The Schengen Area contains some of the most-visited countries in the world, from the sunny beaches and pristine seas of Italy and Greece to the culturally rich Germany and Austria and the pristine Norway and Sweden. Until the end of 2022, New Zealand citizens are able to visit this area and explore its beauty with minimal fuss and no visa or visa waiver.
After the end of 2022, however, all of that will change. New Zealand citizens, along with residents from dozens of other nations, will need an ETIAS visa waiver before they can visit any of the countries within the Schengen Zone.
ETIAS Visa Waiver for New Zealand Citizens
ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System. Simply put, it is an electronic system that provides travel authorization for anyone wishing to visit the Schengen Area from New Zealand and many other countries.
The purpose of the ETIAS visa waiver is not to generate additional funds or create endless and unnecessary red tape. It is not a strict visa program. Instead, it focuses on manually reviewing all applicants to ensure that individuals with serious criminal histories (drug smuggling, human trafficking, violent crime) are not able to access the region.
Once you have been granted ETIAS travel authorization, you will be allowed to visit the region for up to 90 days within any 180 day period and that authorization applies for the next 3 years, or until your passport expires.
Requirements for New Zealand Citizens
The ETIAS requirements for New Zealand citizens are very basic, as is the case for all applicants.
You will need the following to apply for an ETIAS:
- Valid New Zealand Passport
- Secure internet connection
- Email address
- Credit or debit card
It takes around 10 minutes to complete the ETIAS application and the result is usually provided shortly thereafter. It’s an automated process, but if there is an issue with your application, such as a serious criminal record, it will trigger a manual review and may prolong the process.
Is New Zealand in the Schengen Area?
The Schengen Zone currently spans 26 European nations, with more due to be added in the future. All countries are in Europe and most are in the European Union. In other words, it does not include New Zealand and never will.
Can New Zealand Citizens Travel to the US Without a Visa?
The United States has its own visa waiver program and New Zealanders are required to apply to this program if they wish to visit the United States.
Upon completion and acceptance, the US visa waiver will grant New Zealanders access for up to 90 days and it lasts for 2 years once it has been issued.
Which Countries Can New Zealanders Visit Without a Visa?
According to the Henley Passport Index, New Zealanders have access to one of the 10 best passports in the world, as they are free to visit 187 countries and territories without a visa or with a visa waiver.
It includes most of Europe and the Americas, as well as many parts of Asia. Of the countries where a visa is required, the most notable include China, Nigeria, and Russia.
Citizens of New Zealand have a lot of freedom, but they also live a long way from many of the countries they wish to visit, so that balances things out a little.
The Most Popular New Zealand Tourist Destinations
New Zealanders don’t spend a lot of time in Europe, and so they probably won’t be queuing up to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver.
When they do go on vacation, many New Zealand citizens flock to nearby countries like Fiji, Australia, and the Cook Islands. When they venture a little further away, they tend to visit the United States or the United Kingdom, where the locals speak their language and there are many cultural similarities.