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Minister announces new transit visa requirements

Hon Clayton Cosgrove
Minister of Immigration

26 March 2008 Media Statement

Minister announces new transit visa requirements

Transit visas will soon be required for all travel via New Zealand, regardless of where the traveller has come from or their destination, unless that person is specifically exempted by New Zealand’s immigration policy.

Prior to this change Transit Visas were only required for people travelling to and from the Pacific. The new policy takes effect on Friday, March 28, 2008.

Immigration Minister Clayton Cosgrove said the extension of the transit policy reflects increased security requirements and changing travel patterns. “In the present global security environment and with new air routes continually opening up, the government considered it prudent to introduce this new policy which will strengthen our risk management and future-proof our border control relating to people transiting through New Zealand.”

Transit visas are for people who will be in New Zealand for less than 24 hours and will not leave the transit area of the airport.

The former Transit Visa regulations were time limited – their expiry at the end of March 2008 has determined the timing of the introduction of this change. Under the new policy people will need a transit visa unless:

- they are travelling on a passport from a country on Immigration New Zealand’s list of visa-free countries (the list is online at or in Section E2.1.5 of the Immigration Operational Policy Manual), or

- they are a citizen of Australia, or

- their destination after New Zealand is Australia, and they hold a current visa allowing them to travel to Australia, or

- they have a current visa allowing them to travel to New Zealand, or

- they are citizens of one of the following countries:

Bahamas Peru* from 4 April
Bermuda Republic of Marshall Islands
Colombia * from 4 April Samoa
Federated States of Micronesia Solomon Islands
Kiribati Tonga
Nauru Tuvalu
Palau Vanuatu
Papua New Guinea

For details on applying and paying for a transit visa visit


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