Because the number of travellers to New Zealand has increased sharply over the past few years, the New Zealand government implemented a tourist tax in 2019. In this article, you can read what the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) entails and if this tax is included in the price for applying for your New Zealand visa.
What exactly does this tourist tax entail?
The many visa applications that the New Zealand immigration service had to process in the last few years made the New Zealand government decide to introduce a tourist tax on 1 October 2019: the IVL. This tourist tax costs 35 NZD and has to be paid by all travellers from countries that are part of the New Zealand Visa Waiver Program, including British and Irish travellers.
The International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) should basically be seen as an investment in the country itself. For example, the IVL contributes to investments to protect nature and improve infrastructure. In addition, the IVL is used to finance sustainability projects concerning tourist attractions that travellers themselves also use during their stay in New Zealand. Long-term sustainable and targeted tourism investment in New Zealand can be achieved by protecting biodiversity and scrutinising how tourism infrastructure is funded.
Who is required to pay the IVL?
All travellers who are part of the New Zealand Visa Waiver Program and travel with an NZeTA have to meet both the requirements of the NZeTA and the payment requirement of the IVL. By the way, this does not only apply to travellers with an NZeTA. Paying the tourist tax is also required when applying for a number of student visas and visas for short term labour. There are only a few exceptions for applicants with a certain nationality who do not have to pay the IVL. The New Zealand government determines whether travellers must pay the IVL when applying for an NZeTA or another New Zealand visa based on their nationality.
Travellers belonging to one of the following categories are exempt from the IVL payment requirement:
- Citizens and residents of New Zealand (including residents with temporary residence documents).
- Citizens and permanent residents of Australia.
- Travellers originating from the following Pacific Islands: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Niue, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
- Travellers on diplomatic, military, medical or humanitarian visas.
- Travellers travelling to Antarctica solely for the purpose of the Arctic Treaty. This includes those who have an Antarctic transit visa.
- Seasonal workers with a temporary work visa.
- Travellers on business visas (including APEC business visas).
- Crew members of ships and aircraft employed by a sea or airline company.
- Holders of guarantor visas (such as partners and children), as well as student and work visa holders.
- Travellers who are not required to have a visa or NZeTA by New Zealand Immigration
IVl included in cost of the NZeTA
The NZeTA and the IVL are two completely separate things, but they are connected to each other. For example, travellers from countries participating in the New Zealand Visa Waiver Program are required to apply for an NZeTA and pay the tourist tax before departure. An application for an NZeTA can easily be submitted online. Residents of Australia and New Zealand and travellers holding another New Zealand visa do not need to apply for an NZeTA.
The total costs of the New Zealand visa are £64.95. These costs include consular costs, service costs and tourist tax. When applying for your NZeTA through e-Visa.co.uk, the costs for the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) is included. The IVL remains valid during the two-year validity period of your NZeTA. By submitting your visa application through e-Visa.co.uk you pay all the costs at once. After completing your visa application, no additional costs will be charged.
You only pay more for your visa application if you are leaving for New Zealand within a very short time and want your application to be processed urgently. In that case, you will in fact pay an additional urgent surcharge of £17.50 per person on top of the normal visa price.