Transit Visas required for more countries

  • Lianne Dalziel

International travellers from countries which do not have visa-free status with New Zealand will be required to have a transit visa for New Zealand under new immigration provisions to take effect from 29 April 2002.

The new transit visa requirements are part of the government’s anti-terrorism package announced earlier this year, Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel said today.

Nationals from 75 countries are already required to have transit visas. About 500 transit visas are issued annually. An estimated 75 countries will be added to the list as a result of today’s announcement.

People from countries that do not have visa-free status, but whose destination is Australia and who hold a current Australian visa, will not require a transit visa. People holding other New Zealand visas will also not require a transit visa.

“The government has made the transit visa policy consistent with its visitor visa policy for non-visa-free countries,” Lianne Dalziel said.

“We consider it sensible that our transit visa policy should extend to all countries that do not have visa-free status. This extension will further ensure that the stated intention of people from those countries, who pass through New Zealand on their way to other destinations, is genuine.

“We are not requiring people whose destination is Australia and who hold an Australian visa to incur the additional cost of an New Zealand transit visa because the Australian government has already assessed them to be low risk to bona fides,” Lianne Dalziel said.

New Zealand currently has visa-waivers with 53 countries. A list of those countries whose nationals will not require transit visas is attached.

Transit visas applications will cost NZ$90 if obtained in New Zealand, Australia or the Pacific, or $NZ120 if obtained in London or the Hague or $NZ160 from any other country.

The new regulations are valid for three years.