All South African visitors to New Zealand will have to apply for a visitor visa from the 21st of November this year, due to incidents of counterfeit or fraudulent passports.
Currently, South Africans 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.
The cost of a visitor visa is $165 (NZ) (R1,636) for those who apply before 21 November 2016.
From 21 November 2016 the cost for paper applications increases to $184 (R1,825) while the online cost remains $165 (R1,636), the New Zealand government said in a statement on Monday.
“The government is introducing these changes as a result of an increase in the number of ineligible passengers who do not meet New Zealand entry instructions.
“This is evidenced by an increase in the number of passengers who have been refused permission to board a flight to New Zealand or refused entry at the border in comparison to other visa waiver countries.
“Additionally, there have been incidents of passengers who have been found holding counterfeit or fraudulently obtained South African passports,” it said.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) GM Peter Elms said: “We are committed to creating an immigration system that actively welcomes 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. People who have booked tickets prior to today’s announcement for travel on or after the 21 November should visit the Immigration website to find out how to apply for their visa.”
INZ recommended that applicants apply for a visitor visa about six weeks in advance of their intended travel dates.
It said that all South African nationals passing through New Zealand as a transit passenger will also need to apply for a transit visa before travelling. “With this visa you can stay in the transit area of Auckland International airport for a maximum of 24 hours.”