The Australia Department of Immigration and Border Protection has recently changed some visa rules which will affect some New Zealanders travelling to Australia. Travellers requiring a Visitor Visa (VV) are now required to supply biometric information (details below). Please note this only affects travellers who require a full Visitor Visa (VV) to travel (as per below requirements). For the vast majority of New Zealanders, the situation hasn’t changed and you will continue receive a Special Category Visa (SCV) on arrival in Australia. The requirements for a SCV are…
• You are a New Zealand citizen.
• You present a valid New Zealand passport.
• You present a completed incoming passenger card (given to you when on the plane).
• You meet specific health and character requirements.
It’s people that don’t meet that fourth point that may be affected by the recent changes. The restrictions for those who don’t meet the specific health and character requirements include, but are not restricted to…
• Those who have untreated tuberculosis.
• Those who have ever had any criminal conviction in their lifetime, or those who have been deported, excluded or removed from any country, including Australia.
The new rules now require you to provide biometric information when applying for your VV. Your biometric information is a facial image and fingerprint scans from all ten digits. This of course requires you to visit an Australia Visa Application Centre in person, and the only two in New Zealand are located in Auckland and Queenstown. Appointments need to be made prior to visiting.
This is also a good time to remind all travellers holding UK or EU passports that you require an eVisitor Visa (EV) to enter Australia.
Clear as mud? We know it can all be a little confusing and overwhelming, but if you’ve booked your air travel with a House of Travel consultant, they will ensure you have the correct visa required, so you can rest easy.
*Please note this information is current as at 24 November 2015, but as you’ve just read, rules can change. Please contact your favourite House of Travel consultant for the most up to date information.
story by: Tom Ricketts