Going to New Zealand? Get a visa first…

Starting November 21, South African passport holders travelling to New Zealand will require a visitors visa.

Immigration New Zealand issued a statement saying the changes are being made as a result of an increase in the number of South African nationals who have been refused entry at the New Zealand border in comparison to other visa waiver countries.

Currently, people from South Africa do not need to apply for a visitor visa before travelling to New Zealand, with genuine visitors being granted a visitor visa on arrival. As a result of the change all visitors from South Africa will need to obtain a visa before travelling to New Zealand.

Travellers who have already purchased tickets for travel to New Zealand prior to this announcement are being advised to immediately apply for a Visitor Visa. INZ recommends that applicants apply for a visitor visa about six weeks in advance of their intended travel dates – visas will be issued for a length of 9 months, depending on the purpose of your stay.

The cost of a visitor visa is $165.00 (NZ) (about R1 637.07 at R9.92/NZ$) if you apply before 21 November 2016. From 21 November 2016 the cost for paper applications increases to $184 while the online cost remains $165.

South African nationals passing through New Zealand as a transit passenger will need to apply for a transit visa before you travel, unless you’re travelling to Australia and hold a valid visa for this destination. With this visa you can stay in the transit area of Auckland International airport for a maximum of 24 hours.

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