April 24, 2019

New Zealand Visa Waiver Program

New Zealand Visa Waiver Program Visa Waiver Program of USA was is managed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in consultation with the State Department of USA and allow nationals of 38 countries to visit the USA for business or tourism purposes and stay no more than 90 days without a visa. New Zealand is part of the VWP from 1991. Citizens of NZ can apply for ESTA under the USA Visa Waiver Program, fill an application and gain ESTA approval. ESTA is required prior to boarding the air or sea vessel to the United States and should be applied for at least 72 hours before departure, USA Customs and Border Protection advices to apply for electronic travel authorization as soon as you plan your visit.

Since 2016 US government made a restriction over the US Visa Waiver Program. Since then the Visa Waiver Program does not apply in cases where a citizen of NZ had previously traveled to Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 or for those who are dual citizens of Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria. As for the certain categories such as diplomats, military, journalists, humanitarian workers or legitimate businessmen may enjoy the special requirements under their visa conducted by the Secretary of Homeland Security. Requirements for the US Visa Waiver Program includes the obligation to have individual passports. It is not acceptable for children to be included on a parent’s passport. Visitors from NZ are required and obliged to hold a biometric passport. Citizens of NZ must hold E-passport that represents secure passport with an embedded electronic chip, that guarantees the unique identity of a person who enjoys from the US Visa Waiver.

Your approved ESTA application is valid for 24 months from date of approval but there exist exceptions that include the instances when your passport expires before the two years period from the date of approval in this case the validity coincides with the expiration date of your passport.

An approved ESTA application does not provide citizens of NZ to cross US border, the officer of the Customs and Border Protection must check you for security issues. For tourism, holiday and travel visits which long more than 90 days, person must apply for visa. Citizens of NZ with ESTA approval do not practice same level of rights as a U.S. visa holder. As a visa applicant you will need to apply for visa, fill comprehensive application form, called the DS-160 and pass an interview at a USA consulate or embassy as the visitor or If you are a visa applicant, according to the type of visa, you should prepare additional documents to predicate authenticity of your information and travel purposes before crossing the American border.