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How to Apply for a New Zealand Visitor Visa (2024)

Are you planning a trip to New Zealand and wondering how to apply for a New Zealand visitor visa? In this post, I’m sharing my personal experience with the New Zealand visitor visa application process. From the required documents to the online application, I’ve got you covered!

What are the requirements for a New Zealand Visitor Visa?

The requirements may vary depending on the type of visitor visa you are applying for. Generally, you will need to provide your passport, proof of funds, travel itinerary, and evidence of your ties to your home country.

Here are the requirements I submitted for my New Zealand Visitor Visa application:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Current and old passports, showing my travel experience 
  • Certificate of Employment
  • No Objection Letter – This is a letter signed by my Manager showing approved leaves as well as the date I am expected to return to work.
  • Income Tax Return, Bank Statements (3 months) and Bank Certificate as proof of my income 
  • Retirement Savings Account as supporting financial document
  • Travel History 
  • Flight Itinerary
  • Hotel reservations 
  • Trip itinerary
  • Passport
  • Cover Letter

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Apply for a New Zealand Visitor Visa

Step 1 – Know your visa type

Before starting the application, determine which type of visitor visa you need. New Zealand offers several types of visitor visas depending on the purpose and duration of your stay. Some of the most common visitor visas are the General Visitor Visa (tourist or family visit), Business Visitor Visa, Group Visitor Visa, and the Academic Visitor Visa. You can find more information on the types of visitor visas available on the New Zealand Immigration website.

In my case, I applied for a General Visitor Visa because the purpose of my visit is for tourism only. This visa allows you to come to New Zealand as a visitor for a holiday or vacation. You can also study for up to three months or attend a job interview.

Step 2 – Create a RealMe account

To apply for a New Zealand Visitor Visa, you will need to create a RealMe account. This is a secure online service that allows you to access and use multiple government services, including visa applications.

Step 3 – Complete your online application and Upload Requirements

Once you have a RealMe account, you can start your online application for a New Zealand visitor visa. Make sure to fill out the application accurately and completely. If you need assistance with the application, you can contact the New Zealand Immigration Contact Centre.

Step 4 – Choose a Visa Application Centre and make an appointment

After completing the online application, you will need to choose a Visa Application Centre (VAC) where you will submit your passport. When I finished my application online, I received a confirmation email the next day. I printed this, as it was required to be submitted along with my passport to VFS.

Step 5 – Pay the application fee online

The application fee varies depending on the type of visa you are applying for. To apply for a New Zealand Visitor Visa, you must pay the application fee of NZD $246 at the time of submission. Moreover, every individual visiting New Zealand must pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) of NZD $35, which is included in the total cost.

Good news!!! If you are traveling to New Zealand for less than 60 days, then you are exempt from paying the application fee. When I applied, I only paid around 1,000 pesos for the IVL and the VFS Global service fee.

Step 6 – Submit your passport to the Visa Application Centre

Immigration New Zealand may require some applicants to provide their passport to VFS Global for authentication. If you need to provide your passport, the website’s RealMe account link would have advised you of this when you submitted your online visa application. Since the New Zealand Embassy issues e-visas, the passport will be returned to you at the same time it was scanned.

Step 7 – Wait for the result

After submitting your application, you can track its progress online. You will receive an email notification when a decision has been made on your application.

New Zealand Visitor Visa FAQs

How much bank balance is required for New Zealand tourist visa?

There is no specific amount required for a New Zealand visitor visa. However, you will need to show proof of sufficient funds to cover your travel expenses and support yourself during your stay in New Zealand. The amount required may vary depending on the length of your stay and your travel plans.

Is New Zealand visa easy to get?

In my experience, the New Zealand visitor visa was easy to get. Generally, the ease of obtaining a visa will depend on several factors, such as your nationality, purpose of visit, and whether you meet the eligibility criteria. Your visa approval chances are good if you provide all the required documentation and meet the eligibility requirements.

How long will NZ visa processing take?

Immigration New Zealand processes the visitor visa application within a timeframe that depends on various factors, such as visa type, application volume, and country of origin. To ensure enough processing time, it is advisable to submit your application well in advance of your travel date (~2 months).

