13 May 2022 Apia Samoa. Travellers from Samoa and other Pacific Forum Countries will be able to apply for a visitors visa to New Zealand from as early as next week, Monday 16 May 2022.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern earlier this week announced that New Zealand’s international border will reopen fully to all tourists and visa holders, including international students and cruise ships, from 11.59pm, 31 July 2022.
It has been more than two years since New Zealand and Samoa closed international borders in efforts to protect their citizens from the global Covid-19 pandemic. Both countries closed international borders in March 2020.
The New Zealand Government has announced frim Wellington that, “online visitor visa applications will reopen to Pacific Island Forum countries.. from 16 May“.
Each year sees tens of thousands of travellers between Samoa and New Zealand. There are over 182,000 Samoans living in New Zealand and many families have not seen each other for over two years. International border closures have meant the cancelation of many family events, reunions and weddings, even people missing out on important occasions even parents’ funerals.
The public notice from the NZ Government also clarifies that, “Vaccinated travellers arriving under the Accredited Employer Work Visa category will be able to apply to New Zealand from 4 July 2022“.
All other visa categories — including visitor and student visas wanting to travel to New Zealand, applications open from 31 July 2022.
Cruise ships can enter New Zealand from 31 July 2022.
Travellers will still need to meet vaccination requirements to enter New Zealand, except for Nee Zealand citizens and permanent residents who are allowed to return home even if unvaccinated.
The NZ government Covid-19 Page lists all those eligible to travel to Aotearoa now:
Who can enter New Zealand now
The following people can enter New Zealand now from anywhere in the world and self-test on arrival.
- Vaccinated and unvaccinated New Zealand citizens
- Vaccinated and unvaccinated New Zealand residents
- Vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents
- Unvaccinated Australian citizens who live in New Zealand
- Current temporary work and student visa holders, with a valid visa who can still meet their visa requirements. This includes both visa holders currently offshore, and those in New Zealand who choose to travel overseas and wish to return
- Up to 5,000 international students, for semester 2
- Vaccinated travellers with a border exception
- Vaccinated travellers on a working holiday scheme
- Vaccinated travellers from countries who do not need a visa (visa waiver visitors)
- Vaccinated travellers from other countries who already hold a valid visitor visa
- Other vaccinated eligible travellers under current border settings.
Samoa is a Transit Visa Waiver Country
If you are travelling via New Zealand and intend to only transit, then Samoan passport holders are eligible to be a transit passenger – who can travel to New Zealand without a visa if they get an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) before they travel.
More information on the NZeTA is available here.
NZs List of Visa Waiver Countries
New Zealand has a list of visa waiver countries and territories.
The following are visa waiver countries and territories:
Estonia (citizens only)
Hong Kong (residents with HKSAR or British National–Overseas passports only)
Latvia (citizens only)
Lithuania (citizens only)
Macau (only if you have a Macau Special Administrative Region passport)
Portugal (if you have the right to live permanently in Portugal)
Taiwan (if you are a permanent resident)
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (UK) (if you are travelling on a UK or British passport that shows you have the right to reside permanently in the UK)
United States of America (USA) (including USA nationals)