The New Zealand government has announced that as of 21 November, 2016, South African citizens will need to obtain a Visitor Visa before travelling to that country. In the past, genuine visitors have been granted a visitor’s visa on arrival, but an increase in the number of South Africans who have been denied entry into the country has led to the creation of the new visa rule. The New Zealand government has stated that “there have been in incidents of passengers who have been found holding counterfeit or fraudulently obtained South African passports.”
“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,” said Immigration New Zealand (INZ) General Manager, Peter Elms. The new visa rule puts New Zealand on par with Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America in terms of visa requirements for South Africans.
It is recommended that applicants apply for their Visitor Visa about six weeks in advance of their intended date of travel. Those who have already booked their flight and will arrive in New Zealand on or after 21 November should visit the country’s Immigration website for more information on how to apply for a visa.
Famous as the picturesque setting for The Lord of the Rings movies, its crisp white and blue alpine landscapes, the Maori culture and urban cities bustling with artistic energy and exploration, New Zealand is a scenic and culturally rich destination.