What Happens if You Overstay Your New Zealand eTA?

Updated on Jul 02, 2023 | New Zealand eTA

To ensure compliance with the New Zealand eTA regulations, visitors should familiarize themselves with the following key information:

  • NZeTA Expiry Date: It is crucial to be aware of the expiration date of your NZeTA. This electronic travel authorization allows you to enter New Zealand for a specified period. Make sure to check the expiry date before your travel to ensure it remains valid throughout your intended stay.
  • Maximum Length of Stay per Entry: The New Zealand eTA grants visitors a standard maximum stay of 90 days per entry. It is essential to adhere to this duration to avoid any legal complications. Overstaying your allowed time can result in penalties and difficulties with future visits to New Zealand.
  • Passport Expiry Date: In addition to the expiration date of your NZeTA, your passport's validity is crucial. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the date you intend to leave New Zealand. If your passport is set to expire within this timeframe, consider renewing it before traveling to avoid any issues during your stay.

New Zealand Visa (NZeTA)

New Zealand Visa Application Form now allows visitors from all nationalities to obtain New Zealand eTA (NZETA) by email without visiting New Zealand Embassy. Government of New Zealand now officially recommends New Zealand Visa or New Zealand ETA online rather than sending paper documents. You can obtain NZETA by filling out a form in under three minutes on this website. The only requirement is to have a Debit or Credit Card and email id. You do not need to send your passport for Visa stamping. If you are arriving to New Zealand by the Cruise Ship route, you should check the New Zealand ETA eligibility conditions for Cruise Ship arrival to New Zealand.

Understanding the Expiration Date of Your NZeTA

The New Zealand Electronic Travel Authorization (NZeTA) has a specific validity period that visitors need to be aware of. Here's important information regarding the expiration date of your NZeTA and what to do once it expires:

  • Validity Period: Your NZeTA is typically valid for a period of 2 years starting from the date of issue. It remains valid during this time as long as your passport remains valid. This means that you can enter New Zealand multiple times within this 2-year period for purposes such as tourism, business, or transit.
  • Passport Expiry: It's important to note that your NZeTA's validity is tied to the validity of your passport. If your passport expires before the 2-year period, your NZeTA becomes invalid along with it. Therefore, it's crucial to ensure that your passport remains valid throughout the duration of your intended travel.
  • Automatic Invalidation: Once the expiration date of your NZeTA is reached, the travel permit is automatically invalidated. This means that you will need to obtain a new NZeTA if you plan to travel to New Zealand after the expiry date.
  • Renewing Your NZeTA: To continue traveling to New Zealand, you will have to apply for a new NZeTA once your previous one has expired. The renewal process typically involves submitting a new application and providing the necessary information. Make sure to check the official New Zealand immigration website or consult with the appropriate authorities for the most up-to-date instructions and requirements for obtaining a new NZeTA.

Checking the Expiration Date of Your NZeTA

To ensure you are aware of the expiration date of your NZeTA , follow these steps to easily check the expiration date:

  • Approved Permit Email: When your NZeTA application is approved, you will receive an email containing important details, including the expiration date of your travel permit. Locate this email in your inbox or any designated folder and find the section that specifies the expiry date. Note down the date for future reference.
  • Verify the Expiration Date: Take the time to double-check the expiry date mentioned in the approved permit email. Ensure that you have the correct information regarding when your NZeTA will no longer be valid.
  • Check the Status: If you already have an existing NZeTA and are planning to travel to New Zealand, it is advisable to check the status of your permit in advance. Visit the official New Zealand immigration website or use their designated online portal to log in and access your permit details. This will allow you to verify the expiry date and confirm the validity of your NZeTA.

By checking the expiration date of your NZeTA in advance and verifying its status, you can avoid any unexpected disruptions to your travel plans.


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Duration of Stay in New Zealand with an NZeTA

When traveling to New Zealand with an NZeTA, it is important to be aware of the permitted duration of stay. Here's what you need to know:

  • Standard Duration: With an NZeTA, eligible foreign citizens can stay in New Zealand for up to 3 months. This applies to most nationalities.
  • Extended Stay for UK Citizens: Citizens of the United Kingdom have the privilege of an extended duration and can remain in New Zealand for up to 6 months.
  • Arrival Date and Departure Deadline: The date of arrival in New Zealand marks the beginning of your stay. It is essential to plan your departure and ensure that you leave New Zealand within 3 (or 6) months from your arrival date, depending on your eligibility.
  • Overstaying Consequences: Overstaying the permitted duration can have serious consequences. To monitor overstayers, the passport of each visitor is scanned upon departure. If you overstay your allowed time, you may face penalties, legal issues, deportation, and difficulties with future visits to New Zealand. It is crucial to adhere to the specified duration to avoid these consequences.
  • Longer Stays: If you intend to stay in New Zealand for a period longer than what is allowed with an NZeTA, you should apply for a different type of visa that suits your specific purpose and desired duration of stay. Check the New Zealand immigration website or consult with the relevant authorities to understand the visa options available to you.

