Currently, South Korea’s visa system allows citizens from a long list of nations to visit the country without obtaining a visa for either 30, 90, or 180 days (depending on nationality). However, the year 2021 will mark a change in this policy, as the Korean government plans to introduce an electronic travel authorization system (also known as Korea eTA) for tourists entering South Korea.
This means that, in the near future, New Zealanders traveling to the country for the purposes of leisure will have to apply for a South Korean visa waiver.
Do I Need a Visa for South Korea From New Zealand?
There is a range of Korean visas available for New Zealand passport holders which can be obtained for various kinds of travel to South Korea.
New Zealanders intending to stay in South Korea for the purposes of work or study, or anyone planning to visit for longer than 90 days, is obligated to apply for a Korean visa in New Zealand through the traditional route of an in-person visit to a South Korean embassy or consulate.
Currently, New Zealanders visiting South Korea for 90 days or less who are not planning to work or study there, may enter the country without the need to obtain a Korean visa waiver.
However, once the Korean system is updated in 2021, applying for a Korean eTA in New Zealand will become a requirement for these travelers also. The relevant visa type in this case will be the visa waiver.
Since full details of the eTA are not yet known, those planning to obtain this South Korea visa as New Zealanders are advised to stay up to date with announcements regarding this new visa waiver type in the run-up to their trip.
Korea Visa Documents & Conditions Needed From New Zealanders
In order to successfully obtain a Korean eTA from New Zealand, travelers will need to have three items in their possession. These items are:
- A valid New Zealand passport with a remained validity of 6 months or more following the holder’s planned time in South Korea
- A valid email address. Those who successfully obtain the Korea eTA from New Zealand will have their eTA confirmation sent to them electronically
- An active debit or credit card in order to pay the application processing fee
Once these requirements for the South Korea visa waiver have been met, all that remains is for NZ applicants to complete and submit a short online application form for the Korean tourist authorization.
How to Apply for a South Korea eTA From New Zealand
Applying for the Korean visa waiver as a New Zealander simply involves filling in a single online Korea eTA application form.
To complete it, applicants from NZ will need to provide their basic details, including their full name and address, their date of birth; and their passport information, including passport number, date of issue, and expiry date. Additionally, they will be asked to answer some questions that relate to general health and safety issues.
When this form is complete, applicants need simply pay the visa processing fee to submit their Korean eTA application from New Zealand.
When applying for the Korean tourist visa online for New Zealanders, it is essential to check all the information entered on the application form, as any mistakes or omissions could lead to processing delays for the application in question.
Likewise, since eTA authorities may occasionally request additional information in order to process an application, it is best to apply for the South Korean eTA from New Zealand at least 2 weeks before traveling in order to accommodate any potential processing delays.
NZ minors traveling to Korea with an eTA
New Zealanders should be aware that any minors traveling with them from NZ will need to obtain their own Korean eTA in order to enter the nation, although parents and guardians are permitted to assist minors with the completion of the form.
Other considerations when entering South Korea with children must be taken into consideration by New Zealanders.
What to do after receiving the Korea visa waiver as New Zealander
Confirmation of approved applications will then be returned to successful applicants by email. This confirmation should be printed and carried for presentation at the South Korean border, as border authorities may ask to see a physical eTA document.
Individuals using a New Zealand passport for a Korean tourist visa waiver need not worry about the privacy of the personal and financial details they provide in their application, as the system is secure and is not shared with any third parties.