Thousands of New Zealand passport holders visit the Philippines each month and, according to the latest data, the numbers only appear to be growing. The beautiful island archipelago sits in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, making it a prime location for beach and water sports lovers to take advantage of the expansive territory.
The uptick in tourism has led to a change in the Filipino travel authority’s protocol for visa distribution. Depending on the reasons for visiting the Philippines and on how long New Zealanders spend island hopping, they may need to acquire a Philippines visa before traveling.
While citizens from many countries around the world are not required to hold a visa for stays of up to 30 days, any longer visits to the Philippines will require a visa, and getting the right one is critical to ensuring that visitors are let into the country.
Thankfully, the Philippines will soon be implementing an electronic travel authorization (eTA), also known as the Philippines visa waiver program, which can be applied for entirely online. To find out how the eTA will work for New Zealanders, and what visa to apply for in the meantime, read on.
Is a Philippines eTA Mandatory for New Zealanders?
In short, no, not every New Zealander citizen will be required to hold an eTA when it is launched. It will depend entirely on their duration of stay.
If a traveler of NZ knows beforehand that they will be staying in the Philippines for under 30 days, then they will not need to apply for an eTA. However, if they are planning a longer-term visit, then they will be required to do so.
Philippines eTA Requirements for New Zealand Nationals
Each traveler from New Zealand will need to ensure that they meet every requirement to obtain an eTA for the Philippines. These include:
- A valid New Zealand passport with a minimum of six months of validity remaining from the date they anticipate exiting the Philippines
- Return tickets either to New Zealand or to another country
- Proof of hotel accommodations
- Proof of sufficient funds
- Two passport-style photos
During the immigration process, applicants of New Zealand may be asked to present corroborating documents. It is prudent to travel with copies highlighting the information that travelers have provided during the application process. It is also important to print out a hard copy of the eTA after it has been issued.
Philippines eTA Visa Application Process from New Zealand
After the applicant of New Zealand has accumulated the necessary required documents listed above, they can begin the eTA application process for the Philippines by entering the online portal. The first step will be to fill out the application in its entirety, ensuring that each section is accurately filled out.
Travelers of New Zealand will be asked for the information on their passport data page, paying special attention to the passport number and the expiration date.
They will also need to have a valid email address as all correspondence will be via email. The eTA application carries a non-refundable fee, meaning a debit or credit card will be necessary.
Each applicant, or application group in the case of a family applying for multiple visas, will be assigned a Unique Identification Number (UID). New Zealanders are advised to reference their UID when querying travel authorities about their application.
The issuing of all eTAs will be done through their provided email address. Applicants of NZ need to check their ‘spam’ folder if they have not heard back in a timely fashion and remember to print out a hard copy and carry it with them to the Philippines.
Travel to the Philippines From New Zealand
The estimated average time of a response on a submitted eTA application is three business days. In some cases, a response may come later than that, but it is important for New Zealanders to remember to apply for their eTA with sufficient time to account for any unforeseen problems.
If citizens of New Zealand are planning to travel in a group, each member must have a printed out confirmation of their approved eTA.
There are a few things to keep in mind as New Zealander while preparing to travel to the Philippines:
- Each traveler must have proof of onward travel
- Firearms are not permitted in the Philippines
- Pornography is not allowed in the Philippines
- Any foreign currency exceeding either $10,000 or P10,000 must be declared upon arrival
Currently, there are other regulated items when entering the Philippines that New Zealand passengers should consider.