Will New Zealand citizens need a visa for Europe?
No, citizens of New Zealand will not need a visa to visit Europe for up to 90 days for tourism or business.
However, passport holders from New Zealand will soon need to register with ETIAS before travelling to a European destination. The European Travel Information and Authorisation System is to be launched at the end of 2022 and will be a mandatory entry requirement for tourists from New Zealand.
ETIAS is not a visa: New Zealand nationals will still be able to cross an external EU border without applying for a visa provided the stay does not exceed 90 days per 180-day period and is for the purposes of tourism, business, or transit.
Nevertheless, with the upcoming introduction of ETIAS, New Zealand citizens need to be prepared for the changes to the visa-free policy and understand the steps they will soon need to take to enter the Schengen Area.
ETIAS for New Zealand citizens
ETIAS is a visa waiver programme designed to boost safety and security across the EU. It will allow European authorities to check whether citizens of New Zealand and other non-EU nations are eligible to enter the Schengen Area.
Upon approval of the ETIAS and entry into the Schengen Area, travellers from New Zealand will be able to enjoy unrestricted movement within the border-free region. ETIAS will be valid for stays of up to 90 days in a 180-day period.
New Zealand citizens do not need to reapply for ETIAS each time they enter Europe, multiple trips can be made using the same permit provided the 90-day limit is not exceeded. The permit is valid for 3 years, or until the passport expires.
The ETIAS waiver application process will be completed entirely online. This means that New Zealand passport holders will not have to visit a consulate or embassy and will be able to apply for entry into the Schengen Area from anywhere in the world, not even needing to be in their own country.
ETIAS requirements for New Zealand citizens
New Zealand citizens who meet all the ETIAS requirements are eligible to apply for the visa waiver for entry to Europe. Applicants need to have the following documents and information available:
- A valid passport either from New Zealand or another ETIAS approved country.
- A credit or debit card, which will be used to pay the ETIAS application fee
- An active email address to which all notifications and correspondence will be sent
It is important to remember that each traveller must complete the ETIAS application form accurately and truthfully or run the risk of having their application delayed or denied.
The ETIAS application process for New Zealand citizens
New Zealand passport holders will be able to register for ETIAS online by completing the online form, paying the visa waiver processing fee, and submitting the request for review.
The following information is required to successfully complete the ETIAS application form:
- Personal information including the traveller’s full name, date of birth, place of birth, and gender.
- Contact details including current residence, email address, and phone number.
- Passport details including the passport number and country of issue, the date of issue, and the date of expiration.
- Travel plans regarding which country they will enter first
In addition to the information mentioned above, travellers may also be required to provide answers to some health and security-related questions.
If the ETIAS application is accepted, the applicant will receive an email notification and the permit is linked to the passport electronically.
The ETIAS is verified when the passport is scanned at the border, the final decision on whether to allow a foreigner to enter the Schengen Area lies with officials.
Can ETIAS visa waiver for New Zealand citizens be denied?
While European authorities anticipate an acceptance rate of around 95%, the possibility remains of a denied application. In the event of a denial, an explanation for the rejection will be sent via email, and the traveller will have the right to appeal the decision.
Appeals and final decisions will be made directly to the individual Schengen member country that the applicant stated they intended to enter first. The appeals will be managed according to the laws of that country.
Why the need for ETIAS?
The European Commission believes that ETIAS will make for a far more efficient and secure Europe. ETIAS will improve border security without the introduction of new visa requirements for New Zealand citizens.
International security databases such as the Schengen Information System (SIS) and Visa Information System (VIS) will be used to verify visa-exempt travellers do not pose a risk to the public.
Authorities believe that the ETIAS will make Europe safer, not just for its citizens, but for those who wish to visit the continent as well.