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New Zealand Tourist Visa Guide For Filipinos

In Auckland. Photo source: Miriam Aquino

More and more Filipinos are now able to visit New Zealand. My sister and her bestfriend just went there last year. It was their first time - they do not know what to do and they spent tons of hours just to get it done. Their biggest regret is they wished someone should have told them how to do it properly so I figured out I can help by sharing a guide about visa application to New Zealand to Filipinos

What you'll see below is an interview over Facebook messenger with Miriam Aquino, a fellow Filipina who went to New Zealand last year.  

"Citizens of the Philippines do NOT have to pay a fee or immigration levy for the application of visitor's visa, when coming to New Zealand for fewer than 60 days*. I submitted my application online kaya sobrang dali and convenient. I only paid P590 for the passport fee. Less 211NZD or 7.5kPHP agad for the visa fee. No appearance or interview needed with an immigration officer. Got an email from Immigration NZ after 10 working days. Madali lang mag apply guys! I can help you if you have questions or you want a detailed itinerary for 7-14 days. For the flight, I booked my round trip tickets from Philippine Airlines, sulit ang bayad, sarap ng food, ganda ng service and sila lang may direct flight, not an ad pero pwede rin sponsor me pls charot! Flight time is approximately 10 hours.  

May flights din ang Qantas (one stop) and Air Asia (two stops). Lagi sila may seat sale. Last time I checked, may 14k roundtrip tickets sa Air Asia. Abang abang lang!" - Miriam

1. Why did you apply for the NZ visa? What is the purpose of your trip to NZ?
- To visit my brother, spend Christmas and new year with him, travel/ leisure 

2. What kind of visa did you applied for?  How many total number of days or entries your visa is allowed for you on your trip?   
- Visit visa, was granted single entry visa, validity of my visa was from Oct 29, 2018 to  Jan 29, 2019

3. Did you do it on your own or you asked assistance from a travel agency or any third party individual for an additional fee? 
- On my own, its very easy, lahat ng information nasa INZ website 🙂 

4. Did you pay anything for the processing of the NZ visa? How much if yes?
- Only P540 for the processing fee (rate is from Oct 2018, upon checking today P620 na siya) , i did not avail the sms (visa process can be tracked online) and courier option though to save money, but you may opt to avail these at your own convenience 

5. What are the requirements or documents you submitted to apply? 
- (I only scanned my docs then uploaded in my realme online account) if you choose to apply via paper application, idk if how many copies per doc to submit etc) 

I submitted valid passport, official leave form if employed, proof of financial capability (can be credit card statements, proof of assets/ properties), travel history (passport stamps or visas), travel insurance (not required if staying less than 60 days, but I always travel with insurance just to be sure whatever happens), orig bank statement, bank certificate, income tax return, confirmed roundtrip flight tickets, mock booking for accommodation (ung free cancellation) 

6. How did you planned your visa application? Did you asked friends who have visited NZ before? Did you googled all the information you needed? What are the sources that helped you a lot about applying for a visa?
-  I asked my friends who have been to nz before, but mostly i researched a lot months prior, Google is your friend 

7. When it comes to applying the visa, did you do it online, send it via courier or you went to the Embassy of New Zealand in the Philippines?  
- Opted online application because i wanted it to be paperless (and tamad ako magsulat hehe), then after they sent me an acknowledgement email telling me they received my application and asking me to submit my original passport to VFS Global for verification purposes

8. Can you tell me the step by step processes of how you did it? I heard you do it via VSF website right? 
- Completed my online application 
- Got an email on what to do next
- Went to VFS to submit my passport and pay the processing fee
- Got the receipt and tracking number of my application 
- After 7 working days yata I got an email from NZ that my visa was approved 

9. How many days before you learned that you were granted a visa? 
- Seven working days

10. Did they emailed you for the result or called you perhaps? What was exactly the message they said?
- Email  

11. While processing the application, what are the errors that you encountered and lessons you learned during the process?
- None that I know of

12. Did you booked your roundtrip flight tickets before you applied the visa? Do you think it helped for the approval?
- Yes I booked my RT tickets from PAL before applying a visa, I think it helped my application because somehow it was a guarantee and also a proof of being a bonafide applicant, and based from my experience they based the validity of my visa from my arrival and departure dates

13. How much is the required amount or minimum amount of money do you have on your bank certificate? 
- IDK as for the required money but when I applied, i have 150k in my bank account, good for 1 month travel in NZ (considering my accommodation and everyday food is free), maybe if you'll stay just for a week or two, less money siguro? 

14. How did you prepared for your bank certificate?
- Went to the bank, asked for a copy, paid P150

15. Did you also submitted your hotel reservation along with the visa application? Is it needed?
- IDK if its needed but I submitted anyway

16. If you are going to advice someone who will also apply an NZ visa, what are your tips? Would you tell them to do it on their own via online or just find a third party and pay fees. 
- Depends, if you're not busy, i think its better to apply via online application

17. In your opinion, what are the strong reasons why you were granted a visa? What do you think are the reasons that can possibly deny an NZ visa?
- Strong reasons I think would be: my brother is working there, i have a strong travel history (been to 8+ countries na), and complete documents 

18. In terms of your application, did they asked a lot of questions to you? What are those?

20. Overall, if you can rate from 1-10 how was the experience of applying an NZ visa via online? 
- 10/10!

21. How many days did you spent in NZ? Where specifically did you went to NZ?
- 26 days

22. Can you give me a timeline of your NZ visa application?
Something like this:
Oct 12 Friday: submitted my online application, received an acknowledgement email and instructions where to submit my passport for verification purposes 
Oct 15 Monday: submitted my passport at VFS Global, paid P590
Oct 29 Monday: received an email from immigration NZ that my application was approved, yay! They will issue you an e-visa, just carry it with you at all times when travelling.

Of course, we're not going to share just how to file a tourist visa in this country. Miriam also recommended the places she visited: 

ROTORUA: Visit Te Puia (Maori Village), Skyline Rotorua, Redwoods – Whakarewarewa Forest, best place to experience Maori culture and watch the world-famous haka performance, known for its geothermal activities and mudpools, get close with alpacas and llamas!
TAUPO: Huka falls, visit the coolest McDonald's in the WORLD, Lake Taupo, Craters of the Moon, Ernest Kemp cruise through Maori rock carvings, cheapest skydive in NZ can be found here!
TAURANGA: Visit their art gallery, hike Mt. Maunganui, fresh fish and chips all day!
WHITIANGA: Visit Cathedral cove (Narnia shooting place, worth the hike)
KAIAUA: Did a little sidetrip here to taste NZ's best fish and chips!
HAMILTON: Zealong Tea Estate, Hamilton Gardens, strawberry and blueberry picking, freshly made ice cream 
NORTH AUCKLAND and CBD: Mission Bay, Devonport, Takapuna Beach Reserve, Muriwai beach for surfing and see the bird sanctuary (my favorite!), Cornwall Park, One Tree Hill, Mt. Eden, Auckland Domain, Victoria Park, Sylvia Park, and my undying love for Kmart and Chemist Warehouse.

If you have more questions for Miriam, you can click HERE her Facebook profile. Dislaimer: This blog post only aims to share the experience of getting an NZ visa from someone who did it before. For updated information about this activity, better check the official website of New Zealand.

Related articles about New Zealand visa application for Pinoys I can recommend:

VFS Global visa guide application to New Zealand for Filipinos

New Zealand Tourist Visa for Filipinos - 6, 000 pesos visa fee waived

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