At the moment, New Zealand passport holders who wish to travel to Europe may visit and circulate within all Schengen Area countries without being required to apply for a European visa. NZ citizens are allowed entry for short-term stays in all member states by just showing their valid passport to immigration authorities upon their arrival. This is due to the fact that the island country is part of the European Visa-Exempt Program.
However, from the year 2021 onward, citizens of New Zealand who want to travel to Europe will be required to apply online for an ETIAS visa waiver. ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) will be introduced in an effort to increase security and strengthen border control in the Schengen zone in order to protect the safety of Europeans and visitors alike.
ETIAS permits Australians to travel to all 26 Schengen member states from 2021:
Europe Visa Waiver Requirements for New Zealand citizens
Up until 2021, citizens traveling to Europe from New Zealand for stays of up to 90 days do not need a visa. Presenting the NZ passport at any Schengen member state border will suffice in order to be granted entry into the European Union for tourism and leisure purposes.
However, this will change in 2021, when ETIAS is expected to have been fully implemented. From that year onwards, an EU visa waiver for New Zealander nationals will become a mandatory requirement for all NZ citizens visiting Europe. Therefore, all travelers from the island country visiting any Schengen Area country or state will not only have to show their valid passport at the border, but they will also be required to have an approved ETIAS visa waiver associated with their passport in order to enter Europe.
From 2021, New Zealand citizens traveling to Europe will have to register online prior to their departure in order to obtain the travel authorization required for visiting the Schengen Area.
The ETIAS visa waiver for New Zealanders will be available through an easy-to-use online application system. The requirements for an ETIAS visa-waiver application are simple and straightforward:
- A valid New Zealand passport that is machine-readable, with at least 3 months remaining beyond the intended date of departure
- A debit or credit card to pay the ETIAS fee
- A current email address, needed to receive the approved ETIAS visa waiver
These are the basic ETIAS requirements for New Zealand citizens who wish to visit any of the Schengen member states. The Schengen Area is comprised of 26 European countries that agreed to form one entity for the purposes of integrating passport and border control.
The Schengen Zone includes EU member countries, such as Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. It also includes 4 countries that are not EU members: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, plus the microstates of Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City.
The new ETIAS electronic travel authorization will grant New Zealanders entry into any and all of the countries mentioned above, as well as the freedom to travel between them. The European visa waiver allows travelers to spend up to 90 days within any 180-day period within the territory. It is a multiple entry travel document, which means that as long as a citizen does not go beyond the allotted 90 days within a 180-day period, they are allowed to enter and exit all member states as many times as they deem fit.
New Zealand passport holders are advised to take into account that the United Kingdom and Ireland are not part of the Schengen Area. Since these countries have chosen not to take part in ETIAS, visiting both nations will not require a Eurpoean visa waiver travel authorization.
What's more, other EU countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus are expected to eventually join the Schengen Area, and therefore, NZ visitors intending to travel to either of these will likely require an ETIAS as well.
Please make sure to visit this website regularly for updates regarding ETIAS and how it will affect New Zealanders traveling to European countries. Other information, such as required documents for New Zealanders requesting an ETIAS, and countries to which citizens will be granted entry when traveling with this electronic travel authorization, shall also be updated as soon as possible.
When traveling in Europe New Zealanders should make sure to apply for an ETIAS travel authorization at least 72 hours prior to their intended date of departure in order to allow sufficient processing and screening time.
EU Visa Waiver for New Zealand citizens Application
The ETIAS visa waiver will be a legal requirement for New Zealanders entering the Schengen zone, as of 2021. The visa waiver can be obtained online by accessing the ETIAS application form using an individual’s smartphone, tablet or desktop computer and completing the easy-to-follow online process.
New Zealanders applying for an ETIAS will need to provide some basic personal information such as the following:
- Full name
- Date and place of birth
- Street address
- Contact phone number
- Accurate passport details such as country of issuance, issuance date, expiration date and passport number
Citizens of NZ completing the online ETIAS application will also be asked to disclose some of the following details:
- Criminal records
- Employment history
- Drug use
- Ties with human trafficking
- Prior travel to conflict areas or history of deportation from any EU member states
- Past European travel information
The application process for ETIAS is simple and straightforward and the form should take NZ citizens no more than 10 minutes to complete.
