The form will become available in July on the New Zealand Immigration’s website and mobile phone app. The cost: 9 New Zealand dollars (about $6) for the app submission and 12 New Zealand dollars (about $8) for the online form. Visitors must also pay the new International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy, which is earmarked for tourism infrastructure and environmental protection. The fee is 35 New Zealand dollars, or $23.
The New Zealand Embassy in Washington said the application should take about five minutes to complete. The form will ask for such basic information as your name, address, date of birth and passport details as well as your travel plans and questions about health and security. Applicants should hear back electronically within 48 to 72 hours. The embassy said travelers with a clean criminal record will most likely receive a green light. Those who are declined will need to apply for a visitor visa.
According to the immigration office, the electronic document will “improve the way travelers are assessed before they arrive in New Zealand, and help reduce the time needed for border clearance and strengthen border security.”
The embassy said that, upon arrival, travelers can bypass the immigration official for a kiosk, though they will still need to meet with a customs agent and declare any prohibited or restricted items, such as honey, used outdoor gear or butterfly knives.
The new rule also levels the playing field: New Zealanders must apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization to enter the United States.
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