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If you’ve got a trip planned to New Zealand anytime soon, read this, bookmark it, and then read it again. In short, if you’re visiting the country anytime after October 1, 2019, there’s a good chance you’re going to need a new document to kick off your vacation.
The new document is called the Electronic Travel Authority, otherwise known as an ETA, and it will be required for travelers visiting from 60 visa waiver countries, according to Travel + Leisure. The good news is that the ETA lasts for two years before you have to renew it—and it’s not nearly as scary as it sounds.
Chances are it’ll cost you less than a night out for dinner. You can get your ETA for $8 using the New Zealand ETA website or you can save a few bucks and get it for around $6 on the app.
You’re going to need this document even if you’re just passing through New Zealand, so make sure and check your layover destinations. The main goals of the new ETA rule are to reduce immigration risks by enhancing security measures and to address “smuggling and biosecurity risks,” according to New Zealand’s official immigration website. The move also hopes to improve the traveler experience; support New Zealand’s international relationships and agreements; and adapt to the changing needs and requirements of the government, stakeholders, and travelers over time.”
If you have a New Zealand passport, or if you’re Australian, you won’t be required to get an ETA before entering the country. There are a few other groups of people who are exempt: “crew and passengers on a non-cruise vessel, crew on a foreign ship carrying cargo, guests of the government, people traveling under The Antarctic Treaty, members of a visiting force and associated crew members,” the immigration site shares.
You can read more about the new travel requirement on the immigration website, but make sure to take note for any of your own upcoming travel plans.