New Zealand Passport, VISA, Customs, and Immunization Requirements for Visitors

If you are traveling to New Zealand from outside of the country, you should be aware of the passport, VISA, and immunization requirements before planning your travel.  If you do not meet the requirements, you will be denied entry into New Zealand.  This is not something that I would wait until the last minute to take care of as you might not have enough time to sort out any issues at the last minute should you run into them.

To assist you in making sure you meet the necessary requirements to visit New Zealand, I have outlined all of the requirements you need to be concerned about in this article.  Furthermore, I have also created the handy checklist I linked below for you to use as a point of reference and to track all of the requirements as you meet them.

View New Zealand Passport, VISA, Customs, and Immunizations Checklist

NZ Passport Map.png

New Zealand Passport Requirements

Requirement:  Passport must be valid for 3 months after your trip.

You will need to make sure that your passport is not only valid but that it will be valid at least three months after your trip.  So if your passport is set to expire a month after you get back, you won’t be let into the country.  That is something that frequently trips travelers up, so make sure you check the expiration date of your passport closely.

New Zealand VISA Requirements

Requirement:  Non-Australian Citizens Require an NZeTA Electronic Authorization.

Beginning on October 1, 2019, New Zealand started requiring an Electronic Travel Authorization for travelers from most countries in the World.  Unless you live in Australia, you will need to apply for an NZeTA Authorization prior to traveling.  If you have a criminal conviction or have been deported, removed, or excluded from visiting a country in your past, you may be denied authorization.

Again, this is something that I would recommend you take care of well in advance of traveling.  While it typically only takes a few hours to get your approval or denial notice back, if you leave this to the last minute you will not leave yourself with any time to work out any issues should you be denied authorization.

Booking One-Way Flights to New Zealand

Requirement:  Proof of a paid for return flight is required to enter the country.

Before you head to the airport to fly to New Zealand, you also need to make sure you have your return flight out of New Zealand booked with an airline.  It doesn’t have to be with the same airline you are flying into New Zealand with, but you will need to have proof to show the airline you will be flying to New Zealand with that you have a return flight paid for before they will let you board.  New Zealand requires visitors to have return airfare paid for before they are allowed entry into the country.

This means that, unless you are a citizen of Australia and are exempt, you will not be able to fly to New Zealand on a one-way flight unless your VISA or NZeTA specifies that ‘Return and/or onward ticket not required’.  An NZeTA authorization does not provide you with this flexibility.

New Zealand Immunization Recommendations

Requirement:  No immunizations are required for entry, but there are recommendations.

While you aren’t at risk of contracting the world’s most deadly mosquito-borne and water-borne illnesses, the World Health Organization does recommend a number of different vaccinations before traveling to New Zealand.  These immunizations are not required to enter New Zealand but are recommended to protect your health and to stop the spread of illnesses.  The following vaccinations are recommended before visiting New Zealand:

VaccineHow Disease SpreadsDetails
Hepatitis AFood & WaterRecommended for most travelers
Hepatitis BBlood & Body FluidsAccelerated schedule available

Routine Vaccinations

VaccineHow Disease SpreadsDetails
Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR)Various VectorsGiven to anyone unvaccinated and/or born after 1957. One time adult booster recommended.
TDAP (Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis)Wounds & AirborneOnly one adult booster of pertussis required.
ChickenpoxDirect Contact & AirborneGiven to those unvaccinated that did not have chickenpox.
ShinglesDirect ContactVaccine can still be given if you have had shingles.
PneumoniaAirborneTwo vaccines given separately. All 65+ or immunocompromised should receive both.
InfluenzaAirborneVaccine components change annually.
MeningitisAirborne & Direct ContactGiven to anyone unvaccinated or at an increased risk, especially students.
PolioFood & WaterConsidered a routine vaccination for most travel itineraries. Single adult booster recommended.

New Zealand Customs Restrictions

Requirement:  There are customs restrictions that you should review before traveling to New Zealand, which are outlined below.

New Zealand is a country that has a lot of pride in its beautiful wilderness areas and wildlife ecosystems.  Like most countries that are trying to protect their fragile ecosystems from the invasion of non-native plant and animal species, they are very strict on what items you can and cannot bring into the country.  Below are some guidelines that you should be aware of when it comes to New Zealand’s customs restrictions:

Travelers MUST declare the following items

  • Food of any kind
  • Plants or plant parts (alive or dead)
  • Animals or animal products (alive or dead)
  • Equipment used with or around animals
  • Equipment such as camping gear, golf clubs, and used bicycles
  • Biological products

WARNING:  Failing to declare these items can result in a fine of anywhere between $400 to $10,000 NZD or up to five years in jail.  So when in doubt on whether or not you need to declare an item, make sure you declare it.

No Tobacco Imports Allowed

New Zealand has a very strict ban on bringing ANY tobacco products into the country.  Do not attempt to bring any smoking or smokeless tobacco products with you when you visit.

No Children’s Crayons or Paints

In order to protect children from toxic elements such as lead, mercury, and chromium, there is a strict prohibition on bringing any children’s crayons or paints into the country.  If you are thinking about bringing activities for your children to do as you travel, please be mindful of this and dispose of any of these products before arriving in New Zealand.

Traveling With Controlled Drugs

If you are traveling with controlled substances such as medications, you must make sure you are following the correct protocols for bringing those substances into the country.  If you are traveling with medications, make sure you consider the following:

  • You are only carrying substances prescribed for yourself or someone in your care (parent/child or nurse/patient).
  • You declare the substance(s) on your Passenger Arrival Card which is inspected by Customs.
  • You carry a copy of the prescription from your doctor for the substance.
  • The controlled substances are carried in their original containers.
  • You are carrying a supply that does not exceed a month’s supply of the controlled substance.

Other Customs Restrictions

In addition to the items listed above, there are additional customs restrictions that you should be aware of before visiting New Zealand.  Before traveling, make sure you review the comprehensive list of customs restrictions on New Zealand’s customs website.

New Zealand Currency Requirements

Requirement:  If you are bringing more than $10,000 NZD into the country, it must be declared.

New Zealand does not have any restrictions on what currency you can bring into the country, but if you are planning on bringing in over $10,000 NZD, you must declare the money when entering the country.  Failure to do so could result in fines and\or jail time.

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Categories: Customs and Border Patrol, New Zealand, Oceania, Travel, VISA RequirementsTags: , , , , , , , ,


  1. Thanks for this because I want to go to New Zealand. I really want to make it a honeymoon trip for whenever I get married. I did not know all countries, except Australia needed a visa for New Zealand. It’s really good to know, so I can prepare for when I go.

  2. Good grief. I should probably see if I can find a customs/immigration page for Laos. REI better darn well be taking care of everything in Cambodia, since that’s part II of the trip. Thanks for the warnings. Stressful!!

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