Travelling to the EU
* Disclaimer *
The information in this page is for guidance only and does not replace or substitute national legislation. Please contact the diplomatic mission of the country you intend to visit for up to date travel information. If you are subject to special circumstances (e.g. conviction, intending to work, get married, join partner or family for a long stay etc.) or if you have any doubts please contact the relevant diplomatic mission.
The Schengen Area is the representative of the collective of 26 European countries that have mutually decided to eliminate passport and immigration controls at their joint borders. Within the Schengen Area, concurrently, the citizens of these 26 European countries are free to travel in and out of this zone as one single country sharing equal international travel rights. The citizens of the Schengen zone countries cherish the right to migrate internationally without any limitations, the basis of free movement, one of the basic human rights. For more information please visit http://www.schengenvisainfo.com/
The Schengen Area countries are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Spain and Sweden.
When travelling to the European Union please bear in mind that not all EU Member-States belong to the Schengen Area. Of these countries, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania have unilaterally recognised certain documents (e.g. a Schengen visa) as equivalent to their national visas for transit through or intended stays on their territories not exceeding 90 days in any 180-day period.
Short Stays in the Schengen Area (less than 3 months)
When travelling to the Schengen Area, 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).
New Zealand is however on a list of third-countries (outside the European Union, the European Economic Area and the Schengen Zone) whose citizens do NOT require a visa to visit the Schengen Area for less than 90 days within a 180-day period.
New Zealand citizens benefit from this 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 for example an invitation letter, proof of lodging, return or round-trip ticket. For the precise requirements contact the local consular services of the Schengen country in question.
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:http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/border-crossing/index_en.htm
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 potential subsequent contact 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).
Longer/working/studying stays in Schengen Area
For stays in the territory of the Schengen Area which are longer than 90 days within any 180-day period, or for studying or working purposes, a national visa of the respective Schengen country is required.
For more information please consult: http://www.schengenvisainfo.com/schengen-visa-types/
It is highly recommended that you consult the country's consular offices of your destination, in order to obtain more detailed information and/or make your visa application. The Schengen countries with consular offices in New Zealand are:
Travelling to New Zealand
New Zealand is considered one of the safest and more welcoming countries in the world, with record low crime rates. However, this does not mean that crime does not occur. Like everywhere, common sense and vigilance should be exercised at all times.
Visiting New Zealand
Some visitors and transit passengers can travel to New Zealand without a visa if they get an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) before they travel. This is valid for many visits and up to 2 years. A list of visa waiver countries and territories can be found here. To find more information click here.
When EU citizens are only passing through New Zealand, as travellers in transit, they do not need a transit visa. However, please note that if you are transiting through Australia on the way to New Zealand, you may need to apply for an Australian visa (transiting through Australia).
If you are a tour guide, leader or escort and you will be working while you are in New Zealand, you will need to apply for a specific purpose work visa before you arrive.
Longer stays/working/studying in new Zealand
For stays exceeding 3 months appropriate visa is required.
You can consult the visa type needed and all requirements here:http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/
New Zealand has strict biosecurity procedures at airports and ports to prevent the introduction of unwanted pests and diseases. These are much stricter than in Europe. Arriving passengers are required to declare any and all of the following items: Food (including any type of fruits), Plant and plant products (including souvenirs and other items made of wood, straw, shells etc.), live animals, animal products, salt and freshwater products and items associated with water (including holy water), used sporting and camping equipment (including hiking shoes).
If you have any items you are unsure about, you are required to declare it before the biosecurity process or dispose of it. Amnesty bins are located throughout ports and airports. Failing to do so you will be facing a fine of NZ$400.
For more information please visit https://www.mpi.govt.nz/travel-and-recreation/arriving-in-new-zealand/items-to-declare/
Driving in New Zealand
While most of New Zealand's roads are in excellent condition and of high standards, they can still be very different to what you're used to. New Zealanders drive on the left-hand side of the road and some of the roads are narrow, windy and have loose gravel. It is recommended to give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination than the time advised by your travel guide or GPS/map app.
When driving through rural areas it is recommended to keep your gas tank full as gas stations may not be readily available. It is also not unusual to see sheep or cattle on roads.
For more information please visit https://www.nzta.govt.nz/safety/driving-safely/visiting-drivers/
Overseas drivers visiting New Zealand, who do not hold a permanent visa, will be regarded as 'visiting drivers' and may use their valid overseas licence to drive. If the licence is not in English the driver must have in addition either an international driving licence (recommended) or a certified English translation of the licence. Please be aware that a rental company in New Zealand might refuse providing a vehicle if you don't fulfil these requirements.
The common legal age to rent a car in New Zealand is 21 years. All drivers, including visitors from other countries, must carry their licence or permit at all times when driving.
Please be aware that in New Zealand all passengers (including those in the back seats) must wear a seatbelt. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a crime and use of a mobile phone prohibited. All of the above are strictly enforced.
For more information please visit https://www.nzta.govt.nz/safety/driving-safely/visiting-drivers/ and http://www.drivesafe.org.nz/