New Zealand visa requirements 101: What Saffas and Kiwis need to know

2017-01-05 07:31 -
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Travel regulations for both South African and New Zealand travellers have changed quite a bit over years.  

New Zealand announced in October 2016 that South African visitors to New Zealand will require a visitor visas from 21 November 2016. 

Shortly after, a 'reciprocity' visa was put in place by South Africa for Kiwi visitors. Since then an e-visa pilot is expected to be launched for New Zealand Visitors in April 2019 - with the DHA yet to confirm full details. 

For South African travellers, the latest development is the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). In effect from July 2019 travellers will be able to request an ETA, and it will become mandatory for travel from 1 October 2019 onwards, according to

It will apply for air travellers from 60 visa waiver countries, and all cruise travellers.  

Unlike a visa, it doesn’t come with hefty fines or long wait periods and will be valid for a standard two years.

Currently South Africans have to fork out a minimum of R1 095 for a visa application. The ETA will cost NZD $9.00 (about R86) for all mobile application requests and NZD $12.00 (about R172) for web browser requests. 

Here are some critical documentation notifications for both South African and New Zealand passport holders: 

Transit Visas 

With the introduction of ETA, South African passport holders are now required to apply for this document when transiting via New Zealand.

New Zealand passport holders transiting through OR Tambo International Airport, Lanseria, Cape Town or King Shaka airports, do not need transit visas, but if transiting through other ports, transit visas are required. 

Where can South Africans apply for New Zealand visas? 

South Africans can apply for their New Zealand visa online through the VFS global site, after which an in-person appointment will be required. 

Applicants in South Africa can schedule an appointment and submit their applications in person at the New Zealand Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Pretoria. 

Turnaround time for visa issuance is between 20 and 25 working days, according to VFS global. They can be contacted on

Where can Kiwis apply for SA visas? 

Until the e-visa pilot details - set for April details - are released, New Zealand passport holders wanting to apply for a South African visa must do so in person at the South African High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand as per the South African Immigration law and regulations.

Turnaround time for visa issuance is between five and seven working days.

New Zealanders living anywhere else in the world (including Australia) that do not have permanent residency in that country, have to go back and apply from the country of origin. The South African High Commission in New Zealand, Wellington, can be contacted via email using the email addresses: or