This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.
The authorities in New Zealand set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to. You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Entry to New Zealand
The New Zealand border is currently closed to almost all arrivals.
From 11:59pm on 28 April 2021, travellers to New Zealand from very high risk countries are temporarily restricted to New Zealand citizens, their partners, dependent children, the parent of a dependent child who is a New Zealand citizen, and those with significant humanitarian reasons. All non-New Zealand citizens must hold a valid visa to enter New Zealand. Other travellers, including New Zealand residents, can enter only if they spend 14 days outside a very high risk country before their arrival here. Transit through a very high risk country is excluded from the 14-day requirement. See New Zealand Immigration’s (INZ) website for further details.
The following countries currently meet the threshold of being very high risk:
- Papua New Guinea
Quarantine free travel
For New Zealand, quarantine-free travel is available on commercial aircraft only. There are agreements in place with each State in Australia (see ‘travel between New Zealand and Australia’) and the Cook Islands only. Quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and the Cook Islands does not include those travelling from Australia to New Zealand.
When entering New Zealand from a quarantine free travel zone, normal visa conditions remain. If you are a temporary visa holder in New Zealand, you should be aware that you need to meet New Zealand immigration requirements in order to return to New Zealand. This means you need to have a ‘multiple entry’ visa that gives permission to leave New Zealand and return, provided all entry requirements are met.
Border rules including eligibility criteria can change quickly. Travellers must prepare for disruption to their plans.
Check the COVID-19 government website for the latest information, including changes to quarantine-free travel.
Between New Zealand and Australia
From 19 April 2021 travellers who have been in Australia for 14 days can travel by air to New Zealand without having to enter a managed isolation facility unless advised otherwise.
The quarantine free travel agreements between New Zealand and individual States in Australia may be fully or partially suspended at short notice.
You should check the New Zealand government COVID-19 quarantine free travel requirements before you travel and during your stay in Australia. If your travel plans are disrupted, you should contact your airline.
To enter New Zealand from a safe zone in Australia travellers must hold a visa or NZeTA, normal immigration rules apply, please see INZ for criteria information.
Between New Zealand and the Cook Islands
From 17 May 2021 you can travel between New Zealand and the Cook Islands without having to go into managed isolation or self-isolation when you arrive at your destination. You need to spend 14 full days before your date of departure in either New Zealand or the Cook Islands. See the New Zealand government COVID-19 website for details. You must hold a visa or NZeTA to travel from the Cook Islands to New Zealand, please see INZ for criteria information.
All travellers to New Zealand (except those coming from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands) will be required to have confirmation of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result in the 72 hours prior to departure.
For more information please visit the New Zealand government COVID-19 website.
Reasons you can travel to New Zealand: You may be able to travel to New Zealand while the border is closed if you are considered to have a critical purpose to travel. Please see the INZ website for criteria. The website also includes information on how to submit a request for travel to New Zealand.
For more information on COVID-19 in New Zealand visit the government COVID-19 website.
Anyone entering New Zealand (except from within a quarantine-free travel bubble, currently arranged with Australia and the Cook Islands) needs to undergo quarantine or managed isolation in an approved facility for a minimum of 14 days. Arrivals must then test negative for COVID-19 before entering the community.
From 19 April 2021 travellers who have been in Australia for 14 days can travel by air to New Zealand without having to enter a managed isolation facility. Please see the New Zealand government COVID-19 website for details.
Anyone travelling to New Zealand (except travel from within a quarantine-free travel bubble) will be required to have a COVID-19 test on ‘day zero’, i.e. within 24 hours of arrival in a managed isolation and quarantine facility. Arrivals must remain in their managed isolation or quarantine facility room until the results of the test is known. You will then undergo further testing on Day 3 and Day 12 as required for all arrivals, in line with New Zealand’s policy on isolation and quarantine.
Travellers to New Zealand will need to register on the Managed Isolation Allocation System as the first step to securing their place in a managed isolation facility. Before you book your flights, you need to register for a voucher for managed isolation. Your voucher allocates you a place in a managed isolation facility. For more information see ‘Secure your place in managed isolation’.