Applicants are advised to carefully review all the information prior to submitting their European visa waiver application in order to make sure that there are no typing errors or inconsistencies in their data. This is to ensure that their ETIAS request can be processed smoothly since any mistakes may delay the process.
The last step of the ETIAS travel authorization application process is payment, which is made using a credit or debit card. Once the application is submitted, it will be cross-checked against European border security and criminal databases.
The information submitted within the ETIAS application system allows European immigration authorities to pre-screen all citizens intending to visit the Schengen Zone. This step serves the purpose of confirming their status before granting them entry or allowing them to board a flight that lands on Schengen soil. ETIAS checks are also performed with the intention to identify any potential threats and improve security measures for the safety of residents and visitors alike.
All of the data provided on the Europe visa waiver application is checked against multiple security databases managed by the European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, otherwise known as eu-LISA.
Some of the security databases used for screening include:
- VIS, a database that compiles visa information
- SIS, a shared European database used to identify individuals that are suspected to have a criminal background, as well as missing people, and stolen assets
- EURODAC, a database that compiles fingerprint info
All of the security measures and processes that comprise ETIAS are being put in place with the objective of identifying citizens that enter the Schengen Area illegally or commit identity theft and other types of fraud.
Therefore, if an NZ citizen’s application raises any red flags during its automated screening against security databases, the individual’s form will have to undergo manual processing by staff of the ETIAS.
In the event that manual assessment by the European Coast or Border Guard is required for an ETIAS application, this will inevitably result in longer processing and delivery time.
An ETIAS visa waiver for NZ passport holders is likely to be denied if the citizen has been involved in serious criminal activity.
Traveling from New Zealand to Europe with ETIAS
Once the travel authorization has been approved, the ETIAS will be sent to the applicant’s email in PDF format. No physical documents will be sent to applicants, since their passport will be digitally associated and reflect their status as ETIAS holders to immigration officials.
The ETIAS visa waiver for New Zealanders is valid for a total of 3 years from the date of approval and allows unlimited entries into the Schengen zone. The EU visa waiver is electronically linked to a citizen’s passport, specifically to the passport that was used in the application process.
This means that travelers with dual citizenships must make sure to travel on the same passport number the user typed in when completing the ETIAS online application form. Similarly, ETIAS cannot be transferred to a different passport. Therefore, in the event that a traveler’s passport expires before the ETIAS 3-year validity period is finalized, the electronic travel authorization shall be rendered null on the passport’s expiration date.
Since ETIAS will be obligatory for New Zealanders, citizens will have to apply for a new ETIAS if their visa waiver, or their passport expires.
ETIAS for New Zealanders - FAQ
Do New Zealand citizens need a visa for Europe?
NO. Currently, New Zealand nationals are allowed visa-free entry into the European Union. When ETIAS is fully operational in 2021, NZ passport holders will continue to be allowed into the EU without a visa, however, they will have to register online for an ETIAS prior to their travels.
How long can a New Zealander stay in Europe?
NZ passport holders are granted a 90-day stay within a 180 days into the Schengen Area without a visa. For these purposes, the 180-day period begins on the first day that a traveler enters a member country. The 90 days are counted by adding the total number of days a visitor spends within the Schengen Area starting from the first day they entered. This includes an unlimited number of entries into and exits from member nations.
Can I work in Europe with a New Zealand passport?
Yes, New Zealanders can work in Europe without having to apply for a work visa beforehand. However, upon their arrival to the country where they will be working, NZ passport holders are required to apply for their local residence and work permit.
Can New Zealand citizens study in Europe with an ETIAS visa waiver?
New Zealanders traveling to the Schengen Area with an ETIAS may take part in events such as a congress or brief workshop. However, the ETIAS visa waiver terms clearly state that the holder is only allowed to visit the Schengen area for travel, transit or business purposes.
NZ passport holders who wish to study for an Undergraduate degree or Master’s degree program in any Schengen area member country are required to hold an appropriate study visa or residence visa, depending on which country they wish to study in.