August 6, 2020

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New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority Improves Border Security

NZeTA Border Security
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The New Zealand Government has improved border security with the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA), which helps them screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand.

According to a recent press release, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway shared that more than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since the system was launched and went live in early August.

This is a significant milestone in keeping the borders secure with the NZeTA.

Observations and Results

There is excellent awareness and compliance among travellers after Immigration New Zealand successfully ensured all key players were well informed and prepared for the introduction of the electronic travel authority.

While there are always hiccups for a small number of people, over 99% of applications have been processed automatically within 10 minutes.

The Minister detailed that there were 196 individuals who had their NZeTA refused.

This merely demonstrates how the NZeTA is already helping to improve border security and bring border control into line with international best practice.

Travellers are encouraged to apply for the NZeTA using the official government website or mobile app, instead of using unauthorised third-party sites in order to avoid any disappointment.

Background of the Initiative

The NZeTA became mandatory for visitors from visa waiver countries from 1 October 2019 and costs NZ$ 9 via the mobile app and NZ$ 12 through the website.

At the same time that a visitor requests their NZeTA, they are charged the new NZ$ 35.00 International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL).

More than NZ$ 27 million have been collected through the IVL to go towards sustainable tourism and conservation projects.

More information on the NZeTA, as well as the web form to request an NZeTA, can be found here.

OpenGov Asia earlier reported on NZ Parliament passes legislation for smart border system.

The New Zealand Parliament has recently passed the legislation that enables the collection of the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) from 1 July 2019.

Moreover, it will enable the digital processing of the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA), which will be mandatory from 1 October 2019.

The legislation extends Immigration New Zealand’s automated decision-making to include the NZeTA, creating a speedy and efficient service.

Around 1.5 million visitors come to New Zealand each year from 60 visa waiver countries. The NZeTA will provide more information about those travellers before they arrive in the country.

NZeTA has two major functions. These are:

  1. Improve the way travellers are assessed before they arrive in New Zealand
  2. Help reduce the time needed for border clearance and strengthen border security

Requesting an NZeTA should be done well in advance of the trip to NZ as it can take up to 72 hours to approve it.

The NZeTA and IVL are valid for multiple visits and up to 2 years.

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