USA.
##### Holds true for Greek passport holders issued on and after 1 January 2006. Those issued earlier are not acceptable for travel after 1 January 2007.
United Kingdom and Australia
All British passport holders who can permanently reside in the UK can visit for up to 6 months without a visa.
Those with an Australian permanent residence visa do not need a visa to enter New Zealand.
Those in sea going craft and its crew members traveling berth at any of the ports of New Zealand in their ordinary course of business within the period of 2 days need not hold a temporary permit visa.
Visa Restrictions in New Zealand
Now that you have an idea about what and how a free visa does work, let us look at the other details like, requirements for a temporary visa, the do’s and don’ts, how to apply and the likes.
New Zealand might be a lenient country when it comes to visa rules, but it is not that this leniency is for all the nationalities of all countries. Also the levels differ from country to country, thus is crucial to have a clear idea on how things work when it comes to New Zealand.
New Zealand as a country is very strict when it comes to maintaining international travel sanctions imposed by the UN. Thus keeping in accordance with the UN sanctions certain groups and people from the countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Afghanistan. These nationals are not permitted to travel to New Zealand and neither can they transit through the country. The necessary permissions can only be provided by the ministry of external affairs and trade. These nationals have to follow appropriate procedures, which are in place to ensure the speedy decision taking on the applications for visa, travel or transit through New Zealand.
The country of Zimbabwe has it tougher, where in the president of Zimbabwe, is not eligible for a visa to New Zealand. Not only the president but anyone who is closely associated with the president also fall under the same category and are not liable to receive a temporary visa. The citizens of Zimbabwe don’t fare better either, particularly anyone over the age of eighteen. Thus any student from Zimbabwe, who is over the age of eighteen, is not eligible to come to New Zealand.
The rules are might seem totally opposed to the common person from Zimbabwe, but if under certain special condition if he or she is able to furnish proper data to satisfy the authorities then they can get a temporary visa or permission to travel to that person.
Visa Provision Standards
New Zealand has been particularly strict in their view of how citizens from other countries, particularly those in the public view, conduct themselves. An example of this conduct can be seen in their immediate disapproval of the Fiji hostage takers. The actions are also immediate and comprehensive, the New Zealand immigration authorities are and those groups or individuals and anyone connected to them are banned from entering the country.
This ban was also applicable to the personnel connected to the Fijian military and those involved in the 2006 coup. This ban got extended to the other the sports people of Fiji too. Thus the immigration official were authorized to deny temporary or transit visas to Fijian sportspeople wanting to come to the country or wishing to transit though the country. Also they were banned from coming to play in New Zealand. b
This ban on Fijian sports fraternity was not applicable if the they were participating in an international sporting event. Thus they were eligible to be considered for a temporary or transit visa for participation.
All the names being banned is there with the New Zealand immigration office, they ensure that no visa is given to the people on the list. Only in a very special case are these individuals considered for visa or travel permits, and that to they have to complete another set of formalities and procedures before the decision to allow them is taken.
A similar decree was issues to the groups and individuals connected to ruling party of Serbia and its president , for their role in the genocide and war crimes committed in the course of their the civil war in that country. In some cases if a Fijian sports person coming to New Zealand doesn’t represent Fijian sports or club, then he becomes eligible to receive a visa provided he is a professional sports person.