Understanding the permitted duration of stay with an NZeTA is vital for a smooth and compliant visit to New Zealand. Plan your departure accordingly to ensure you adhere to the specified timeframe, and if you require a longer stay, explore the appropriate visa options for your needs.

We previously covered Travel Guide to Nelson, New Zealand.

Validity of NZeTA with an Expired Passport

It is important to understand the implications of an expired passport on the validity of your NZeTA. Here's what you need to know:

  • NZeTA and Passport Validity: The NZeTA is directly linked to the passport you used to apply for it. Once your passport expires, the NZeTA associated with it becomes invalid. Therefore, you cannot use an NZeTA with an expired passport to travel to New Zealand.
  • New NZeTA Application: If your passport has expired and you still plan to visit New Zealand, you must submit a new NZeTA application using your new and valid passport. The application process remains the same, and you will need to provide the necessary information and meet the eligibility criteria for the NZeTA.
  • Validity Period: Remember that passports must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the end of your intended stay in New Zealand. It is essential not to travel to New Zealand with a passport that is about to expire or has already expired. Ensure you renew your passport in a timely manner before applying for a new NZeTA.

Penalties for Overstaying New Zealand eTA Visa Waiver

It is crucial to adhere to the permitted duration of stay granted by your New Zealand eTA. Overstaying can lead to severe penalties and consequences. Here's what you need to know:

  • Future Entry Ban: Overstaying your New Zealand eTA can result in being banned from returning to New Zealand in the future. The duration of the ban will depend on the length of the overstay and the discretion of the immigration authorities. The longer the overstay, the more likely it becomes that you will face restrictions on future visits to New Zealand.
  • Detention or Deportation: Overstayers are at risk of being detained or deported from New Zealand. Immigration authorities have the power to take legal action against individuals who exceed their permitted stay. Detention can involve being held in a designated facility until arrangements for deportation are made. Deportation means being forcibly removed from the country and may involve additional costs and restrictions.
  • Consequences for Family Members or Assisting Individuals: Family members or individuals who knowingly assist someone in overstaying their eTA are also committing an offense. They may face their own immigration status being reviewed, which can lead to adverse outcomes such as visa cancellation or denial of future immigration benefits.

From the 1st October 2019, visitors from Visa Free countries also known as Visa Waiver countries must apply on https://www.nz-visa-online.org for an online electronic Travel authorisation in the form of New Zealand Visitor Visa. Learn about New Zealand Tourist Visa information for all Visitors seeking short term travel to New Zealand.

Actions to Take if You Have Overstayed Your eTA

If you find yourself in a situation where you have already overstayed your New Zealand eTA, there are two primary options available to you:

Leave New Zealand Immediately: The first and most advisable step is to voluntarily depart New Zealand as soon as possible. By leaving the country, you can mitigate any potential legal consequences and avoid further complications. It is important to comply with immigration regulations and cooperate with the authorities during your departure.

Request a Special Temporary or Resident Visa: In exceptional circumstances, individuals who have already overstayed their eTA may be eligible to apply for a special temporary or resident visa. These visas are typically granted in compelling and compassionate cases, such as significant humanitarian reasons or unforeseen emergencies. However, approval for these visas is not guaranteed, and each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis.


For short stays, vacations, or professional visitor activities, New Zealand now has a new entrance requirement known as the eTA New Zealand Visa. All non-citizens must possess a current visa or digital travel authorization to enter New Zealand. Apply For NZ eTA with the Online New Zealand Visa Application.

Requesting a Special Temporary or Resident Visa in New Zealand

If you find yourself in a situation where you have overstayed your New Zealand visa or NZeTA and have exceptional circumstances preventing you from leaving, you may be able to request a special temporary or resident visa under section 61 of the New Zealand Immigration Act. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Written Request: Prepare a written request explaining your situation and why you are unable to leave New Zealand. Clearly outline the exceptional circumstances that warrant your request for a special visa. Provide any supporting documentation or evidence that can support your case.
  • Postal Submission: Send your written request by post to the following address:

Immigration New Zealand

PO Box 76895

Manukau City

Auckland 2241

New Zealand

Ensure that your request is well-documented, organized, and clearly addresses the reasons why you should be considered for a special visa.

