Visa Changes for South African Nationals Visiting New Zealand
As of 21 November 2016, all South African nationals visiting New Zealand will require a visitor visa.
Why have these visa changes for South African nationals been made?
At the moment, 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.
Unfortunately there has been 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.
This has lead to Immigration New Zealand’s decision to make it compulsory for South African nationals to apply for visitors visa before travelling to New Zealand to visit the country.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) General Manager Peter Elms says “We are committed to creating an immigration system that actively welcome and encourages legitimate visitors to New Zealand, but at the same time is able to prevent those who do not meet immigration requirements. These changes bring New Zealand into line with countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.”
How do these visa changes affect my travels?
If you have a trip to New Zealand booked for travel on or after 21 November, you have to now apply for a visitor visa. Do it sooner rather than later, as Immigration New Zealand’s advice is to apply for a visitor visa at least 6 weeks prior to your travel date.
Should you be travelling to New Zealand before 21 November, you do not need to apply for a visitor visa. You will be granted a visa on arrival, provided you meet the requirements.
Should you still have questions, please feel free to contact us. Our agents will be happy to clear up any confusion.