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ESTA for New Zealand Citizens

Because it’s part of the ESTA Visa Waiver Program (VWP), it is possible to travel to the United States from New Zealand as part of the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) program.

The American ESTA program allows the citizens of certain countries the ability to travel without needing to apply for a traditional visa beforehand. New Zealand is on the list of countries approved by the U.S.

All citizens from New Zealand and other visa waiver countries, who are planning to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days, must apply for ESTA before their trip. The application form only takes 10 minutes per applicant but travelers should apply at least 72 hours before their trip.

The US Government introduced ESTA for New Zealand to strengthen border security and to make the country safer for both visitors and locals. Passengers are pre-screened before they arrive in the US. The vast majority of applications are quickly approved.

How can citizens of New Zealand apply for ESTA?

Like the citizens of the other VWP countries, the first step for a New Zealander interested in visiting the United States is to fill out the ESTA application for New Zealand citizens. The application is straightforward and asks potential travelers to fill in their personal details, including their complete:

  • Name
  • Passport information
  • Travel plans

Importantly, passengers will also be asked security questions which should not be taken lightly. It is also necessary to pay a fee using a credit or debit card to submit the ESTA New Zealand applications.

Applicants normally receive their approved U.S. ESTA Visa Waiver within 24 hours, assuming there are no mistakes on the application. However, travelers should apply at least 72 hours before their trip to allow time for potential delays and complications. And because the application is completed online, your response and approved ESTA for the U.S. will be emailed directly to you.

If for some reason your ESTA application is denied, you can reapply. However, unless your circumstances have changed significantly or you made a mistake originally, the chances are it might be rejected again.

But if you successfully applied for your American visa from New Zealand, make sure to print out the approval and keep it in a safe place, as you will need it before you board the plane and while you are in the United States to prove your lawful presence.

Remember that, the New Zealand ESTA authorizations are valid for 2 years. After this point, you’ll have to renew your ESTA, which means filing another application and paying another fee.

ESTA New Zealand Visa Waiver Requirements

To successfully apply for the ESTA for New Zealand citizens, applicants need to meet a number of requirements. Travelers wishing to visit the U.S. from New Zealand must meet the following eligibility requirements for applying for an ESTA:

  • Hold a valid passport issued by New Zealand
  • Have a credit or debit card to pay the ESTA NZ fee
  • The expected length of stay does not exceed 90 days
  • The purpose of the visit is tourism, business, or transit
  • You do not currently hold a visitor’s visa

Applicants also need to complete the New Zealand ESTA form by providing a range of information. To submit the form it is necessary to pay the ESTA fee using a credit or debit card.

Is the New Zealand ESTA Obligatory to Visit the U.S.?

Yes, the US ESTA NZ is a necessary legal requirement for New Zealand passport-holders traveling to the U.S. The ESTA NZ allows the U.S. authorities to pre-screen travelers before they arrive in the U.S. This is aimed to strengthen border security and improve the safety of both foreign travelers and U.S. citizens.

Travelers from New Zealand cannot enter the U.S. without a valid ESTA Visa Waiver. In order to travel to the U.S. with a passport issued by New Zealand, travelers need to apply for the ESTA NZ before setting off. It is necessary to present the visa waiver to board any plane or boat which is going to the U.S.

What Happens If Your NZ ESTA Visa Waiver or Passport Expires?

ESTA U.S. Visa Waivers for New Zealand are attached to specific passports and travelers cannot transfer a visa waiver between passports. This means that if a passport expires, the attached ESTA Visa Waiver from NZ will also expire even if this happens before the normal 2-year duration of the visa waiver.

When either your ESTA Visa Waiver or the attached passport expire, and you wish to visit the U.S., you will need to reapply for the ESTA Visa Waiver for New Zealand Citizens. Thankfully, the ESTA registration to reapply is as simple and straightforward as the original application.

If you are unsure about whether your U.S.A. Visa Waiver NZ is still valid, you can check the status of it online to ensure you can still use it to enter the U.S.

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