What is the IVL?

The IVL is a $35 levy that is charged to most international visitors to New Zealand. The IVL aims to address current challenges in the tourism and conservation systems.

New Zealand experienced a significant increase in international visitors, peaking in 2019 before COVID-19 disruptions occurred. The growth in visitor volume challenged New Zealand’s infrastructure, environment, communities, and the social licence for tourism to operate in certain areas. Visitor volume is once again a key challenge as visitor numbers continue to return following the pandemic.

IVL aims

The IVL ensures visitors to New Zealand are directly contributing to tourism and conservation projects that contribute to broad impactful change in Aotearoa. It helps ensure tourism is sustainable and continues to enrich New Zealand and New Zealanders. 

The IVL aims to:

  • Contribute to government stewardship of, and aims for, the tourism and conservation systems
  • Reflect Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles
  • Contribute to broader system change across tourism and biodiversity
  • Have flexibility to respond to change over time
  • Complement existing funding mechanisms, rather than duplicate
  • Contribute to the government’s overall economic strategy of productive, sustainable and inclusive growth.

Who needs to pay the IVL?

Most international visitors applying for a visa/NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) to enter New Zealand are charged a non-refundable levy of $35. This includes for a holiday (including through the working holiday scheme), some student visas and some short-term work visas. It is collected through the immigration system, with travellers paying the IVL alongside visa or NZeTA fees.

There are some exceptions, most notably Australian citizens and permanent residents, and people from many Pacific Island countries.

To make it easy for visitors, the immigration system determines whether a person needs to pay the IVL when they apply for a visa or NZeTA application.

Who does not need to pay the IVL:

  1. New Zealand citizens and residents (including all resident visas)
  2. People transiting New Zealand on a transit visa or transit NZeTA
  3. Australian citizens and permanent residents
  4. People from the following Pacific Island countries:
    • American Samoa
    • Cook Islands
    • Fiji
    • Kiribati
    • Republic of Marshall Islands
    • Federated States of Micronesia
    • Niue
    • Nauru
    • Palau
    • Papua New Guinea
    • Pitcairn Islands
    • Samoa
    • Solomon Islands
    • Tonga
    • Tuvalu
    • Vanuatu
  5. Diplomatic, military, medical, and humanitarian visas
  6. People travelling to Antarctica under the Antarctic Treaty (including people travelling on the Antarctic Traveller Transit Visa)
  7. Recognised Seasonal Employment workers
  8. Business Visitor Visas (including APEC business travel cards)
  9. Ship and airline crew
  10. Most visas for dependants (partners and children) of work and student visa holders
  11. Travellers whose visa or NZeTA requirements have been waived by Immigration New Zealand

A full and definitive list of exemptions is included in the Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010.

Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Regulations 2010(external link) — New Zealand Legislation

The New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA)

The IVL and the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) are separate, but connected government initiatives. The NZeTA is for visa waiver travellers and Australian Permanent Residents (Australian citizens, New Zealand citizens, and New Zealand visa holders are not required to have an NZeTA to travel to New Zealand).

Since 1 October 2019, these travellers are required to hold an NZeTA in order to board their flight or cruise vessel.

Information about NZeTA(external link) — Immigration New Zealand

The NZeTA helps New Zealand manage the increasing numbers of travellers forecast to come to New Zealand in the future by reducing the time needed for border clearance, strengthening border security and bringing New Zealand's border controls into line with international best practices. The IVL is charged alongside NZeTA fees. Learn who it applies to and how to get it.

Information about NZeTA(external link) — Immigration New Zealand

Documents relating to the IVL and NZeTA

Legislation and regulations

Cabinet approved changes to regulations needed to introduce the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA).

This process was supported by a number of briefings and decisions which have been proactively released.

These proactively released papers have supported the process of amending the Immigration Act 2009 and regulations.

View the proactively release papers(external link)

Establishment and consultation

MBIE has previously released all the substantive material in the development of both the NZeTA and the IVL.

View all the related documents in our document library(external link)

Last updated: 31 July 2023