NZ passports not a skeleton key

Media Release July 17, 2018

Kiwis should not be over confident that their New Zealand passport is going to give them an easy entry into countries around the world.

David Cooper of Global Visas says there are more Kiwis finding themselves on a flight home after being rejected at the border.

“Take the United Kingdom,” Cooper says. “Kiwis between 18 and 30 years consider it a rite of passage that they will get a working holiday visa, but there is a decline rate of about 20% right now. If you don’t get the application right the first time, they don’t come back and ask you to fill in the dots. They just decline the application and you lose your fee.

“Another group of Kiwis that like to live and work in the UK are those in relationships with Brits. A settlement visa costs you anything from $5,000 upwards. Same rules. Get it wrong – and another around 20% do – and you have lost your money.”

Cooper says borders around the world are getting tougher and tougher to cross. New Zealand might have holiday visa-free access to 182 destinations, but where once you might have almost just waved your passport at the immigration officer, now you need to be prepared to answer questions. Get an answer wrong, like saying you want to live with your boyfriend/girlfriend who is a resident, and you’re back on the plane.

“That applies to the United States and a growing number of European countries,” he says. “Just because you have a New Zealand passport it doesn’t mean you don’t need to check out each country’s requirements and make sure your intentions fit with the rules around visa free.”

Global Visas is a Trio client.