  • Await Response: Once your request is submitted, Immigration New Zealand will review your case. The processing time can vary, so it is important to be patient. You may be contacted for further information or clarification if needed.
  • Follow Instructions: If your request is approved, Immigration New Zealand will provide you with instructions on the next steps to take. This may include additional documentation requirements, fees, or further processes to complete.

Submitting a Written Visa Extension Request to Immigration New Zealand

When applying for a visa extension in New Zealand, it is crucial to provide a comprehensive and detailed explanation of your circumstances. To increase your chances of being considered for an extension, include the following information in your written request:

 Visa Extension Request to Immigration New Zealand

  • Personal Details and Contact Information: Begin by providing your full name, date of birth, nationality, passport details, and current contact information. Include your Immigration New Zealand client number if applicable.
  • Explanation for Visa Overstay: Clearly outline the reasons for your visa overstay. Be honest and transparent about any unforeseen circumstances or challenges that prevented you from departing New Zealand within the allotted time. Provide a thorough explanation of the events or factors that contributed to the overstay.
  • Reasons for Not Returning to Home Country: Explain why it is not feasible for you to return to your home country to apply for a new eTA or visa. Highlight any personal, financial, or logistical constraints that make it difficult for you to leave New Zealand at this time.
  • Supporting Reasons for a Further Stay: Present compelling reasons to support your request for a visa extension. This could include work obligations, family ties, educational pursuits, or any other significant responsibilities that require you to remain in New Zealand. Clearly articulate how your continued presence in the country will contribute positively, whether economically, socially, or culturally.
  • Long-Term Plans: If you intend to stay in New Zealand on a long-term basis, express your commitment to the country and your aspirations for contributing to its development. Highlight any skills, qualifications, or experiences that make you a valuable asset to the New Zealand community.
  • Supporting Documentation: Include any relevant supporting documents that can substantiate your claims or provide additional context. This may include employment contracts, letters of support, academic transcripts, or any other evidence that strengthens your case.


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Approval or Denial of Visa Extension Requests

When it comes to visa extension requests in New Zealand, it's important to understand the process and potential outcomes. Here's what you need to know:

  • Decision-Making Authority: All visa extension requests are assessed by a senior immigration officer at the INZ Manukau Area Office. This officer holds the discretion to consider or decline the request.
  • No Obligation to Provide Reasons: The senior immigration officer is not obligated to disclose the reasons for their decision to either approve or deny the extension request. Their decision is based on a thorough evaluation of the individual circumstances and the information provided in the request.

Possible Outcomes:

  • Denied: If your extension request is denied, it is crucial to adhere to the decision and make immediate arrangements to leave New Zealand. Failure to comply may lead to legal consequences and future immigration complications.
  •  Approved: If your extension request is approved, you will be required to pay the relevant fee as instructed by Immigration New Zealand. Once the fee is paid, you will receive the necessary visa granting you the extended stay in New Zealand.
  • Seeking Assistance: If you believe you may be eligible for a visa extension, it is advisable to contact your nearest New Zealand embassy or consulate before your existing permit expires. They can provide guidance specific to your situation and offer valuable advice on the application process.

Renewal of Overstayed NZeTA or Visitor Visa

Renewing an overstayed NZeTA or visitor visa online is not possible. However, there is an alternative option available. Here's what you need to know:

  • Written Request for Extension: If you have overstayed your NZeTA or visitor visa in New Zealand, you can submit a written request for an extension. This request should explain your circumstances in detail and outline the reasons for your extension request. While submitting a written request by email is an option, it is recommended to follow the specific instructions provided by Immigration New Zealand.
  • Application for a New NZeTA: If you have already departed from New Zealand, you have the option to apply for a new NZeTA if you wish to visit the country again. The application process for a new NZeTA remains the same as for initial applications, and it is done online. Ensure that you provide accurate and up-to-date information during the application process.

It is important to note that the approval of an extension or a new NZeTA is subject to the discretion of immigration authorities. Each case is evaluated based on its individual circumstances, and there is no guarantee of approval.

Ensure that you have checked the eligibility for your New Zealand eTA. If you are from a Visa Waiver country then you can apply for an eTA regardless of the mode of travel (Air / Cruise). United States citizens, European citizens, Hong Kong citizens, and United Kingdom citizens can apply online for New Zealand eTA. United Kingdom residents can stay on New Zealand eTA for 6 months while others for 90 days.

Please apply for a New Zealand eTA 72 hours in advance of your flight.