17 July 2019
New travel rules and levy for New Zealand
Find out what the new International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy means for international students coming to New Zealand.
International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy
On 1 July 2019, the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) was introduced. This new levy costs NZ$35 per person and is paid when you apply for a visa or request a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA).
How do you apply for an IVL?
If someone is applying for a visa, including a student visa, the levy will be automatically added to the application cost. Even though the levy is for conservation and tourism, it does apply to most international students too.
What if a person doesn’t need a visa?
If an international student is coming to New Zealand before 1 October and is from a visa-waiver country or is not staying long enough to need a visa, they do not need to pay for an IVL.
What’s changing on 1 October 2019?
From 1 October 2019, New Zealand is introducing a new travel requirement that may affect international students coming to New Zealand.
The NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) needs to be issued before traveling to New Zealand. It can take up to 72 hours to be assessed, so anyone coming to New Zealand should request their NZeTA in plenty of time. Requests can be made via the official app or Immigration New Zealand’s website. There is a small fee.
- $9 for requests made through the NZeTA app
- $12 for requests made through the Immigration NZ website.
When a person requests an NZeTA, they will automatically be charged the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL).
Total payment will be:
- $44 for requests made through the NZeTA app
- $47 for requests made through the Immigration NZ website.
Who must hold an NZeTA before travelling to New Zealand?
- People visiting or in transit from a visa-waiver country — that is, a country whose passport holders do not need to get a visa before they arrive in New Zealand.
- People travelling on a passport from a transit visa-waiver country, and who will be in transit through Auckland International Airport’s transit lounge on the way to another country.
- Permanent residents of Australia.
Who doesn’t pay the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism levy?
Most visitors to New Zealand pay the IVL. If a person is required to pay the IVL, the amount will be automatically added to the cost of their visa application or NZeTA request.
You do not pay for an IVL if you travel to New Zealand on:
- an Australian or New Zealand passport
- a passport from many Pacific Island nations
- you are a transit passenger arriving at and leaving from Auckland International Airport
- you have a New Zealand resident visa
- you hold a Business Visitor Visa or APEC business travel card.
What does this mean for international students?
People who are planning to come to New Zealand to complete a short course, such as an English language course, will need to request an NZeTA before they travel if they are coming from a visa-waiver country. They will pay the IVL when requesting the NZeTA.
International students who need a visa to study will not need to get an NZeTA, but they will pay the additional NZD$35 for an IVL when they apply for a visa.
What about current international students?
International students who have already applied for and have a valid visa will not have to pay the IVL until they renew their visas.
How long is the IVL and NZeTA valid for?
The NZeTA is valid for two years. The IVL is charged every time a person requests a new visa or NZetA.