Provision of a voucher for managed isolation does not guarantee entry into New Zealand. You must first ensure you qualify to enter the country under New Zealand’s border restrictions. You can apply for your MIQ voucher in advance. Space in managed isolation is limited and the New Zealand government is asking prospective travellers to regularly check the Managed Isolation Allocation System website for preferred dates. There are a few exceptional circumstances in which people can apply for an exemption from managed isolation. Visit the New Zealand Ministry of Health website for more information.
There are a few exceptional circumstances in which people can apply for an exemption from managed isolation. Visit the New Zealand Ministry of Health website for more information.
You will be liable for a managed isolation charge if you’re currently overseas and return to NZ for a period of less than 90 days; or you leave NZ after the regulations came into effect (12:01am on 11 August 2020) and return at a later date.
Transit via New Zealand
From 20 June 2020, transit visa waiver and visa waiver nationalities, people transiting to or from Australia and people departing a Pacific country or territory to return home, do not need a transit visa as long as they have a confirmed flight out of New Zealand within 24 hours to a port which will accept them.
In most cases, transit passengers must hold an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) or transit ETA before travel. These are applied for online. See Information about NZeTA for further detail.
If the passport holder is not from a visa-waiver or transit visa-waiver country or territory, or covered by one of the situations listed above, then they will need to apply for a transit visa. Due to COVID-19, Immigration New Zealand is not currently accepting paper applications for transit visas so have put a temporary process in place for submitting applications by email.
The process for applying for a transit visa via email is available on the Immigration New Zealand website - transits.
If you are staying airside while transiting through New Zealand you do not need to provide a negative COVID-19 pre-departure test (but you may need to be tested as per the requirements of your destination country).
Onward travel to the Cook Islands
Regular entry requirements
You do not need a visa to enter New Zealand as a visitor for up to 6 months, but you will need to get a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) before you travel. The New Zealand government has, however, introduced a temporary border closure at this time.
The NZeTA costs NZD $9 if applying via the dedicated mobile app, or NZD $12 if completed online. You will also need to pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) of NZD $35 when you apply. Once issued, the NZeTA is valid for up to two years. The New Zealand immigration authorities recommend that applicants allow up to 72 hours for processing.
On arrival in New Zealand, you will also need to satisfy the Immigration Officer that you meet the criteria for visa-free entry, which includes having an onward ticket and sufficient funds to support you during your stay. You can check the full criteria on the New Zealand Immigration website. The New Zealand government has though introduced a temporary border closure at this time.
New Zealand’s immigration rules are strict, particularly regarding employment. Visitors cannot work in New Zealand.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of three months from the date of exit from New Zealand.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are valid for entry into New Zealand when accompanied by a permanent residence, work or study visa. ETDs are accepted for holidaymakers as long as New Zealand is not the final destination. ETDs are also accepted for airside transit and exit from New Zealand.
Quarantine and bio security
New Zealand has very strict bio-security regulations. It is illegal to import most foodstuffs (meat and meat products, honey, fruit, dairy produce) and strict penalties are handed out to those breaking these rules. Take care when importing wood products, golf clubs, footwear, tents, fishing equipment and items made from animal skin. The immigration arrivals card has full details. If in doubt, declare items to a Ministry of Agriculture official or dump them in one of the bins available at the airport. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in a heavy fine of up to $100,000 or imprisonment.
There are some restrictions on bringing medication into New Zealand. Visit the New Zealand Customs website for more information. If you arrive in New Zealand with any prescription medicines, you must declare it on your passenger arrival card.
From 5 November all codeine-containing products will be classified as prescription only medication (a controlled drug). Codeine is found in many pain relieving medications. You can import controlled drugs for personal use, subject to declaring them on arrival into New Zealand to the Customs Service and demonstrating they have been lawfully supplied for the treatment of yourself or someone under your care. More details on these requirements can be found on the New Zealand Customs website