Short Stays in the Schengen Area (less than 3 months)

Generally, foreign citizens must apply for a Schengen short-stay visa, which enables them to travel freely throughout the Schengen Area for a maximum period of 90 days in any 180-day period (with multiple entries and exits). However, New Zealand is one of a list of third-countries (outside the European Union, the European Economic Area and the Schengen Zone) who do NOT require a visa to visit the Schengen States, for less than 90 days within a 180-day period. The following webpage of the European Commission provides an explanation on the calculation of the duration of stays in order to comply with this rule:

In principle, New Zealanders benefit from the short-stay visa waiver, as long as they (a) do not intend to work; (b) hold a passport valid for at least 3 months after date of return; and (c) have a return ticket. Border officials in EU countries may ask for other supporting documents such as an invitation letter, proof of lodging, return or round-trip ticket. For the precise requirements contact the local consular services of the EU country in question.

Therefore, New Zealand passport holders can freely travel in this period to countries in the Schengen Area: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Spain and Sweden.

On top of the overall Schengen visa waiver, New Zealand concluded bilateral visa waiver agreements with many of the individual countries in the Schengen area before the Schengen Agreement came into force. The countries with which New Zealand has bilateral visa waiver agreements are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The Schengen Convention provides for a Schengen State the possibility to "extend" a visa-free stay beyond 3 months in its territory for the nationals of the third country concerned in accordance with such an existing bilateral agreement. Thus, for example New Zealanders could stay in such Member States for the period provided by the bilateral visa waiver agreement in force between the two countries (generally three months), on top of the general 90 days stay in the Schengen area. However, it is to be noted that the Schengen Convention only provides the POSSIBILITY for the Member States to apply their "old" bilateral agreements for such extension, but this is not an obligation. Therefore, in case you intend to circulate longer than 90 days (in any 180-day period) in the Schengen area, it is recommended to contact the consulates of the Member States to be visited for further information regarding the applicability of such agreements. For more information about bilateral visa waiver agreements, please see:

If, however, you move to other countries in the Schengen area apart from the above mentioned list, the restriction of no more than 90 days in any 180-day period in the Schengen area as a whole will surely apply. If you have already spent 90 days in one or more of the above countries and then enter a Schengen country with whom New Zealand has not signed a bilateral visa waiver agreement, you may be challenged by local police or other authorities. It is possible that you might be accused of being an overstayer when you leave the Schengen area.

New Zealand nationals are advised to ensure that their passport is stamped on entry and exit at the external borders of the Schengen area. It is important to have evidence of the date of entry into the Schengen area for any subsequent dealings with local police or other authorities. It is also advisable to retain some informal evidence of time spent in particular Schengen countries (e.g. accommodation receipts, ATM slips).

It is highly recommended that you consult the Schengen country consular offices of your destination, in order to confirm this information and/or make your visa application (in case if you intend to reside, i.e. stay longer than 90 days in one Member State). The Schengen countries with consular offices in New Zealand are:

CountryWebsite / EmailAddressOpening Hours

Embassy of France

34-42 Manners Street,

12th floor of Sovereign House,

Wellington 6011

9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Monday-Friday

Embassy of Germany

90-92 Hobson Street,


Wellington 6011

8 a.m. - 12 p.m., Monday-Friday

Level 11, Petherick Tower,

38-42 Waring Taylor Street,

Wellington 6011

11 a.m. - 1 p.m., Monday-Friday

Embassy of Italy

34-38 Grant Road,


Wellington 6011

9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Monday-Friday

3 p.m. - 4.45 p.m., Wednesday

The Netherlands

Embassy of the Netherlands

10th Floor, Investment House (PSIS House),

Corner Ballance and Featherston Streets,

Wellington 6011

10 a.m. - 12.30 p.m., Monday-Thursday

Embassy of Poland

Level 9, City Chambers,

142-144 Featherston Street,

Wellington 6011

10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Tuesday-Friday

Embassy of Spain

Level 11, BNZ Trust House Bldg,

50 Manners Street,

Wellington 6011

9 a.m. - 5.30 p.m., Monday-Friday

Embassy of Switzerland

Level 12, Maritime Tower,

10 Customhouse Quay,

Wellington 6011

8.30 a.m. - 12 p.m., Monday-Friday

For more information, helpful tips and a map of Europe, see Travelling in Europe.