As of April 2023, The average processing time for a New Zealand Visitor Visa application is 11 business days. In my experience, two months before the pandemic, the processing took 2 months. During that time, I was unaware that COVID-19 was spreading rapidly in China, where New Zealand visas are processed.

How much is New Zealand visa fee in Philippines?

The fee for a New Zealand visitor visa in the Philippines depends on the type of visa you are applying for, the length of your stay, and the processing time. As of April 2023, the fee for a standard visitor visa ranges from PHP 6,200 to PHP 9,100.

Is there an interview for New Zealand tourist visa?

During the New Zealand visitor visa application process, applicants may be required to attend an interview in certain cases. However, it is not always mandatory, as most applications are evaluated based on the submitted documents.

Is New Zealand visa free to Philippines?

All Philippine passport holders must apply for a visitor visa prior to traveling to New Zealand and must pay the visa fee at the time of application.

As you can see, the process of applying for a New Zealand visitor visa is easy. I hope that this visa application guide can help you prepare your documents and requirements better. Please feel free to let me know how your application goes. Good luck!

By Project Gora

Hey there! My name is Milet Miranda, and I'm a full-time corporate employee during weekdays and a traveler during weekends (and holidays...you get the picture). I'm a foodie at heart and I love joining food tours. When I'm not traveling, you'll find me walking my dogs or biking around my neighborhood.

19 replies on “How to Apply for a New Zealand Visitor Visa (2024)”

hi po Ms Milet, pabalik po ako nz this year pang 2nd time ko na po galing po ako nz last May-July.. ask ko lang po if same pa din po ba yung requirements sa immigration naten.? kinakabahan na naman po kasi ako

Hello po. Tourist po kayo? Ang alam ko po kasi wala naman nagbago sa requirements. As per DOJ, “regular tourists are not required additional documentation apart from their passports, visas if needed in the country of destination, round trip tickets, boarding passes.”

Hi. Re submission of passport to VFS, will you be able to get your passport same day? Or leave it to VFS until e-VISA is approved (may take 20 days or longer)? Can I apply early even if my intended travel is still 9 months ahead? Thank you.

Hello Wends. In my experience, I did get my passport as soon as I was done with the biometric in VFS. Re. How far in advance can you apply? According to VFS, the embassy doesn’t set a requirement for the number of days in advance for visa applications. For me, I submitted the application 3 months prior my intended travel date.

No. According to the NZ Immigration website, If you will stay in New Zealand for less than 6 months, you normally do not need to get a chest x-ray unless you are applying for a Recognised Seasonal Employer limited visa, or they ask you to.

Hi Milet,
Thank you for this guide. I’m currently in the process of creating a cover letter for NZ. May I please know where you addressed yours and will you be willing to share a redacted copy?

Hello Leah. I address the cover letter to the following:

The Honorable Consul
Embassy of New Zealand
35th Floor Zuellig Building
Makati Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas, Makati City 1225
Philippines

There’s a sample cover letter in my website for UK Visa application. It’s basically the same format and content with the cover letter I sent to NZ Embassy. Take a look and see if it helps.

Hello,
I am planning to apply my General visitor’s visa. My country of origin Is Philippines.
Processing time?
Money in the bank? How much for visa approval!

Hello Judith. All your questions were answered in this post. Kindly read the entire article.

Hey there! I know this is kind of off-topic, but I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My blog goes over a lot of the same topics as yours, and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other. If you happen to be interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Great blog by the way!

Hi! Does a Ph passport holder apply a separate NZ visa if one wishes to visit shortly NZ from Australia?

do you need a confirmed ticket during the application? or the proof of sufficient funds maybe used as alternative?

Hello Mildred. As far as I know, confirmed ticket is not required. I submitted mine because I already booked my flights in advanced.

Hi there, does NZ issue visitor eVisas to Filipinos? I’m a little confused with the process cause others are saying you will just get an eVisa via email (similar to Australia) while others still need to go to VFS.

Hey Chris. NZ issues eVisas to Filipinos, same as AU. When I applied in 2020, I was asked to submit my passport to VFS Global for scanning. I got my passport as soon as they scanned it. I have a friend who recently applied (April 2023) and he wasn’t advised to submit passport to VFS. I think NZ has simplified the process since they opened their borders 🙂

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