Arrival Card

Entry requirements for New Zealand

To make sure you will not have any trouble at your arrival in New Zealand you should educate yourself about a few important rules first. Here we will list important facts about the immigration. When you sit in the airplane you will get a "passenger arrival card" to fill out before you enter New Zealand. Take a ballpen with you, some airlines do not provide them.

The first page deals with general questions. The question about the „overseas port where you boarded THIS aircraft/ship“ leads to confusion – you will have to name the airport of your last flight (the airplane you are sitting in in that moment). If you went from Frankfurt to Dubai, Sydney and then Auckland you write down Sydney. As a tourist you will have to answer 2.b on question 2. Depending on your plans it will usually be “holiday/vacation”.

If you turn the card around you find section 3. Here you will be asked to list all the countries you visited (not necessarily the countries of a quick stopover between flights, though). Hopefully you should be able to answer question 4 with “yes”, now you will have to answer section 5 and 6, the tricky parts.

As a country that consists of islands New Zealand has a unique, vulnerable ecosystem. This is why there are strict rules about what you may bring in. Animals can only be brought in under certain quarantine conditions. Also food, plants and plant related products are a problem. For example meat, honey, fruits or wood are forbidden to bring – so if you carry some bananas make sure you eat them before you get on the airplane and make sure there is no more food before you accidentally forget about something and end up having to pay a fine and throw it away. Food that is tightly like cereal bars normally aren’t a big problem, but declare it.

If bringing hiking shoes give them a good cleaning to get rid of all dirt. The staff will be happy to see you bring tidy shoes and give you a smile ;) So basically make sure you know what’s in all your bags’ pockets to prevent getting a fine (e.g. up to 400NZD for undeclared food). The immigration officers operate with well-trained dogs.

Section 7 does not apply for you if you enter the country as a tourist. If you just enter as a tourist, select “visitor visa” in section 8. If you arrive on a “working holiday visa” you do not need to select “work visa” again because your visa is already electronically registered. In this case skip 8 and go to 9 straight away and fill it out. Do not forget to sign underneath that you filled it out properly.

After all that we wish you a great vacation. When leaving the country there will be restrictions on what to take with you as well. Do not take any plants or animals with you. If you want to take souvenirs of Paua shells make sure you do not take too many of them except if you bought them commercially in New Zealand.