Travel permit, levy needed for NZ

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians travelling to New Zealand will soon need to pay for a travel document and levy to get into the country.

Under the new New Zealand immigration requirement, which will be implemented from Oct 1, Malaysians visiting the country need to have an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) and pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy.

Without the document, New Zealand immigration will turn them back on arrival.

The cost to obtain the ETA and levy is between NZ$9 (RM24) and NZ$12 (RM32), which can be obtained online.

Currently, Malaysians visiting New Zealand for less than three months do not need a visa. Malaysia is among 60 other countries that enjoy visa waiver to enter New Zealand.

However, with the introduction of the ETA, Malaysians are now required to have the document even on transit.

According to the New Zealand Business, Innovative and Employment Ministry website, the new requirement is to enhance security and reduce immigration, smuggling and biosecurity risks.

“It is to improve the way travellers are assessed before they arrive in the country and help reduce the time needed for border clearance and strengthen border security,” it said.

The levy imposed is to “contribute directly to the tourism infrastructure and help protect and enhance the natural environment”.

There are two ways to apply for the ETA – either through mobile app or the immigration website, according to the New Zealand Immigration website.

The mobile app and website will only be available from next month.

However, application through the mobile app is cheaper compared with the website application.

From May 2018 to April this year, some 40,000 Malaysians visited New Zealand.

According to Tourism New Zealand, an organisation responsible for marketing the country, it is a 5% increase compared to the same period the previous year.

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