There are fifty countries which are exempt from Canadian visa requirements, including New Zealand. This means New Zealand citizens do not need a visa to visit Canada.
As an alternative to a visa, New Zealand nationals can apply for an electronic travel authorization, or eTA.
The eTA was introduced in 2015 by Canadian immigration to make it easier to screen foreign visitors to Canada before they enter the country.
The system has allowed border officials to efficiently assess travelers to the country and cut down on the number of repeat visitors who need paperwork. As a result, queues at customs have been reduced and waiting times for applications are much shorter.
Canada Entry and Transit Requirements for New Zealanders
Travelers must enter Canada by air in order to be eligible for the Canada electronic travel authorization. Applicants who intend to arrive via land or sea will still need to produce identification and travel documents at the border, but do not need an eTA.
The eTA for New Zealand citizens is intended for visitors who are traveling to Canada for the purposes of:
- Tourism, especially short tourist stays
- Business trips
- Transiting through Canada to their onward destination
- Medical treatment or consultation
Any foreign citizen transiting through a Canadian airport needs a transit visa to enter and leave the country. However, this rule does not apply to New Zealand nationals in possession of the eTA, which can be used in place of the transit visa.
New Zealanders visiting Canada using the eTA do not have the right to live or work in Canada, although the work permit can be applied for at the same time as the eTA with no additional fee.
All travelers must have an electronic passport that is machine-readable, as the eTA system is entirely electronic. All passports currently issued in New Zealand are machine-readable, but applicants can check with the issuing passport office if they are concerned about the validity of their documents.
Canadian eTA for New Zealand Citizens
There is a simple online application form for New Zealanders visiting Canada to complete which requires some basic personal details, including:
- Passport details, including passport number
- Passport issue date and expiry date
There are also several health and security-related questions, which must be answered, and applicants will need to pay the eTA fee before they submit the application.
The eTA for New Zealand citizens should be applied for at least 72 hours before travel, to allow for processing time and in case there are any errors in the application.
The application form for the Canada travel authorization is available on desktop, tablet or mobile devices, and once approved the authorization is delivered safely and electronically to the applicant’s email address.
Applicants only need to show their passport at the airport on arrival and there is no need for paper copies of any documents. Once the eTA for New Zealand citizens has been approved, it is electronically linked to the applicant’s passport and valid for a period of five years.
eTA Application Form Online from New Zealand
There are several requirements necessary in order to apply for the Canada eTA. All applicants must have:
- A New Zealand passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of travel
- A valid credit or debit card to pay the fee
- A current email address
It is important that dual passport holders apply for the eTA for New Zealand citizens using the same passport that they will use to travel since the authorization documents are electronically linked to that passport number.
It is necessary to be a New Zealand citizen in order to apply for the Canada eTA. Temporary residents of New Zealand, refugees or others who are not full New Zealand nationals will need to apply for a Canadian visa unless they hold a passport from a country which is visa-exempt.
Applicants must be over 18 at the time of application. If a minor is traveling they will need an adult to apply on their behalf, usually a parent or guardian. New Zealanders visiting Canada with their children will also need to provide some basic personal information as their guardian or representative.
Applicants are permitted to enter Canada multiple times within the five-year visa duration and can be granted a stay of up to six months for each trip. Border officials will decide on arrival in Canada how long the travel authorization will last and record the date in the traveler’s passport.
Travelers must not stay in Canada beyond the date specified in their passport. New Zealand nationals who would like to extend their stay in Canada can apply to stay longer, provided they do so at least 30 days before the date in their passport.