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New Zealand has fully reopened to international travelers. Here’s what Filipino tourists need to know

By Kara Santos Published Aug 01, 2022 3:35 pm

Is visting Hobbiton and the lush pastures of the Shire on your travel bucketlist?

After more than two years of strict lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Zealand is fully reopening its borders and welcoming back international travelers including Filipino tourists.

As of August 1, 2022, the country’s borders have fully reopened for the first time since the pandemic hit in March 2020. According to the New Zealand Embassy in Manila Twitter account on Monday, August 1, they are now accepting visa applications from the Philippines.

The country, which had one of the world's strictest COVID-19 lockdowns, gradually reopened their borders for domestic travelers and eased restrictions progressively earlier this year.

Filipinos who hold tourist, visitors and student visas will be allowed to enter New Zealand as long as they're fully vaccinated.

The country will also allow cruise ships and foreign recreational yachts to docks at its ports according to a Reuters report Monday.

The country of New Zealand is world-famous for its rugged and picturesque landscapes, which have been seen on the big screen in epic fantasy films like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia. New Zealand is also known for its indigenous Maori culture and national rugby team.

Top tourist sites in New Zealand include Hobbiton Movie Set Tours in Matamata, the mountain bike trails in Rotorua, Queenstown (known as the Adventure Capital of the World), and the World Heritage Site of Fiordland National Park (which includes Milford Sound), to name a few.

Dreaming of visiting New Zealand this year? Here’s what Filipino tourists need to know.

Travel requirements for Filipinos going to New Zealand as of August 1, 2022

According to the latest travel guidelines, foreign visitors arriving in New Zealand still need to be vaccinated against COVID. Tourists need to provide proof of their vaccinations. Any vaccine that has been approved by at least 1 government health authority or approval authority is approved for entry into New Zealand. Sinovac is among the list of approved vaccines. See full list of vaccination guidelines here.

All those traveling by air also need to complete a New Zealand Traveler Declaration form. 

Those who are unwell before their flight may need to show proof that they don't have COVID-19 if they have symptoms. Proof can be a medical certificate issue by a health praticioers or proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

Do Filipinos need a visa to enter New Zealand?

Yes, Filipinos need a tourist visa to enter New Zealand. As of this posting, only consular visas are being accepted as iVisa does not offer the e-Visa to New Zealand yet. For the most updated requirements, visit Immigation New Zealand's website

In general, the following documents will be required to apply for a Visa.

  • Passport – Filipinos who want to apply for a visa will need to have a valid passport. Make sure that the document is valid for at least another 3 months from your date of departure from New Zealand.

  • Digital photo – the picture needs to be as recent as possible and meet all the other guidelines for a passport photo.

  • Means of payment – Online payments will be required during the application process. You can do that using a credit or a debit card, but you can also pay using PayPal, Alipay, or WeChat.

  • Email address  The visa is typically sent via email in PDF format. Do not forget to print a few copies so that you have a spare or two.

  • Proof of financial means – Once you arrive in New Zealand, you need to prove that you can support yourself during your trip. A bank account statement may be needed as proof of financial status.

  • Return flight ticket – when you arrive at the airport, you may be asked to show a return flight ticket to your country of origin (or another destination if you are in transit.) If you do not have one, you need to prove that you have the financial means to purchase one.

How long can Filipinos stay in New Zealand as a tourist?

Depending on your plans, you can visit and stay in New Zealand for up to 9 months. 

When is the best time to visit New Zealand?

New Zealand has four seasons, which all offer a different experience for tourists. Spring is from September to November, summer is December through to February, autumn is March to May, and winter falls on June through to August. July is usually the coldest month, and January and February are the warmest times of the year in NZ.

The best time to visit New Zealand is reportedly during the summer and early autumn months of December to March, when tourists can enjoy long, bright, sunny days, visit beaches and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and mountain biking.

The Spring season from September, October and November offers a mix of weather, where sunny days can briskly change to cooler temperatures with spring showers.