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.
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, and travel plans. Importantly, passengers will also be asked security questions which should not be taken lightly.
It normally takes just a few minutes for New Zealanders to receive their approved U.S. visa waiver, assuming that you have filled everything out correctly. 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’ll have 24 hours to refile an application. But unless your circumstances changed significantly or unless you made a mistake, chances are it might get 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 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.